Nine counties in the Northern Illinois Rockford Region are expressing concern as the first county in the region entered a warning stage for COVID-19.
According to an announcement made by the Illinois Department of Public Health Friday, Jo Daviess County is now considered to be “at a warning level” for COVID-19 for the first time since Illinois entered Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.
A press release sent by the Northern Illinois Rockford Region Public Information Officers on behalf of all nine counties states this increase in community spread of COVID-19 is being associated with travel to hotspots, including neighboring Iowa, and larger social gatherings.
“As a community, we must heed the warning and work together to adhere to the social distancing and masking guidance that will help slow the spread of COVID-19 while moving our community forward toward recovery,” said Jo Daviess County Health Department Public Health Administrator Sandra Schleicher. “Our individual actions impact our local community’s ability to prevent further morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 and will impact the safety of activities in our communities like the opening of schools.”
Health departments in the Northern Illinois Rockford Region — including Carroll and Whiteside Counties, also in the Local 4 News viewing area — are expressing concern that the spread of COVID-19 will continue to increase in communities throughout the region, potentially requiring additional strategies to protect the public’s health.
In order to protect the community and reduce the need to adhere to stricter guidance, Northern Illinois Rockford Region Public Information Officers urge the public to consistently take the following steps:
- Wear a face mask: Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth covering.
- Watch your distance: Keep at least 6 feet apart from others.
- Wash your hands: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Northern Illinois Rockford Region Public Information Officers say the public can further reduce the risk of becoming COVID-19 positive by leaving a place where guidelines are not being followed, people are not masking or social distancing or the gathering is “too large.”
“Together, we can move beyond this pandemic,” they add.
For general questions about COVID-19, call the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 1-800-889-3931.