KANKAKEE – Kankakee County Health Department Public Health Administrator John Bevis is asking residents in Kankakee to do their part in mitigation of COVID-19 entering the weekend.
The request came less than 24 hours after Kankakee posted a Region 7 record for daily positivity at 26.7%.
“The virus is continuing to spread and infecting more people.” Bevis said in a letter addressed to the community Friday afternoon. “The COVID-19 virus is still here, and we need your help! I ask that you be a role model and wear your face covering PROPERLY. Follow the guidelines so we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and get back to Phase 4. We all want tot go back to the life we knew pre-COVID. So far, more than 80 people in Kankakee County alone have died from COVID-19.”
As of Friday, 86 people had died from COVID in the community.
The letter, a rare direct plea to area residents, was issued shortly after local health officials posted new COVID-19 numbers for the area Friday afternoon, which included 245 new cases, caping a week that saw 1,305 new cases added to local totals. As of Friday afternoon, 2,665 active cases were reported in the Kankakee area, with 57 residents currently hospitalized entering the weekend.
“This letter is an appeal to all of you to do your part in curbing the transmission of COVID-19. We all want to get back to our normal lives, but there is still too much at risk. This is a time to think of others. You may be healthy, but many others are at risk due to compromised immune systems and other serious (and sometimes not so serious) health conditions.” Bevis said Friday. “It’s all about We, not ME. Your actions will make a difference! Please do your part to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.”
Friday, Kankakee was one of six Illinois metro areas included on a New York Times article monitoring cases increasing fast nationwide. Other Illinois communities featured on the list included Bloomington, Ottawa-Peru, Springfield, and Sterling.
This week, school districts across the community have found themselves forced into closing their doors to aid in mitigation efforts. Various townships and others have followed suit, including the Kankakee County Board, who has chosen to close their own government offices without enforcing measures of mitigation designed by the Illinois Department of Public heath to protect the community at large.
Since October 30th two weeks ago, Kankakee has reported 2,199 new cases of the virus, averaging 157 new cases per day in that time.
You can read Administrator Bevis’s full letter to the community for yourself below: