There were eleven COVID-19 related deaths in Macon County last week
Decatur and Macon County residents continue to experience a surge in COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths. Sadly, from September 10 – September 17, there were 11 COVID-19 related deaths with the number of deaths of county residents rising from 220 to 231 (5% increase in one week) since the start of the pandemic.
Decatur citizens should do what they can to protect their family, friends, and neighbors from COVID-19 including being fully vaccinated, wearing face coverings while indoors, and practicing social distancing. Unfortunately, Decatur and Macon County have the lowest vaccination rate, and highest per capita case rate and death rate, of any central Illinois county with a mid-sized city.
WEARING FACE COVERINGS REDUCES THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
The most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated. Other measures including wearing a face covering and social distancing are also necessary and prudent, particularly given that <44% of Macon County residents are fully vaccinated and children under 12 are not able to receive the vaccine.
By law, individuals in Decatur are required to wear face coverings in indoor public places regardless of vaccination status. The City of Decatur has three local laws that apply and will be enforced. Individuals should contact City Manager Wrighton (217-424-2801, firstname.lastname@example.org) to report entities violating the city’s COVID-19 safety laws.
INTENSIVE CARE UNIT BED AVAILABILITY IN MACON COUNTY IS AT ITS LOWEST LEVEL SINCE THE START OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
For the sixth straight week, Macon County has been placed at a warning level for increased COVID-19 risk by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Disturbingly, ICU bed availability for the past five weeks was at the lowest levels in Macon County since the start of the pandemic and for the week ending on September 11 was 16%.
THE NUMBER OF CASES OF COVID-19 IN CHILDREN UNDER 10 HAS INCREASED 71% IN 14 WEEKS
Macon County has seen a significant surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. The large rise in the number of cases is most pronounced in children who are unable to get vaccinated. From June 11 (the day Illinois entered Phase 5) to September 17, the total number of confirmed cases of all ages combined increased 30% (11,002 vs. 14,298). In children 0-9 years old, the number of cases increased 62% (526 vs. 900), and the number of cases in children 10-19 increased 53% (1,154 vs. 1,760). Combined, 0-19 year olds have made up 30% of the new cases in Macon County since June 11, 2021.
THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS IN HOME ISOLATION DUE TO COVID-19 HAS INCREASED 439% IN FIVE WEEKS
On August 13, there were 489 Macon County residents in home isolation due to COVID-19. On September 17, the number in home isolation had risen to 2,635 (439% increase in 5 weeks). Other COVID-19 metrics continue to be poor and at levels not experienced since November – December 2020. For the week ending August 14 compared to the week ending September 11, case rate increased from 287 to 528 per 100k, and test positivity has changed from 8.5% to 8.3%.
VACCINATION RATES IN MACON COUNTY ARE LOWEST OF ANY CENTRAL ILLINOIS COUNTY WITH A MID-SIZED CITY
The percentage of individuals who are fully vaccinated in Macon County as of September 17 is 43.3% compared to Champaign (53.2%), McLean (53.3%), and Sangamon (54.4%) counties. Vaccination rates lag in every age category with 26.4% of 12-17 year old individuals fully vaccinated in Macon County (compared with Champaign, McLean, and Sangamon counties that range from 43.7% - 54.9%). In Macon County, 45.3% of 18-64 year old individuals are fully vaccinated (comparison counties range from 56.7% – 58.6%), and in Macon County, 75.5% of individuals 65 years and older are fully vaccinated (comparison counties range from 86.1% -89.5%).