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Dr. Martell: Region 1 should expect more restrictions

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Dr. Sandra Martell Speaking During a Press Conference on Oct. 15

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) — The leader of the Winnebago County Health Department says Region 1 should expect to see more restrictions by the state.

Dr. Sandra Martell, the Public Administrator of the Winnebago County Health Department, says a rise in cases in Winnebago County and Region 1 will lead to more restrictions being enforced by the state.

"New mitigations will be very painful for this community," Dr. Martell said.

On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Region 1's seven-day rolling positivity rate has increased to 10.3% as of Oct. 12.

The region has been either at or above 8% since late September, causing new restrictions to be enforced on Oct. 3

State health officials have continued to track the region's positivity rate for the virus to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigations should remain in place.

If Region 1's positivity rate is still at 8% on Saturday, Oct. 17, the state will step in and enforce more restrictions, which could include more businesses closing. Dr. Martell says Region 1 would likely be forced in tier 3 mitigations by the state, which would be to-go only dining and not include any outdoor dining.

Dr. Martell says Winnebago County is seeing new cases for every 289 per 100,000 residents, which is well above the state's metrics, which shoots for 50 per 100,000.

293 new cases were reported in the county on Thursday, which is higher then the peak back in the spring. A 4-month-old was included in one of the new cases. The total number of cases is now up to 8,247 in Winnebago County. The county is also reporting 1 more death, bringing the total number of lives lost up to 161. More than 110,000 tests have been done, according to Dr. Martell.

The seven-day rolling positivity rate is above 11% for the second straight day, according to Dr. Martell.

When asked about the new number of cases, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara called the number "unacceptable" and "ridiculous."

"When we don't do our own individual efforts to slow the spread, we're hurting our children, our schools, people who have lost loved ones...nearly every aspect of our community," Mayor McNamara said.

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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University.

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