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Winnebago County Health Department Reports New COVID-19 Cases & Deaths, But Drop In Other Trends

Winnebago County saw two deaths and 160 new cases of COVID-19 reported Wednesday. But with the first shipments of vaccines in local hospitals, officials are cautiously optimistic.

Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said there’s been a decrease in positivity rates, hospitalizations and no spike related to Thanksgiving cases. She said this could help in scaling back mitigation measures. But she cautioned that the public needed to remain vigilant.

“The majority of our winter holidays are coming up when people want to gather, when they want to celebrate, when they all intend to take their face coverings off to eat those cookies with each other," Martell said. "It’s very important that we understand that those are the behaviors that we really need to work on together as individuals and collectively as a community.”

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara echoed those comments. 

“Even with this good news, we continue to see friends and family members tragically lose their lives or contract this deadly disease," he said. "Now is not the time for us to lose focus as a community.”

Both McNamara and Martell said they would take the vaccine when it became available in the appropriate phase of the state’s rollout of the shots. Mayor McNamara also announced that 81 local businesses received relief money from the City of Rockford Hospitality Grant program.