Health officials are concerned about the possibility of a fourth wave of COVID infections in Illinois even if the total case count numbers do not show a spike.
Though the numbers have remained low in Washington County, the total number of cases is up statewide. Only six new cases have been reported in the county since last Wednesday, five of which are classified as active.
The number of cases reported statewide has moved steadily up over the last couple of weeks. On March 15, the new case count was at 782, but by April 1, a total of 3,526 people tested positive.
Some of the reason the case counts are not moving up in a more dramatic way could be because fewer people are being tested.
“According to the IDPH, there certainly is a decrease in the amount of testing being done across the state, and our confirmed cases of COVID remain low,” said Washington County Health Administrator Elizabeth Lehde. “However, there always is a chance of a surge in cases as long as there are people who are carrying the virus.”
Lehde says that improving weather and an overall weariness with precautions could result in complacency when it comes to taking measures to prevent the spread.
One troubling statistic is that the number of people hospitalized with COVID has been steadily climbing, with almost 1,600 people hospitalized statewide on April 4.
Even though the statewide case count is heading in the wrong direction, the vaccination rate is a positive indicator that could mitigate the fears of a big fourth wave.
Read more in this week’s issue.