Health department: Ogle County is currently COVID-19 hot spot

Auman: Highest test positivity in the region


Ogle County has been identified as a “hot spot” for COVID-19 in the state, Ogle County Health Department Public Administrator Kyle Auman said in a news release Thursday. 

Ogle County currently has the highest test positivity seven-day rolling average for the region at 8.4 percent. It also has the second highest number of new cases per 100,000 in the region at 245. 

OCHD contact tracers have been working diligently to ensure that all cases are contacted, traced and investigated appropriately, Auman said. It is currently exceeding contact tracing metics for communicating with new cases and close contacts. 

Gov. JB Pritzker said earlier this week COVID-19 restrictions will loosen May 14 and a full reopening is planned for June 11. 

“Residents are becoming even less cooperative over the last few months,” Auman said. “We are frequently dealing with hostile cases with people using very negative language towards us. Positive cases are flatout telling us that they refuse to isolate. Some of these cases have been identified to be out in public while COVID positive actively spreading COVID-19. We need everyone's help to get these numbers down especially since the Governor has announced that we will be moving to the Bridge Phase next week.”

Auman said the OCHD is still seeing cases in schools and school-related activities. Those situations typically have many people involved in the investigation with greater community impact and require a larger number of resources to contact trace due to the number of close contact associated with them.

The OCHD is still monitoring variant strains of the virus. A total of 41 variant cases have been seen in Ogle County. 

“We are keeping a close eye on variants coming out of India as they are seeing unique strains and India death rates climb,” Auman said. “One variant strain from India has been identified in Illinois.”

Ogle County is 30.62 percent fully-vaccinated. The OCHD and its vaccination partners in the county have seen a “drastic” decrease in demand for vaccinations, Auman said. 

“Most of our clinics are not making it to half full,” Auman said. “Our nurses have been to local schools to vaccinate 16-18-year-olds who want to be vaccinated and we will complete second doses with Pfizer next week.”

The OCHD will be hosting a Johnson & Johnson clinic at 907 Pines Road in Oregon on May 12 and a May 20 Moderna and Johnson & Johnson clinic at 123 N. 2nd St. in Oregon. Registration is required and the link can be found on the OCHD’s website and Facebook page. 

Auman said regional hospital partners are still seeing increased COVID-19 activity. 

 “The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported that the age range of hospitalized patients has shifted from 65 and up to younger age groups,” Auman said. “There could be a couple of different reasons for this shift; one being high vaccine uptake in the 65+ population.” 

Ogle County has had a total of 81 deaths and 6,047 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.