Grim milestone — Rock Island County surpasses 20,000 COVID cases, deaths now at 383

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Solome Walker, 9, looks down at her bandage after getting her first Pfizer COVID-19 shot at a vaccination clinic for young students at Ramsey Middle School on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 in Louisville, Ky. Scientists say vaccinating kids against COVID-19 should not only slow the spread of the coronavirus but also help prevent potentially-dangerous variants from emerging. Each new infection brings another opportunity for the virus to mutate and evolve dangerous new traits. (AP Photo/Laura Ungar)

The Rock Island County Health Department reported Monday that there have been 166 cases of COVID-19 since the last report on Friday. The total number of cases is now 20,009.

Currently, 25 patients are hospitalized in the county with the virus. The average age of newly infected patients is 32.

“We crossed a grim milestone today, with more than 20,000 Rock Island County residents contracting COVID-19, and hospitalizations remain high,” Janet Hill, chief operating officer for the department, said Monday. “As we prepare to gather with loved ones this week for Thanksgiving, please remember than we still are in a pandemic. Our best tool against getting sick is vaccination with one of three highly effective and readily available vaccines.”

Testing is another way to help protect those you love, she said. Testing to see if you are positive for COVID-19 — and staying home if you are — can prevent spreading the virus. On Monday, the health department reported an additional COVID-19 death: a man in his 70s who had been hospitalized. The total number of deaths for Rock Island County is now 383.

“Vaccination and testing are acts of love for your family and friends, especially those who are older or have health conditions that put them at higher risk of hospitalization and death,” Hill said. “Thanksgiving guests who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask and put physical distance between themselves and others to prevent spreading the virus around the table.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending anyone 18 years and older get a COVID vaccine booster dose six months after receiving their second Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Rock Island County offers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson on Tuesdays and Pfizer on Friday. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. both days. No appointments are needed. The health department is closed Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, this week.

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