Winnebago County Health Department

Vaccine Expansion A Key Priority For Winnebago County

Mar 3, 2021
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The Winnebago County Health Department reports there are continued efforts to increase local capacity to provide COVID-19 vaccines.

At a press conference covered by WREX-TV, the county’s public health administrator, Sandra Martell, said more than 4,000 vaccinations had been given out at the National Guard site on Sandy Hollow Road. The health department is also trying to expand vaccinations geographically.

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Winnebago County Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell announced late Tuesday that a shipment of 9,000 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is now expected to arrive in the county by early next week. 

Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Center Opens In Rockford

Feb 22, 2021
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A coronavirus mass-vaccination center opens Tuesday  in Rockford at the site of the old K-Mart on Sandy Hollow Road.

Members of the Illinois National Guard will be on hand to administer COVID-19 vaccines as they are allocated. Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate Nadeau, at a press conference covered by WREX, said this is part of a greater state effort to roll out vaccinations.

“We have a long way to go to get everyone vaccinated, but this site is just one example of how we’re going to close that gap and get [the] vaccine to the most needed.” 

The Winnebago County Health Department says vaccination efforts against COVID-19 continue. Meanwhile, the area’s positivity rate for the coronavirus has shrunk.

The Department reported 69 new cases of COVID-19, but no new deaths. Furthermore, the area’s positivity rate is only 4.7%. At a press conference carried by WREX-TV, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara praised this milestone.

The Winnebago County Health Department reported Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccination is proceeding smoothly. 

Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said among the different health care systems, more than 10,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered. During a COVID-19 update livestreamed on WREX, Martell announced 104 new cases.

"And unfortunately, we have lost two additional of our community residents, which brings our total death count to 380," she said.

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.

4 New COVID-19 Deaths Reported In Winnebago County

Dec 9, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department reported four new coronavirus deaths Monday. This brings the total up to 296 area casualties. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell also reported new cases in the area.

“We’re reporting 121 new cases," she said. "Our total case count is 20,043.”  

Winnebago County is one of 50 counties in the state with the highest death rate from COVID-19. Current plans would prioritize the first round of vaccines to these counties. Local health departments are responsible for these initial allocations.

7 New COVID-19 Deaths And 79 Cases In Winnebago County

Dec 2, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.

This brings the total number of cases in Winnebago County to 18,804. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell also said there were seven new deaths.

“We must remember that as we go through all of this and we look optimistically to the vaccine, that it’s through this pandemic we have lost a significant number of our residents,” she said. 

The Winnebago County Health Department Thursday announced seven new deaths in the county from COVID-19. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said there has also been a significant increase in cases throughout the region.

“We’re reporting new cases of 234, our total case count throughout the pandemic is 15,719.”

Martell and Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said there is going to be a significant step-up in enforcement against businesses that violate mitigation rules. Some measures include daily ticketing, closures and ineligibility for business relief grants.

Connie Kuntz

Rockford health care facilities are feeling the strain of COVID-19 related hospitalizations. 

 

 

Officials at all of the local health care systems say that they have been seeing significant increases in COVID-19 admissions.  Dr. Sandra Martell from the Winnebago County Health Department said the region could see cascading consequences.

 

470 New COVID Cases, Two Deaths In Winnebago County

Nov 2, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department Monday announced 470 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths from the virus. This puts the total number of cases at 11,472. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said it was imperative for residents not to ignore mitigation restrictions.

"With a positivity rate of almost 15%, you’re putting your community at risk. You’re putting all of our businesses at risk. And we’ve talked about this before. You’re putting our children and the schools at risk."

343 New COVID-19 Cases In Winnebago County

Oct 26, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department reported 343 new cases of coronavirus from over the weekend on Monday. 

Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said this means there have now been more than 10,000 cases total.

“Our rolling 7-day positivity rate is 13.5%, well above the 6.5% that we need to get ourself out of mitigation.”

Seven residents also lost their lives to the disease since last week. Officials from local health care providers say they have seen many more people coming in for tests, and are working to increase patient capacity as cases mount.

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UPDATE:  Dr. Sandra Martell issued the following statement related to indoor dining in Winnebago County on Oct. 20, 2020

Last week, Winnebago County Health Department issued guidance for Meetings, Social Events, and Gatherings at Restaurants and Bars during the resurgence.

Winnebago County Reports 525 New Coronavirus Cases

Oct 19, 2020
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The Winnebago County Health Department Monday announced 525 new cases of COVID-19. 

That number represents new cases from Friday and over the weekend. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said this was concerning, especially after reporting more than 200 new cases over a three-day period last week.

“We are reporting no new deaths and our hospital capacity has stabilized over the last week," she said. "But we are in a very critical time frame where we have both seasonal influenza beginning to rear, as well as our COVID-19.”

203 New Coronavirus Cases In Winnebago County

Oct 5, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department reported 203 new cases of COVID-19 from Saturday to Monday.

Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell announced this while fielding questions about mitigation measures imposed on the county by the state health department.  

“Our total positives now is at 6,685, and over 34% of our population has been tested to date.”

