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McDonough County Health Department: COVID Hasn't Gone Away

Rich Egger
Lynn Van Pelt, an RN at MDH, drawing up COVID-19 vaccine on April 7, 2021.

As the McDonough County Health Department prepares to hold a mass vaccination clinic on Saturday, the agency is urging people to remain vigilant about following the protocols designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Our test positivity for a seven-day rolling average for McDonough County is currently at 4.2%. That was at 1% several weeks ago. So we are seeing a spike in cases,” said Ben Thompson, Emergency Response Coordinator for the McDonough and Schuyler County Health Departments.

“We would like to remind people that testing is still available. If you have symptoms of it, please get tested, please consult your primary care physician because COVID is still here.”

The health departments are partnering with McDonough District Hospital to hold a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic this Saturday, April 10, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the former Farm King building, 2700 East Jackson Street in Macomb.

People who are age 18 or older and live and/or work in McDonough or Schuyler County are eligible.

Appointments can be made online here. Appointments can also be made by calling 833-665-4829.

Thompson said they received 500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine. He said appointments are being snapped up quickly.

Credit Rich Egger
(left to right) Ben Thompson and Raeva Farris of the McDonough County Health Department along with Patrick Osterman of MDH during a news briefing about the mass vaccination clinic.

Patrick Osterman, Director of Public Relations & Marketing at MDH, said, “We’re very excited for this opportunity on Saturday. The old Farm King building is a great open space. I think logistically we’re going to be able to accommodate 500 people coming through there during the day.”

Raeva Farris, Public Information Officer for the McDonough and Schuyler County Health Departments, said the most recent mass vaccination clinic in Macomb took place April 1, 2021 at Western Illinois University.

“That was a great turnout. We had over 500 WIU staff, students, and faculty vaccinated with Moderna,” Farris said.

Everyone who received the first Moderna shot on April 1 also received an appointment for the second shot. All those will be done before the end of the WIU school year.

Other information shared by Ben Thompson:

  • MDH administered the county’s first dose of vaccine in mid-December, 2020
  • Since then, the health department, MDH, the Beau Health Center at WIU, and Lifeguard Ambulance have administered 7,713 vaccines
  • He said the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 13,988 doses have been administered in the county – the figure includes those done at pharmacies and nursing homes
  • IDHP also reported 6,101 people in McDonough County are fully vaccinated – a bit more than 20% of the population, according to Thompson, who called them “good numbers”
  • Last week the McDonough County Health Department administered 994 vaccines (including the ones at WIU)
  • Schuyler County has administered 3,764 doses; 1,699 residents are fully vaccinated, which Thompson said is more than 24% of the population
  • The Illinois National Guard will help the health department vaccinate college-age students. The department will receive 3,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for this effort, which Thompson said will take place Wednesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 15 at WIU.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.