MACOMB (WGEM) — In his weekly City of Macomb Coronavirus Update on Friday Mayor Michael Inman urged residents to continue following mitigation guidelines so that K-12 and Western Illinois University (WIU) students could attend in-class learning.
Mayor Inman said the test-positive COVID-19 case count in McDonough County has risen by 10% in the last week.
"That's going the wrong way," Inman said.
The mayor reported the case count in the county is now at 140, with 21 of those being active.
The mayor said, "We've got to get ourselves together and start mitigating this more effectively than we have been."
Although the county's all-time positivity rate is at 3.89%, which is well below the 8% that triggers state-level mitigation, the mayor said this week alone, the positivity rate was 5.19%, which is a significant increase.
"I don't want to sound alarmist, but I do want to make everyone aware, this is not the direction we need to be going," Inman said.
Although an increase was expected as the county went into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, the mayor said "we are now a month and a half into Phase 4 and should have flattened whatever increase we had."
Inman also said that he has recently seen personally and professionally an increase in lack of awareness and complacency in people not wearing masks and not social distancing.
"Quite honestly, everyone, we need to change that trajectory," Inman said.
The mayor emphasized that both K-12 classes and classes at WIU are less than two weeks from starting.
"We can't maintain resistance to wearing face coverings and social distancing if we expect those two programs to be able to meet in person for classes," Inman said. "It's very important that we get a handle on the level of exposure in our county."
The mayor said the cause for the recent increase is due to both public and private events happening in the county where wearing face masks and social distancing is not encouraged and not taking place.
"That has to change," Inman said.
The mayor also said people are leaving the county, traveling to hot spots, and not abiding by mitigation rules.
The mayor emphasized that washing hands, social distancing, and wearing face coverings are vital to getting a handle on the virus.
Inman also encouraged residents that over the upcoming weekend, where milder weather was expected, not to attend activities where they are not comfortable with either a lack of social distancing or people not wearing face makes.
The mayor also issued a reminder that flu season is coming up and flu clinics would be opening. The mayor said it is more important than ever this year to get a flu shot to prevent putting a burden on the health care system.
The mayor added if you would like to get tested for COVID-19, the drive-thru testing tent at McDonough District Hospital is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Mayor Inman said no symptoms or doctor's note is required to be tested.
They have given over 3500 tests since the pandemic started, the mayor said.