County Covid numbers improving


OREGON – At its September meeting, Kyle Auman told the Ogle County Board he hoped that was the last time he came to a meeting with bad news about covid-19.

Well, at the board’s regular meeting on Oct. 19, Auman – the Ogle County Health Department health administrator – brought better news. He said the county’s positivity rate was 4.18 percent, down from 6.94 percent in September.

“(This is) the first time in a while that we’ve been below 5 percent,” he said.

He said the number of cases in the county are coming down as well.

 “These are some of the lowest numbers we’ve had in quite some time,” he said. “So that’s encouraging news.”

Currently, 49.5 percent of Ogle County residents are vaccinated, which is up about 2 percent from last month.

In a separate interview, Auman said that in the region, only Boone and Lee counties have higher vaccination rates. As to why fewer than half of the county’s population has gotten the vaccine, Auman said is seems to be down to how people view the vaccine.

“Personal belief about the vaccination seems to play (the) biggest role in lower vaccination uptake,” he said.

Auman told the board that as of now, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for a third, or booster, shot. They are for the following people:

* People ages 65 and over who could have a health condition that means they need a booster.

* People 18 and older who live in a permanent care setting.

* People18 and older with an underlying medical condition.

* People 18 and older who live or work in a high-risk setting.

Auman told the board that the Moderna vaccine could be approved for a booster this week, along with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the only one that will be mix and match, meaning if people got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine initially, they could use the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as a booster.

He also told the board vaccine approval for kids ages 5-11 should come early next month.