BELLEVILLE, Ill. – There is an increased amount of COVID-19 activity in St. Clair County with a large portion of new cases in school-aged children and teens. The overall positive rate is 8.6 percent and that is above the state recommendation of a maximum of 8 percent. The St. Clair County Health Department and East Side Health District are strongly encouraging schools to consider starting the year remotely.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that 13 counties in the state are now considered to be at a warning level. Many of the counties are located near St. Louis and include Cass, Coles, Grundy, Iroquois, Jackson, Monroe, Perry, Saline, St. Clair, Tazewell, Union, Williamson, Winnebago.
The counties have outbreaks associated with businesses, long-term care facilities, large social gatherings, and out of state travel. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that students returning to colleges are also driving the recent increase in cases. Many students are not wearing face coverings or social distancing. They are also meeting in large groups and at bars.