Winnebago County Health Department

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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. 

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. “

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."

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

The Winnebago County Health Department announced 8 more coronavirus deaths.

County Chairman Frank Haney went into detail in a Thursday press conference.

“The dates of death range from May 17th through the 21st. The age range is age 50 through age 98. These deaths have all been confirmed as COVID-19 by the coroner today.”

This brings the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Winnebago County to 52. 

Winnebago County announced 54 new COVID-19 cases Monday, putting the total number of cases at 616.  Dr. Sandra Martell is with the Winnebago County Health Department. She said many of these cases were in areas of concern, such as nursing homes. 

"I want to remind the public, we anticipated more cases with more testing, and our modeling indicated this time frame would be our peak, even with social distancing practices in place," Martell said. "So we continue to monitor and watch over the next week.”

The Winnebago County Health Department reported eight new positive cases of COVID-19 in the area  Monday. This brings the total number of positive cases reported up to 113. 

Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell says the rate of positive cases among tests has been on the rise. But she says they’ve become easier to follow thanks to community interviews and contact. She says those contacted by the health department have been very cooperative.

Winnebago County Health Department

A northern Illinois health department is emphasizing the importance of social distancing as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell said it’s key to ensuring the county can “flatten the curve.” 

: http://www.healthcarereportcard.illinois.gov/maps

Visits to the emergency room for asthma vary widely across Illinois. One reason could be how it's treated.

Asthma is an inflammatory lung condition that can cause bouts of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, a patient's airways swell shut, requiring a visit to the emergency room.

The Illinois Hospital Report Card tracks these types of visits. Between 2015-2017, Stephenson County had among the highest rates of visits in the state.

IDPH

The Winnebago County Health Department is warning people to avoid all synthetic cannabinoids. It has identified four cases of severe bleeding connected to their use in the county. Many more have been reported across the state.

The Health Department said there are many different chemicals, including one used in rat poison, in the various synthetics available. The department’s Director of Health Protection, Todd Kisner, said the effects can be unpredictable and dangerous, and people shouldn’t wait to act.

wchd.org

Leaders in education, social services, and government in Winnebago County are trying to work together on a common thread they see running through their community’s biggest challenges – trauma. 

Influenza Cases On The Rise Across State

Jan 9, 2018
"Box of Kleenex" by Flickr User m01229 / (CC X 2.0)

The number of flu cases is spiking across the state.

Health officials say the spike is happening early in the season. 

Todd Kisner is with the Winnebago County Health Department. He says he’s seen reported cases nearly quadruple over the past month.

“As far as the number of flu cases this early, it’s a little early for us," he said. "But that hopefully means it will end early.”

He says the flu season typically runs through April.

Influenza Cases Peaking In Northern Illinois

Mar 7, 2017
"Box of Kleenex" by Flickr User m01229 / (CC X 2.0)

Spring is right around the corner, but the end of flu season is not.

The Winnebago County Health Department says it’s seeing a high volume of influenza in the region; a recent report showed more than 300 new cases within a week. 

But that isn’t unexpected this time of year.

Todd Kisner, with the health department, says more than 60 percent of the new cases were among children and the elderly.

So this led to hospitals tightening certain age groups from visiting.

STD Cases Spike In Winnebago County

Nov 28, 2016

The Winnebago County Health Department released its annual report for 2015, which includes the number of reportable diseases in the county.

There were more than 1,700 cases of Chlamydia in Winnebago County last year, compared to 339 the year before

Gonorrhea also rose by several hundred cases, compared to 2014.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There’s a significant increase in reported gonorrhea cases in Winnebago County, according to the county’s health department.

The number of reported gonorrhea cases in the first half of this year increased by 50 percent from the number of cases reported in the first half of 2015. Todd Kisner, who is with the Winnebago County Health Department, says that’s a difference of more than 100 cases.

A licensed practical nurse is suing the Winnebago County Health Department over allegedly violating her religious conscience.

Number Of Shigella Cases Spikes In Rockford

May 9, 2016
cdc.gov

The number of cases of shigella in Rockford has exceeded 300.

The Winnebago County Health Department predicts the number will surge this summer.

Todd Kisner, with the Department’s Center for Health Protection, says the outbreak can’t be pinpointed to one place.

“Typically, when we see an outbreak of shigella, it’s usually confined to a daycare or a school," Kisner said. "But what we’re seeing with our community outbreak is – it’s going across the community."

Kisner says strict hygiene is the best defense against the bacteria.

  With temperatures slowly rising, so too will mosquito populations.

Last summer, the Winnebago County Health Department handled nearly 300 calls related to mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. With all the worry of mosquito-borne disease like West Nile, encephalitis and Zika, some residents wonder what can be done.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Time is running out for people who haven’t signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act

Whooping Cough Case Identified At Auburn High School

Sep 15, 2015

Pertussis, or whooping cough, has made its presence into the Rockford public school district.

Last Friday, a letter was sent out regarding an Auburn High School student with a confirmed case of pertussis.

Families of West View Elementary and West Middle School also received letters about probable cases that have been reported.

Pertussis is easily mistaken as a bad cold, but its symptoms are more severe and can last up to 100 days.

Learning Health Insurance-Speak

Nov 6, 2013
WNIJ/Mike Moen

Despite technical obstacles, navigators are still helping people enroll into health-insurance marketplaces. In many communities, that includes helping those who speak little or no English. The northern Illinois region is no exception.

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