County COVID-19 numbers still high


ROCHELLE – Ogle County Health Department Public Administrator Kyle Auman provided an update to the Ogle County Board at its Sept. 21 meeting on the county’s COVID-19 progress.

“Hopefully this will be one of the last times I come bearing bad news,” Auman said. “It's not as bad as it's been in the past, but we're still averaging about 20 cases per day. We're seeing a plateau in cases in the rest of the state. In Region 1, we're still seeing that high risk transmission.”

Ogle County’s current positivity rate is 6.94 percent with a case rate per 100,000 of 302.11. The current regional ICU bed utilization is 16 percent, which Auman said is down 17 percent from about two weeks ago. 

The OCHD is currently monitoring outbreaks and has issued two outbreaks this week. In September, the county has seen two additional COVID-19 deaths, one person in their 70s and one in their 80s. 

Auman said the OCHD continues to administer vaccinations at both of its offices and is still partnering with Rochelle Community Hospital and KSB Hospital in Dixon along with county pharmacies. 

Ogle County residents are currently 47.39 percent vaccinated. The OCHD is still getting all three versions of the vaccine and is partnering with hospitals, pharmacies and others that offer them to make sure they have access to doses. 

In the past week, the OCHD has been able to order additional Johnson & Johnson vaccines and expects to receive that shipment this week, Auman said. 

The OCHD is still not currently issuing or authorized to administer booster vaccines. 

“That question comes up frequently,” Auman said. “We're asked that every single day. There's been a lot of talk in the media about the 65 and over population and the general population as well. And the 5-11-year-old population. We're still waiting on approval for those populations to receive the booster or their first round of vaccination. As soon as we receive that authorization from the state and our federal partners, we'll make sure we administer those and come up with a plan to go out into schools and administer those directly.”

Auman also talked about flu season and said the OCHD has received its first shipment of the flu vaccine and plans to target those in schools and the senior citizen population. 

The flu vaccine and COVID-19 can now be administered together to avoid a second trip, Auman said. 

The OCHD Public Administrator said his department is still seeing spread in county schools. 

“We're still seeing high rates of COVID-19 in schools and working with our local school partners to address those situations,” Auman said.

The meeting was held at Focus House in Rochelle.