Together Quad Cities

A Coalition Response to COVID-19
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COVID-19 & Holiday Guidance

  • In Iowa, the 11/16/2020 proclamation by Governor Kim Reynolds limits indoor gatherings to 15 people or fewer and outdoor gatherings to 30 people or fewer.
  • In Illinois,

Holiday Travel – Air/vehicle travel, traveling overnight

Recommendation:  During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are encouraged to avoid travel as much as possible, especially during this busy travel season.

Guidance:  COVID-19 & Holiday Travel

  • Traveling Overnight
  • Air Travel
  • Car Travel

Holiday Gatherings – Hosting and attending holiday gatherings

Recommendation:  Residents are encouraged to celebrate the holidays with people in their own household.  Leave large family gatherings for when the COVID-19 risk is much lower.

Guidance:  COVID-19 & Holiday Gatherings

Includes:

  • When to Stay Home
  • Location/Space
  • Masks/Social Distancing
  • Clean Hands
  • Serving Food
  • Cleaning 

Holiday Shopping

Recommendation:  Residents are encouraged to minimize holiday shopping during peak hours and at peak locations in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Guidance:  COVID-19 and Holiday Shopping

Includes:

  • When to Stay Home
  • Online Options
  • Avoid Crowds
  • Masks/Social Distancing/Clean Hands

Daily Case Surge & Additional Mitigation in Iowa – 11/10/2020

PRESS RELEASE

Edward Rivers, Director, Scott County Health Department

We have seen an explosion of cases over the last week or so that has both our departments quite concerned.  In Scott County, recent case counts have been 200 – 350 per day.  By comparison, there were only 321 cases in the entire month of June.

People are spreading the virus to family members and close friends, and our investigators are told of gatherings without social distancing and masking.  These numbers are what we would expect to happen when people aren’t taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

This surge is challenging our ability to investigate cases in a beneficial timeframe.  At Scott County, we made the decision to hire additional contact tracers when daily cases were closer to 120 per day.   With the number of daily cases nearly tripling, we aren’t sure that plan is still viable.  We are doing our best, but this surge is nearly unmanageable. 

At 11am today, Iowa Governor Reynolds announced enhanced public health measures will go into effect Wednesday, November 11 at 12:01am.  These measures are aimed at the high case counts and positivity rates currently taking place across the state.  The measures will include:

  • Mask requirements for social, community, recreational or leisure gatherings for all participants over the age of 2 in the following circumstances:
    • Whenever there are more than 25 people indoors
    • Whenever more than 100 individuals are gathered outdoors
  • Gatherings of groups greater than 10 must keep social distancing between groups and limit group sizes to 8 people (unless there are household groups greater than 8)
  • All these restrictions apply to wedding receptions
  • Spectators over the age of 2 at youth and high school sports must wear masks and maintain 6 feet of social distance from others
  • Only two spectators will be permitted for each youth athlete
  • Restaurants/bars/and similar clubs as well as bowling alleys, pool halls, bingo halls, arcades, indoor playgrounds and children’s play centers must ensure that groups are distanced at least 6 feet apart and that groups are limited to 8 people unless a larger group is the same household
  • Six feet of social distancing and mask wearing is required at salons, barbershops, massage therapy establishments, and tattoo and tanning facilities
  • Lastly, all employers are asked to evaluate whether more employees can work remotely

We welcome these measures but require your help.  We are asking all residents of our community to look deep and decide what more you can do.  Distance.  Wear your mask.  Stay away from gatherings.  Pay attention to your symptoms.  And stay home and get tested if you have symptoms.

Nita Ludwig, Administrator, Rock Island County Health Department

We are pleased to hear of Iowa’s science-backed changes. In Illinois, we’ve followed the science all along with Gov. JB Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan. That said, Illinois’ cases are raging, too. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced more than 10,000 new cases each of the last five (confirm) days in the state. In Rock Island County, we added more than 1,000 cases in November alone. Our positivity rate is an alarming 15 percent.

Right now, Rock Island County and the rest of Region 2 are in Tier 1 mitigation – meaning there is no inside dining or bar service and groups are limited to 25 or 25 percent of room capacity, whichever is smaller. On Wednesday, three more regions in the state for a total of four go into Tier 2 mitigations, meaning groups are restricted to 10 or fewer. The change from Tier 1 to Tier 2 is based on metrics, including positivity rate. Our region is barreling toward Tier 2 status and likely will be there next week.

If positivity rates don’t come down over two weeks of Tier 2 mitigations, a region would surge into Tier 3 mitigations. Those include suspending in-store shopping at non-essential retailers and indoor and outdoor recreational activities. These mitigations should sound similar because this is what we lived under in March, April and May.

