The Madison County, Ill., Health Department unveiled a new coronavirus-tracking resource Wednesday. The tool shows, officials said, that efforts to curb the spread of infections have been working in the county.
(TNS) — The Madison County Health Department on Wednesday unveiled a new “dashboard” on its Facebook page listing daily coronavirus information.
“We put some of the key websites up, too,” said health department spokesperson Amy Yeager. “We’re hoping to be able to put more information out.”
She said the department also plans for a new graphic, but it wasn’t available Wednesday.
The health department reported an increase of nine cases Wednesday for a total of 137, including two previously recorded deaths. Statewide, 1,346 new cases and 80 more deaths were reported by Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. The statewide totals are now 24,593 cases and 948 deaths.
Ezike said a data analysis shows that all of the recent actions to curb the spread of COVID-19 — including the stay-at-home order, social distancing and an emphasis on hygiene — have had an impact.
“These measures are working even as we continue to see new cases, even as we continue to report new deaths,” she said.
Ezike said residents need to “stay the course” and that getting through the pandemic is a “marathon.”
“The actions we all take today will set us up for a better future,” she said.
In Madison County, health officials said the majority of its cases, 79, are women. A total of 33 people are hospitalized and 50 have recovered, meaning they have completed isolation.
IDPH information by ZIP code shows more cases in the Wood River area and new cases in the Jerseyville (62052) and Troy (62294) ZIP codes. Total cases by ZIP code include Alton (20), Godfrey (six), Edwardsville (18), Granite City/Pontoon Beach (27), Collinsville (13), Madison (seven), Troy (eight) and Jerseyville (six).
The IDPH is releasing case numbers by ZIP code for areas with more than five cases. Numbers are not released in ZIP codes with fewer cases to protect the privacy of patients. The information is available on the IDPH website www.dph.illinois.gov. Select the coronavirus banner, then “COVID-19” statistics in the drop-down menu on the left side.
Additional cases were reported Wednesday in Jersey, Macoupin, St. Clair, Clinton, Monroe and Washington counties in the Metro East, according to the IDPH.
During his portion of Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. J.B. Pritzker discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s finances.
“You don’t have to be an epidemiologist to see that the virus is going to hit our budget hard,” he said.
For the 2020 fiscal year which ends June 30, Illinois expects a $2.7 billion shortfall. That will grow to an estimated 4.6 billion in the 2021 fiscal year starting July 1, he said, noting the figures were preliminary estimates.
Pritzker said the state’s revenue comes from income and sales taxes, and lottery and gaming revenue. The pandemic has “substantially disrupted those revenue sources,” he said.
“This is a public health crisis, but it is accompanied by a massive economic crisis that’s unprecedented in modern history,” he said.
Pritzker said he has asked his department directors to look at ways to reduce spending, leverage about $700 million in state funds and issue about $1.2 billion in short-term borrowing.
“This is not a path any of us would choose under normal circumstances,” he said. “This crisis … will take us off course for a little while.”
Dealing with those budget figures, he said, will require “extraordinarily difficult decisions.” He said states throughout the country are facing budget shortfalls of half a trillion dollars and the federal government needs to pass a “CARES Act 2” to help.
©2020 The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.