WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) — Winnebago County continues to work through administering the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers Phase 1A.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 10,305 vaccines have been administered in Winnebago County so far.
A total of 3,071 healthcare workers in Winnebago County have already received both doses of the vaccine, according to IDPH. Those who have received both doses of the vaccine are still asked to wear a mask due to the unknowns of the vaccine.
Dr. Sandra Martell, the Public Administrator with the Winnebago County Health Department, says the county would like to vaccinate 5,000 people per week.
Over 32,000 residents have signed up for the vaccine so far through the health department's website. Dr. Martell says it is not a first-come-first-serve basis for those who register, but it will help determine those who will get vaccinated based off someone's risk/occupation and location.
Dr. Martell says those who qualify in Phase 1B will be contacted by the health department to set up their appointments for the vaccine. Dr. Martell says there's a chance you may be receiving the vaccine by a healthcare system that is not your main provider.
Multiple health systems, including all three Rockford hospitals, will work together to vaccinate the community, according to Dr. Martell.
Almost 2/3 of the population in Winnebago County will be in Phase 1B, according to Dr. Martell.
Dr. Martell says registering for a vaccine is free and does not cost anything. The doctor says it's going to take time for everyone to get vaccinated.
"It's a marathon, not a sprint," Dr. Martell said. "But we are gearing up and we're doing it every day. We need your patience."
Meanwhile, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says the city is preparing to have the region moved back into tier 2 mitigations as soon as this weekend. Regions are able to start having mitigations relaxed by the state starting on Friday.
As of Wednesday, Region 1 meets state’s requirements to have COVID-19 mitigations relaxed come Friday.
Tier 2 mitigations include gatherings expanded beyond household to 10 people or less; indoor sports and recreation activities resume with limits; casinos, entertainment venues and cultural institutions including museums can reopen with capacity limits.
Mayor McNamara says his office has been working with the governor's office to modify the mitigations to allow for some form of indoor dining. The mayor did not provide any additional information as to what that might look like, but says he's hoping to provide additional relief to restaurant owners.
Currently, indoor dining can't return unless a region reaches a positivity rate below 6.5%.
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