BREAKING NEWS: The Quad-Cities has reached the “severe” covid outbreak level, according to the latest statistics from the Illinois and Iowa Departments of Health and Covid Act Now, a not-for-profit national data aggregation website affiliated with the medical departments of Stanford, Harvard and Georgetown Universities.

Both Scott and Rock Island Counties have spiked up to the “severe outbreak” level, counting cases over the past few days, but NOT including outbreaks expected to bump up after last week’s Thanksgiving social activity trifecta of Black Out Wednesday, Thanksgiving Day Thursday and Black Friday.

All experts have agreed that cases will likely spike up this week as infections spread during those three days of increased socialization begin to manifest and infected people head to hospitals for testing and treatment.

As of Sunday, positivity rates were 22.4 in Rock Island County and 25.8 in Scott County, far above the rate of 12 percent positivity required to roll back Tier 3 mitigation actions put in place Nov. 20 by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

With covid-19 cases spiking throughout the state, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker put in place the new restrictions on Nov. 20, mentioning not just the rapid spread in terms of covid infections but their impact upon hospitals and people who may need the hospitals for other health emergencies.

“We’re trying to look ahead weeks so we don’t end up in a situation where hospital beds are over 100 percent filled by Christmas,” Pritzker said during his press conference to announce the restrictions. “Remember there are a lot of people who come to hospitals for non-covid-related medical needs, and we don’t want to get to the point where all the beds are full because of the spread of covid. If we continue at the pace we’re going, without any mitigation, that’s what’s going to happen.”

Iowa reported its highest death toll from covid over the past week, even after Governor Kim Reynolds had put in place additional mitigation procedures on Nov. 17.

Iowa covid-19 numbers are soaring to record rates, on pace for a “100 percent infection rate” for the state, according to numbers from the Iowa Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Covid Act Now, a not-for-profit data aggregation center affiliated with the medical departments of Harvard, Stanford and Georgetown Universities.

Local hospitals are being inundated with cases and feeling the strain, causing them to send out requests that people not use the ER and emergency services for covid-related cases unless they are of an emergency variety.
Kurt Andersen, M.D., Senior Vice President of Physician Operations and Chief Medical Officer, Genesis Health System said, “The emergency department is not the appropriate site for COVID testing. It should not be your first step if you have mild COVID symptoms, as do about 80 percent of patients with COVID. We would refer you to a testing site, to one of the convenient care centers or your primary care doctor if you need testing for mild symptoms of COVID-19.”
For more information on the covid outbreak, continue to watch your free public media QuadCities.com. We’re providing this fact-based service to keep you informed during the pandemic through a free and easily accessible media source online.
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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.