State Announces Two More COVID Deaths

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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) attributed two more deaths to COVID-19 coronavirus on Wednesday, Dec. 16, bringing the total in Montgomery County up to 20.

According to IDPH, the most recent deaths were a female in her 70s and a male in his 70s.  The deaths were the first here since the one announced on Nov. 12.

Montgomery County Health Department Administrator Hugh Satterlee said that Montgomery County was not among the first 50 counties to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the state of Illinois.

Satterlee said the vaccine was given to the counties with the highest death rate in the state, and Montgomery County did not qualify.

At  this time, Satterlee does not have additional information on when the county will receive its first vaccine, but he noted the first round will go to Hillsboro Area Hospital and HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield and will be administered to frontline health care workers first.

After frontline health care workers are vaccinated, next in line will be long-term facilities, like nursing homes and assisted living centers, and their staffs.

Satterlee said that mass vaccines for Montgomery County will not likely be available until April or May. He added that the county does not currently have a vaccine waiting list, but if and when a waiting list will become available, they will notify residents through the newspaper and social media.

According to the health department, 75 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Montgomery County so far this week.  Midway through the month, there have been 341 new positive tests in December for a positivity rate of 5.2 percent this month.

The Nokomis School District announced on Monday, Dec. 14, that a staff member who was at North Elementary School on Thursday, Dec. 10, had tested positive.

In the Hillsboro School District, a unit office staff member, Beckemeyer administrator, high school student, and seventh grade student tested positive over the weekend, and a sixth grade student and first grade teacher tested positive on Monday.  Contact tracing resulted in 12 students quarantined at the high school, 18 seventh grade students and five sixth grade students.

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