And in another callback to earlier in the pandemic, just Monday Gov. Pritzker indicated that he might issue another stay-at-home order. The order went into effect March 21 and was lifted May 29. The stay-at-home order worked. When it ended, the state regularly added just a few hundred cases a day. During this time, Rock Island County reported zero cases a few days.

Again, we reported 131 cases today and more than 1,000 this month. We are teetering on a point of new return. Science must lead us, but you must follow what it says.


MaskUp Properly

Wearing masks PROPERLY is critical to helping move us to a safer point in this pandemic.  Make sure your mask covers your mouth AND nose.  Do your part.  Please.


10/15 Press Briefing

10:30am

Watch live: https://www.facebook.com/cityofdavenportiowa; https://www.facebook.com/scottcountyhealthdept

Speakers

  • Edward Rivers, Scott County Health Department
  • Doug Cropper, President & CEO, Genesis Health System
  • Mayor Mike Matson, City of Davenport
  • Mayor Stephanie Acri, City of Moline
  • Janet Hill, Chief Operating Officer, Rock Island County Health Department

Current Status of COVID-19 in the Quad Cities

  • QC COVID-19 Coalition partners from public health, healthcare, and city leaders are making a collaborative call to action for our community, in the face of steeply climbing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
  • From the beginning of the pandemic, we have had two goals for our community:
    • To slow the spread of COVID-19.
    • To prevent overwhelming the capability of our health care system.
  • We are nearing a critical inflection point after which our health care system may not be able to adequately respond to the demands placed upon it.  As COVID cases continue to rise, the flu season is beginning.  This will increase the demands on our health care system and further challenge our community.

Local Health System Status

Three trends that are concerning at Genesis:  

  • Rising hospitalizations. Over the past two weeks, daily inpatient census of COVID-19 patients has gone from the teens and 20s to consistently in the mid-to-high 30s. These are the highest numbers of positive COVID inpatients so far.
  • Positivity rate for symptomatic patients. We consider 10% of COVID tests coming back positive to be a warning sign. Genesis’ 7-day average for positive tests is running at 12%.
  • Record number of people being tested for COVID-19. Last two weeks we are averaging almost 500 tests per day. When you combine a high positivity rate with a large number of tests ordered, we know we are headed in the wrong direction. About 15% of these positive tests become hospitalized patients, and we know some will end up in the ICU for long periods.

What our community needs to understand about these numbers and why we need their help:

  • Hospital lengths of stay are typically long for COVID-19 patients. You can only add so many COVID patients requiring extended ICU care before the ICU reaches capacity. Remember that other patients, not just COVID-19 patients, also need ICU care such as heart surgery and trauma patients.
  • Surge Plans: We have extensive contingency plans to prepare for a COVID-19 patient surge. However putting our surge plans into effect will create a disruption of services because staff would have to be re-allocated to other areas to care for these additional COVID patients.
  • If these trends continue, you or a family member may need a hospital service that would be temporarily suspended or delayed due to a COVID surge.
  • The rise in COVID patients in October is straining our staff and wearing them out. This is a marathon and not a sprint, and we need to be prepared for 6-9 more months of this before a COVID vaccine helps us reach herd immunity.
  • Our staff has responded heroically over the past seven months. Their dedication and resilience, especially when our COVID patients and families are going through so much themselves.
  • Until there is an effective vaccine, the best we can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is wear a mask in public, socially distance, wash our hands, and avoid risky behavior of gathering without wearing a mask or social distancing. Also, get a flu shot. The symptoms of seasonal influenza and COVID-19 can be similar. If you get a flu shot and still show symptoms, call a provider about being tested for COVID-19.
  • Even though UnityPoint-Trinity CEO Bob Erickson could not make it today, your community’s health systems are collaborating to care for this community. Genesis and UnityPoint leadership are in frequent contact — whether it is refining regional surge plans, monitoring ICU bed census in our area, or, most recently, planning for the administration of a COVID vaccine once it reaches approval.  I know Bob shares in my concerns about rising positivity rates in our area and echoes our call to the public to be extra vigilant about staying safe.

Statement from UnityPoint Health – Trinity President & CEO, Robert J. Erickson

“UnityPoint Health – Trinity continues to monitor the ongoing shortage of intensive care beds throughout our EMA regions in Iowa and Illinois. We continue to experience elevated COVID-19 inpatient numbers as well as other intensely sick members of our communities.  As all hospitals are facing the same challenges, transferring patients to other facilities for care is a growing concern for all of us as we activate our surge plans to accommodate the needs of our patients safely.  As healthcare providers, we are doing everything we can to ensure we have the resources necessary to serve our communities – but we need the community’s help.  We urge you to do your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19.  COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon and when you protect yourselves and others, you are literally saving lives while helping us and other health systems provide care for COVID-19 patients as well as all patients who need it.  Please social distance, wash your hands, wear a mask around others and avoid large gatherings…this is a winnable fight but we all need to do our part and we will all make it through this together.”

