By Travis Volz
As the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread, Washington and neighboring counties have seen alarming increases in COVID metrics over the last few weeks.
The Illinois Department of Public Health issued warnings to Madison, St. Clair, Monroe and Jefferson counties last week, as well as Washington County this week.
All of these counties have seen dramatic rises in test positivity rates over the last four weeks. Monroe County’s rate went from 0.8 percent on June 12 to 11.4 percent this month.
That is the most dramatic rise in testing, though the other three counties have positivity rates at or above the 8.0 percent threshhold that could result in another round of mitigation efforts.
Washington County also passed the 8.0 percent threshhold after a month with positivity rates below one percent. Since last Monday, nine new COVID cases have been identified in the county, pushing the test positivity rate to 8.5 percent.
Read the full story in this week’s issue.