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METROPOLIS, Ill. — All seven counties of the Southern Seven Health Department are marking their second week at Orange Warning Level status on the COVID-19 risk metrics.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported on Sept. 10 the amount of new cases Per 100,000 people, test positivity percentage metrics and falling ICU bed availability at area hospitals are causing the elevated risk levels.

An orange designation indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the community, health officials said.

“Residents are asked to remain vigilant to slow spread of the virus,” said Shawnna Rhine, Southern Seven Health Department’s community outreach coordinator.

Massac County last Friday had 696 potential new cases (based on 98 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 12.4% out of 717 tests. ICU availability was 4.8%.

From Sept. 8-14, Southern Seven reported 94 new cases of COVID — five less than 10-years-old; 19 teenagers; 12 in their 20s; nine in their 30s; 12 in their 40s; eight in their 50s; 12 in their 60s; eight in their 70s; and nine in their 80s or above — in Massac County. As of Tuesday, Massac County has reached 1,901 total cases since the pandemic began. Of that number, 1,758 have recovered.

As of Tuesday, there were 105 active cases. As of Tuesday, 9,119 have received the vaccine since it became available in December 2020. Of that number, 4,399 have been fully vaccinated — meaning 31.24% of the county’s population has been fully vaccinated.

Over the last week, Southern Seven has reported a total of five COVID-related deaths in its region, bringing the death toll to 122 since May 4, 2020. One of those deaths was a woman in her 60s from Massac County, bringing the county’s death toll to 38.

There have been 9,484 cumulative cases in the Southern Seven region since the pandemic began, with 317 newly confirmed cases reported from Sept. 8-14.

A total of 15,246 variant cases have been reported in the state through Tuesday.

“Southern Seven has been urging southern Illinoisans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, especially with the rapid spread of the Delta variant impacting neighboring states,” Rhine said. “The COVID vaccines are proving to be effective in preventing people from becoming severely ill or requiring hospitalization. It’s also recommended to continue following the COVID-19 mitigation procedures we’re all familiar with to help prevent the spread of COVID-19: wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and keep your distance especially in crowded situations or indoor environments.”

For the latest information on COVID-19 cases in the region — Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union counties — or to find out how to get vaccinated against COVID-19, visit: https://www.southern7.org or call 618-634-2297.

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