Outbreaks lead to higher COVID positivity numbers


OREGON – Ogle County’s COVID-19 positivity rate was up to 4.7 percent, the Ogle County Health Department administrator told the County Board at its March 16 meeting.

Kyle Auman said while the positivity rate in the region was 2.6 percent, it was up in Ogle County. He said the reason was due to “several outbreaks” in the county. One was a large outbreak that was related to athletics at an area school. He did not say which school. One was related to a nursing home and the other one to a local business.

The week before, the Ogle County Health Department sent out a release saying it was investigating several COVID-19 positive cases with potential links to Chesty P’s in Polo.

The department said the potential exposure occurred at an event on Feb. 27. It encouraged anyone who visited this establishment on Feb. 27, or the days following the event, to consider getting tested for COVID, especially if they were experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms.

“(We are) working on those and trying to contact trace those the best we can,” Auman told the board.

He said in the last year, the county has had 5,184 total COVID cases, with 77 deaths. He said the county has administered 15,286 vaccines, and that 11.9 percent of the county’s population is vaccinated.

After some shortages, Auman told the board that the vaccine allocations have improved. He said the week before, the county had received 1,400 doses, and 1,200 the week of the meeting. This week another 1,200 doses were expected.

“We seem to be making pretty good headway in our mission,” he said of vaccinating the population.

Auman said the county is also working on several “breakthrough” cases, which is when a fully vaccinated person becomes positive. He said the Centers for Disease Control is being involved in those cases.

As for when people under the age of 65 will get the vaccine, that is unclear.

“I can’t give an exact date,” Auman said.