Peter Medlin

More than 40 schools in Winnebago County have reported positive COVID-19 cases. Close to half of those are Rockford Public Schools. 

Dr. Sandra Martell is the director of the Winnebago County Health Department. She recently stressed that despite cases appearing in schools, the department doesn’t believe students and staff are transmitting the virus while at school. 

The Winnebago County Health Department reported a spate of new COVID-19 cases Monday. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell made the announcement.

“Over the last three days, there were 225 positive cases reported for Winnebago County," she said. "Our seven-day positivity rate is at 9%.”

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The Winnebago County Health Department reported scores of new cases of COVID-19 at a press conference Monday. 

Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said a lot of the transmission is due to Labor Day weekend activities. The ages of those infected vary.

“And those ages are anywhere from two years to 68," she said. "This brings our total to 4,794 cases.” 

Martell is also worried about an increasing positivity rate.

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The Winnebago County Health Department is reporting a preliminary count Friday of 44 new cases of coronavirus and a positivity rate of 6%.

Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said this comes as Illinois is at risk for a surge in cases over the Labor Day weekend. It’s traditionally the last major summer weekend for people to get together. 

9 New COVID-19 Cases In Winnebago County

Aug 31, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department on Monday reported 9 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total case count since the pandemic began up to 4,233.  Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said that it’s important for everyone who’s been exposed to get tested, even if they’re asymptomatic.

“Approximately 22% of our population has sought out testing," she said. "Total tests performed to date in Winnebago County are over 65,000. “

17 New Covid Cases, 1 New Death In Winnebago County

Aug 25, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department on Tuesday reported 17 additional cases of COVID. This brings the county’s total health case count since the pandemic began to four thousand eighty-seven. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martel said unfortunately, that wasn’t the only change.

“Once again we have one additional death to report, and our community mourns the loss of one member," she said. "No matter how small the number, we continue to mourn those losses."

22 New COVID-19 Cases Reported In Winnebago County

Aug 14, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martel said there were no new deaths.

“That brings our total case count to 3,828. As of this day too, over 56,000 tests have been done, representing almost 20% of our population.”

The numbers come as school districts in Winnebago County are preparing to reopen. Several are offering the choice of remote or in-person learning for students.

Nearly 4,000 people who were tested for COVID-19 at some northern Illinois state-run testing sites are experiencing processing delays. Dr. Sandra Martell is the public health administrator for the Winnebago County Health Department. She said if you were tested between July 12-24 and have not received notification of your results, you may not need to test again.

11 New COVID Cases In Winnebago County

Jul 27, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. This puts the county total at 3,505. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said there are no new deaths or sites of concern.

“And the good news is 96% of our residents who have contracted COVID-19 are reported as recovered, ” she said. 

The seven-day rolling positivity rate for Winnebago County is at less than 4%, meaning during that period, more than 95% of coronavirus tests came up negative.

Winnebago County Announces 53 New COVID-19 Cases

Jul 20, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department Monday reported 53 new cases of COVID-19. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said this puts the total number of cases at 3,345.

“The positivity rate over our 7-day rolling average is at 2.6%, so well below the 8% we’re looking at if we have to roll back.

No new deaths were reported, but the county is putting Wesley Willows, an assisted living facility in Rockford, back on a list of sites of concern.

Winnebago County Reports 55 New COVID-19 Cases

Jul 13, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department reported 55 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said the number of cases is a jump up from recent daily reports. The county’s total is now stands at 3,189.  

“The good news though, is that our positivity rate continues to decline. We’re at 2.9% for a rolling five-day average, but our overall positivity rate is 8%," she said. 

Connie Kuntz

An Illinois bird tested positive for West Nile virus, but no humans have been diagnosed with the virus this  year.

Ryan Kerch is the environmental health supervisor with the Winnebago County Health Department. He says they don't want to scare anybody, but it's important to understand that the virus is always out there.

"West Nile is present," he said. "It is active and it has been throughout the state for a number of years. It is a statewide concern."

9 New Cases, No Deaths From COVID-19 In Winnebago County

Jun 22, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department announced Monday that there are nine new cases of COVID-19 in the area. 

No deaths were reported, but there is now a total case count of 2,903. The positivity rate is at 9.7%, meaning less than one in 10 coronavirus tests come back indicating someone is infected. 

The Health Department also announced it will list on its website businesses that have been issued orders of closure or validated complaints due to COVID-19.

9 New Cases, 7 Deaths From COVID-19 In Winnebago County

Jun 15, 2020

The Winnebago County Health Department announced 9 new cases of Covid-19 and 7 additional deaths due to the coronavirus at a briefing Monday. Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell explained.

“Four were associated with a long-term facility and they were ages 71-95," she said. "And once again, as we look forward to our newfound freedom of getting out some more, we mourn and grieve the loss of our community residents that have contributed to the building of this community.”

The Winnebago County Health Department has received a sum of money from the federal government to improve its contact tracing efforts. 

Publich Health Administrator Sandra Martell said $4.9 million will go toward hiring 51 temporary full-time employees for the effort. She says there will be a variety of positions, including clerks, disease investigation specialists, and epidemiologists.

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