COVID cases, deaths up in county


OREGON – COVID-19 cases and death are up in Ogle County and there is no end in sight, the county’s public health administrator told the County Board.

Kyle Auman told the board at its regular meeting on Nov. 17, that there were 47 new cases that day.

“We’re seeing roughly 50 cases if not more, coming into Ogle County every single day,” he said.

Auman said that the cases in Illinois are the highest they have been since the start of the pandemic earlier this year.

In Illinois, there has been a total of nearly 600,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 11,000 deaths. Nationally, there has been more than 11 million cases and nearly 250,000 deaths.

In Region 1, which includes Ogle County, the overall positivity rate is about 20 percent. In Ogle County, it is 17 percent. But Auman said those numbers are “definitely concerning.”

Deaths are also up in the county, he said. There were two additional deaths in Ogle County reported on Nov. 17. As of Nov. 19, the total was 18.

“The death rate is definitely continuing to grow in Ogle County,” Auman said.

Auman said the positivity rate means that one in five people you come in contact with daily could potentially have COVID-19.

And the holidays could make that worse, he said, with traditional family gatherings, students back from college going out into social settings and possible holiday shopping.

“We only believe this is going to grow though the holiday season,” Auman said.

He said during the holidays people must wear their masks, keep socially distanced, limit contact with others and wash their hands regularly.

Auman said that all of Illinois was moving to Tier 3 Coronavirus protections on Friday, Nov. 20. That means – among other things – that there will be no inside service for bars and restaurants, casinos will close and capacity at businesses will be limited.

Auman said one problem is that as the virus situation has continued, people are being less and less compliant with the contact tracing program. That is making it difficult to track and contain the virus.

He said hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are up locally and across the state. Auman also said his department is currently working on outbreaks in places like schools and long-term care facilities.

Board member Skip Kenney asked Auman how much faith he has in the national COVID numbers, inferring they might not be as high as reported.

Auman said he is confident the numbers are solid, as all health departments report the numbers in the same way.

“I have no reason to believe the national numbers are not accurate,” Auman said.