Out of control: COVID-19 cases at all-time high, deaths on the rise

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Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

Nearly two years ago on April 6, 2020, the Coles County Health Department announced the first case of COVID-19 in Coles County. Now, the county has seen 13,719 confirmed cases.

Over the last two years, there have been multiple spikes in cases, but none as extreme as the jump the county has seen this month.

From the start of the pandemic to Dec. 31, 2021, there were a total of 10,118 cases of COVID-19 in Coles County. Since Jan. 1, 3,601 new cases have been added to the list.

This 35.59% increase has come at the cost of the lives of 153 Coles County residents’ lives.

Currently, 41 people are hospitalized at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. Two of the hospitalized individuals are children.

Of those, 28 are unvaccinated and 13 are vaccinated. Six of the vaccinated are overdue for a booster.

Eight patients are in the critical care unit, six of which are unvaccinated. Of the other two, one individual in critical care is fully vaccinated and the other is overdue for their booster.

On campus, Eastern is reporting that 50 of 110 isolation/quarantine spaces are currently in use.

Of students, 3,595 (77.7%) are fully vaccinated, 999 (21.6%) have opted not to disclose their vaccination status, did not respond to requests for their vaccination status or are unvaccinated and 32 (0.7%) are partially vaccinated.

Of employees, 985 (79.1%) are fully vaccinated, 257 (20.6%) have opted not to disclose their vaccination status, did not respond to requests for their vaccination status or are unvaccinated and 4 (0.3%) are partially vaccinated.

Those in Eastern’s community who are unvaccinated must complete mandatory weekly testing or face disciplinary actions.

Students who do not complete testing will face the following repercussions if they do not follow the university’s policy:

-After one week of noncompliance students will receive a written warning and information sheet.

-After two weeks of noncompliance, students will receive a $150 fine and university disciplinary probation.

-After three weeks of noncompliance, students will receive a $150 fine and a registration hold.

-After four weeks of noncompliance, students will receive an interim suspension until they comply with the mandatory testing and will be removed from university housing.

Repercussions for employees vary based on whether or not they are a union member and which union they are a member of. For more information on mandatory testing, the discipline structures can be found at eiu.edu/covid/noncompliance.php.

 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]