ELDORADO -- A recent surge in cases of COVID-19 placed Saline, Gallatin and White counties at a COVID-19 warning level July 31, according to Egyptian Health Department.
Egyptian Health Department attributes the most recent spike in cases to an outbreak in a local church and other activities posing higher risk for disease spread. EHD will be working with local officials to implement mitigation measures to help slow the spread of the virus, according to a news release.
A county enters a warning level when it experiences an increase in two or more COVID-19 risk indicators from the states' COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigation plan. These risk indicators include:
• New Cases per 100,000
• Number of Deaths
• Weekly Test Positivity
• ICU Availability
• Weekly Emergency Department Visits
• Weekly Hospital Admissions
• Tests Performed
Residents are urged to continue to follow the "3 W's"; Wearing a Face Covering, Watching Your Distance (six feet) and Washing Your Hands -- as these interventions have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. EHD officials are finding that most close contacts to cases are testing positive as well.
What this means for individuals:
Please continue to follow the 3 W's to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is also very important to answer your phone if you are being contacted by the health department contact tracing team.
What this means for businesses:
Please reach out to EHD if you need more information regarding the workplace guidelines. We will be working with local officials to implement mitigation measures.
Eldorado Town & Country Days canceled
The continuing spread of COVID-19 also has resulted in the cancellation of Eldorado Town & Country Days.
"It is with regret that Eldorado Town & Country Fall Festival Inc must announce that the 2020 T & C Days, slated for Sept 16-19, has been canceled," Eldorado Town & Country Fall Festival Inc. wrote on its Facebook page. "This decision was made due to the current State of Illinois health guidelines and the increased case activity in our area. Like so many state and local organizations, we agree that the health and safety of our community and visitors is paramount.
"These are trying times for everyone. We want to thank everyone who has supported us in the past by attending our annual event. In addition, thank you to our past sponsors, vendors and volunteers.
As a committee, we held out as long as we possibly could with the hope that we could return to normalcy and our festival would happen this year. Unfortunately, 2020 has been a year like no other we have ever experienced. We are already discussing and planning on how to be back, bigger and better in September 2021."
Golconda Shrimp Festival canceled
Likewise, another popular local attraction the same weekend, the Golconda Shrim Festival, was canceled on July 31.
"Due to the current situation with COVID-19 and a rising number of cases in southern Illinois, the Golconda Shrimp Festival board of directors has voted to cancel this year's event scheduled for September 19th, 2020," the board of directors wrote on the Golconda Main Street Facebook page. "The festival board is planning to sell a commemorative T-shirt of this year's non-event as a fundraiser. In addition, continued sponsorships and/or donations are tax deductible and will help Mainstreet continue their community outreach activities in Pope County. For more info visit: www.mainstreetgolconda.org."
More cases reported
Egyptian Health Department reported seven new cases in its three-county service area Monday afternoon. Three are from Saline County and four are from White County. Saline County has had a total of 114-lab confirmed positives, including one death, White County has had a total of 62 positives, and Gallatin County has a total of46 positive cases of COVID-19.