KANKAKEE – Sometimes things line up so it’s mentally beneficial for all involved.
Especially those on the frontlines in a pandemic.
The Kankakee County Health Department announced late Wednesday afternoon the organization would earn a well-earned break, closing for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that would lead into the weekend. With the announcement, there will now be no new COVID-19 updates locally until next Monday. A nearly week-long pause amid a heightened level of infection during the most social time of the year.
Additionally, all State of Illinois COVID testing sites will be closed for the holiday Friday, reopening Saturday.
While numbers are down locally, since Monday, local officials in Kankakee have announced 241 new cases of the virus, a daily average of 80 new cases a day. Kankakee already matched the number of deaths reported in May with 28 as of December 23rd. While a record of 45 set in November being reached is not beyond possibilities. Wednesday night, 35 residents were hospitalized with the virus.
While a lack of an update for nearly a week is beneficial for all those involved, some wonder if fatigue by residents and poor decisions this holiday will aid in a renewed COVID spread across the nation.
“We can’t let fatigue let us make poor decisions this holiday season that ends up making us backtrack, especially when we are so incredibly close to getting ourselves and everyone else across the finish line,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said Tuesday at a news conference in Chicago. “The numbers here in Illinois are moving in the right direction and we have a finish line in sight with these two vaccines.”
As of Wednesday, over 100,000 frontline workers in Illinois had been vaccinated, leading the nation in vaccination efforts. For sake of numeric comparison, the total population of Illinois in 2019 was 12.67 million residents, with 12,688,071 COVID-19 tests administered since Spring.
In Kankakee, those who have received vaccinations include 1,632 frontline workers in a county of over 110,000 residents.