Number of COVID hospitalizations in R.I. County now the highest in a year

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FILE – A woman receives a coronavirus vaccine in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday, Nov 29, 2021. A pandemic-weary world faces weeks of confusing uncertainty as countries restrict travel and take other steps to halt the newest potentially risky coronavirus mutant before anyone knows just how dangerous omicron really is. (AP Photo/Gbemiga Olamikan, File)

The Rock Island County Health Department on Monday reported three COVID-19 deaths: a man in 70s who died at home; a man in his 60s who died in a long-term-care facility; and a man in his 60s who was hospitalized. The total number of deaths is now 391.

“We offer our sincere sympathies to their loved ones,” said Nita Ludwig, administrator of the Rock Island County Health Department.

In addition, the health department reports 223 new cases of COVID since its last report on Friday. The total number of cases now is 20,941. Currently, 62 patients are hospitalized in the county with the virus. The average age of newly infected patients is 36.

“Cases are rising quickly in Rock Island County, but just as concerning is how many people are hospitalized,” Ludwig said in a Monday release. “We haven’t had this many people hospitalized in the county with COVID-19 in almost a year.”

Today’s total is the highest since Dec. 8, 2020, when there were 83. The all-time high hospitalization figure for COVID was 92 on Nov. 23, 2020.

“The difference from a year ago is that we now have three highly effective vaccines that prevent most serious cases of COVID-19 and keep hospital resources and staff available for other urgent healthcare, including heart attacks, strokes, post-surgical care, and serious accidents,” she said. “Our hospitals are filled with younger people who have not been vaccinated and older people who qualify for a booster.”

Genesis Health System reported Monday that it had 77 COVID patients hospitalized in its facilities (in Davenport, Silvis, DeWitt, Aledo and Maquoketa), including 12 who are under the age of 50.

The health department recommends everyone do their part to prevent further spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Getting vaccinated as soon as you can. Visit vaccines.gov to find your shot. RICHD offers walk-in vaccines on Tuesdays (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) and Fridays (Pfizer). The hours for both days are 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Boosters or third doses for immunocompromised people are available on the same day as first and second doses. We offer vaccines for children ages 5-11 by appointment on Fridays. Pediatric clinics are full until Dec. 17. The link for the Dec. 17 clinic will be posted at 10 a.m. Dec. 15 on the health department’s Facebook page. Many of the healthcare and pharmacy partners also are offering vaccines for children.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Wearing a face covering. A mandate from Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker requires that everyone 2 and older wear a mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. The CDC recommends that everyone age 2 and older wear a mask in counties of high or substantial transmission, which includes almost every county in the country.

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