Call to Action for Quad Cities Residents

We are all in this together.  Please do your part.

Please listen to public health guidelines:

  • Wear a mask
  • Watch your distance – stay at least 6 feet from others
  • Wash your hands often
  • Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms – stay home until you receive you test results
  • If you are asked to quarantine or isolate, stay home for the entire period to keep from spreading the virus to others

Continue to Support Our Community:

  • Remember our local businesses when spending money
  • Keep COVID-19 recommendations in mind when shopping, eating at a restaurant, or picking up food to go

COVID-19 & Halloween

With the beginning of fall, many in our community start to plan for Halloween fun. Since some of the ways in which this holiday is usually celebrated make it harder to social distance and take other steps to
slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important to plan early and find lower risk ways to celebrate Halloween.

Resources:

Downloadable Versions:


COVID-19 & Influenza – Protect Yourself

COVID-19 is still spreading in our community as we enter flu season (typically October – March each year).

  • It will be possible to contract COVID-19 & influenza (the flu) at the same time.
  • COVID-19 and influenza can have similar symptoms, but COVID-19 has additional symptoms

Here are some tips to protect yourself from COVID-19 and the flu:

  • Continue to social distance (keep at least 6 feet between you and others you do not live with)
  • Wear a face mask when out and about
  • Wash your hands often, with soap & water or sanitizer
  • GET A FLU SHOT – contact your health care provider or local pharmacy

The CDC’s Vaccine Finder website will help you find a location for a flu shot near you: https://vaccinefinder.org/find-vaccine.


Mask Mandate – Local Initiative

October 6, 2020

To: Scott County Business Leaders
From: Edward Rivers, Director, Scott County Health Department
Nita Ludwig, Administrator, Rock Island County Health Department

The Quad Cities are seeing sustained transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 despite a wealth of evidence that masking, social distancing and other simple interventions are highly effective in reducing spread.  State and local governments have been reluctant to support mandates for the use of masks, but you are free to do so on private property.

Consider requiring masks on your premises.

  1. The data emerging on the value of masks to prevent COVID are clear now.  Masks on both infected and uninfected people markedly reduce the risk for the uninfected person becoming infected.
  2. Why should you require masks on (both) your staff and customers?
    • To protect your clients and customers from infection and its outcomes
    • To protect their contacts from infection
    • To reduce transmission and protect the economy from the effects of the sustained community spread present since June in the metro area
    • To support our ability to return kids to face-to-face learning that is more effective education
    • To free parents to return to work
    • To reduce the negative effects of prolonged social isolation of both school aged kids and adults
    • To help establish compliance with consensus public health measures as the norm in the QC metro area
  3. What should you do?
    • Post signage prominently that you are asking all people entering your premises to mask. including promoting your business as being COVID-conscious for your community.
    • Provide masks for those arriving without them
    • Provide similar information on your websites and in your social media messages including promoting your business as being COVID-conscious for your community.
    • Avoid confrontations with those who refuse to mask but be confident that most people will comply with your request and that as time passes and masking becomes the norm, compliance will be maintained.
    • In bars and restaurants, public health’s social distancing (separation of people from each other) guidance remains critical because use of masks at all times is difficult.


QC Welcome Promise

The QC Welcome Promise is a commitment to help promote the health, safety, and vitality of our community.  The promise promotes a shared message about our region’s re-opening and confirms our commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment.  The promise also includes a commitment from Quad Citizens and visitors to follow guidelines and to do their part in keeping everyone in our family of communities safe.  

Visitors, customers, and business owners are encouraged to join the QC Welcome Promise. The following items are available for download on the QC Welcome Promise website:

  • Posters
  • Flyers for customers
  • Facebook Post Suggestions
  • QC Promise Logo


COVID Support Line

Transitions Mental Health Services has launched the T-COVID Support Line. The talk line has been created to support you if you have been struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 309-581-2858, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4pm.


COVID-19 Behavioral Health Service Updates

The Quad Cities Behavioral Health Coalition is highlighting community services available in Illinois and Iowa in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.See the list of resources here:

https://togetherqc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/QCBHC-COVID-Service-List_PublicVersion5_22_20-002.pdf