UPDATED — The Illinois Quad-Cities could see another mandatory stay-at-home order as soon as next week if numbers in our region continue to soar.

The Quad-Cities is now among the top 10 hot spots in the United States for covid-19 spikes.

The Quad-Cities has exploded in its number of cases and is now inside the top ten most rapidly spiking hot spots nationwide, sitting at number 7 today, according to CDC numbers.

In his media address today, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said that the rapidly spiking numbers statewide — with numbers in some regions doubling daily — could lead to another statewide mandatory stay-at-home order similar to the one imposed in the spring, and that he would

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker.

make a determination “in the coming days.”

Illinois reported 12,702 new cases of COVID-19 and 43 additional deaths on Thursday. The total number of deaths statewide is now 10,477.

Today, the Rock Island County Health Department reported 121 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 6,105. Currently, 64 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Rock Island County, which is an all-time high.

“If things don’t take a turn in the coming days we will quickly reach the point when some form of a mandatory stay at home order is all that will be left,” Pritzker said. “With every fiber of my being, I do not want us to get there. But right now that seems like where we are heading.”

Today, the mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot ordered city residents to stay at home and not have visitors for 30 days. She said Chicagoans should not leave their homes except to attend school, seek medical care, shop for groceries, pick up takeout food and go to work. However, she also encouraged employers to allow their employees to work from home whenever possible.

Pritzker blamed the out-of-control numbers on people and community leaders ignoring doctor-recommended mitigations. His counterpart on the Iowa side of the Quad-Cities concurred in her address to the media yesterday, noting that the Iowa side of the Q-Cs may be headed for a similar situation, and enacting new state mandates of her own.

Yesterday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds enacted a number of mask and social distancing mandates to curb the spread of covid-19, as the rising number of Quad-Cities covid-19 cases put it near the top 10 worst covid hot spots in the United States, and other Iowa communities already fill the top 10.

Among metro areas with at least 50,000 people, the Iowa/Illinois Quad-Cities ranks number 13 among the fastest risers, almost doubling its number of cases within the past week, from 1,476 to 2,922.

The New York Times released this graphic today with CDC numbers showing that Iowa is a growing hot spot for covid, and the Quad-Cities is right outside the top 10 worst spots in the country for the spread.

According to a report in the New York Times today, the daily average of new COVID-19 cases in the country this past week has gone up 64 percent in two weeks, hitting 116,448 today.

Helping to spike the numbers were a one-day record of 131,420 cases on Nov. 7 and 103,657 cases on Sunday, the fifth time over the last week that new cases have topped 100,000.

More than 1 million new cases have been reported in the past 10 days and the United States now has more than 10 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Area hospitals are finding themselves being pushed beyond typical capacity and staffers and doctors are feeling the stress, as QuadCities.com reported yesterday.

“We set our previous record high in the last ten days and doubled that in the last week,” said Dr. Kurt Andersen, Senior Vice President for Physician Operations and Chief Medical Officer for Genesis. “Where before in the summer we would be looking at maybe five or ten percent of people who came in with symptoms testing positive, now we’re over 30 percent of people who come in with symptoms testing positive.”

“If the presence of COVID-19 in our communities is a marathon and not a sprint – then we are entering the hardest leg of this race to date,” said Robert J. Erickson, UnityPoint Health – Trinity President and CEO. “Our critical care resources are near maximum capacity and we need the community to do their part to get this virus under control by following the CDC recommended safety guidelines.”

According to Genesis Health Center, they have three urgent requests at this time:

  1. With COVID-19 testing demand increasing, some people are showing up at emergency departments to be tested. Unless you have severe symptoms, the emergency departments are not efficient as community testing sites.

If you have COVID-19 or flu symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), follow these steps.

  • First Step of Action: Call your primary care physician first. If you are unable to reach your primary care physician, or if you don’t have one, move to second step.
  • Second Step of Action: Call the Genesis COVID-19 hotline at (563) 421-3820 to get information on how to connect with a provider for COVID care. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Third Step of Action: Connect with a Genesis provider (marked with a Genesis logo) through your smartphone, tablet or computer through a Virtual Care visit at www.genesishealth.com/virtual or on the Genesis CareNow app on your phone.

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.”

  1. Genesis COVID Hotline: If you have questions or concerns, call the Genesis COVID-19 hotline at (563) 421-3820. The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. Uninsured: If you have COVID-19 symptoms and need care, do not delay. Care is available and covered regardless of whether you have insurance and reacting quickly may prevent a hospitalization. Care is covered through the pandemic relief legislation known as the CARES Act.

 

 

 

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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.