Tri-County area hits record-breaking COVID-19 daily case rate

Image courtesy of MGN.
Image courtesy of MGN.(Credit: Matt Damon / Kentucky Army National Guard)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:15 PM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Local experts say the Tri-Counties have hit a grim, new COVID-19 milestone - and a Thursday Supreme Court decision might factor into the equation.

There’s an average of 844 COVID-19 cases per day - up from 682 cases just last week. That’s the highest daily case rate since the start of the pandemic.

“Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford are all seeing positivity rates above 20%, with Peoria at the highest at 27.3%,” Peoria City/County Health Department administrator Monica Hendrickson said.

Hospitals continue to flood with new patients, with more than 200 non-ICU beds in use in central Illinois each day. But at-home tests also skew the stats.

“The number you are seeing is, by default right now, an underestimation of the amount of the amount of virus we have,” Hendrickson said.

Local employers have now spent the last year-plus suffering various COVID consequences.

“And now, what’s happening is that the employees they have are getting sick and not being able to be at work, which is just compounding an already difficult problem,” said Chris Setti of the Greater Peoria Economic Council.

This, as the Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s emergency order Thursday, which would’ve made businesses with more than 100 employees require employees to get fully vaccinated, or undergo weekly testing.

State senator Darren Bailey called the mandate “unconstitutional.”

Local experts say for now, cases are so widespread, its difficult to even pinpoint the source of an outbreak.

“Unvaccinated individuals - that is where the brunt of this is at,” Hendrickson said.

The Peoria City/County Health Department is hosting walk-in vaccine clinics every day through the end of April – except on Martin Luther King Day.

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