Together Quad Cities

A Coalition Response to COVID-19

Current Vaccination Phases

Scott and Rock Island Counties are currently in the first phase, Phase 1A, of providing COVID-19 vaccine.  As additional vaccine makes its way into our community, vaccine will be given to other healthcare workers and then to other priority groups identified by the federal and state advisory groups.  

Scott County Current Phase: 1B

  • Individuals 65 years of age and older
  • Individuals 16 to 64 years of age with medical conditions
  • AND
  • Individuals vulnerable to exposure to or spread of COVID-19 due to where they live or work:

Tier 1

  • First Responders
  • PK-12 staff, early childhood education, childcare workers

Current Tier: 2

  • Frontline essential workers in food, agriculture, distribution, and manufacturing sectors who live or work in non-social distanced settings
  • Individuals with disabilities living in home settings and their direct care staff

Tier 3

  • Staff and individuals living in congregate settings not covered by previous Phase or Tier
  • Government officials, including staff, engaged in business at the State Capitol

Tier 4

  • Inspectors responsible for health, life and safety

Tier 5

  • Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated

Rock Island County Current Phase: 1B

Phase 1B in Illinois:

1B: Critical Workforce (As determined by the Illinois Department of Public Health as of 12/23/2020; Subject to change based on vaccine availability)

  • B.1: Firefighters
  • B.2: Law Enforcement
  • B.3: Other first-responders
  • B.4: National Guard for COVID-19 response
  • B.5: Childcare providers
  • B.6: Congregate care staff
  • B.7: Teachers/school staff
  • B.8: State & County officials
  • B.9: Correctional staff
  • B.10: Postal Service workers
  • B.11: Food production/delivery/processing
  • B.12: Transportation

Moderna Vaccine EUA & Information

  • Full Moderna education document:  https://www.modernatx.com/covid19vaccine-eua/recipients/faq
  • The Moderna vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday, December 18.
  • The Moderna vaccine is available for individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • Individuals should talk to their healthcare provider before getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine; this includes telling their provider about all medical conditions, including if you:
    • have any allergies
    • have a fever
    • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
    • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
    • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
    • are breastfeeding
    • have received another COVID-19 vaccine
  • Individuals should not get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine if you:
    • had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
    • had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine
    • **this does not include individuals with seasonal allergies, etc.
  • Pregnant/Breastfeeding Individuals:
    • If an individual is pregnant or breastfeeding, they should discuss their options with their healthcare provider
  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a 2-dose vaccine given 1 month apart
  • In clinical trials, approximately 15,400 individuals 18 years of age and older have received at least 1 dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine include:
    • injection site pain
    • tiredness
    • headache
    • muscle pain
    • chills
    • joint pain
    • fever
    • nausea and vomiting
  • There is a remote chance that the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay at the place where you received your vaccine for monitoring after vaccination. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of your face and throat
    • A fast heartbeat
    • A bad rash all over your body
    • Dizziness and weakness
  • There is no information on the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines.
  • Additional information on the Moderna vaccine can be found at:

NAACP COVID-19 Vaccine Townhall

Over the last year, the NAACP has presented virtual town halls that focus on how the coronavirus pandemic impacts African Americans. In this episode of the series, congressional leaders, guest speakers, and health experts joined Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, to provide the latest research information, slowing the spread, vaccine availability, and distribution.


Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

The health departments, local health care systems and the Quad-City COVID-19 Coalition will share with you when it’s your time to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It will be free to you. No one will ask you any financial information. Your turn will come. #vaccinateqc

Image may contain: text that says 'Three Ways to Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams While vaccination details are getting worked out, here's what you can be sure of: You can't pay to put your name on list to get the vaccine. That's a scam. You can't pay to get early access to the vaccine. That's a scam. Nobody legit will call about the vaccine and ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. That's scam. Ignore any vaccine offers that say different, or ask for personal or financial information. ! Learn more at ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams'

Pfizer Vaccine EUA & Information

  • The Pfizer vaccine received Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, December 12.
  • The Pfizer vaccine is available for individuals 16 years of age and older.
  • Individuals should talk to their healthcare provider before getting the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine; this includes telling their provider about all medical conditions, including if you:
    • have any allergies
    • have a fever
    • have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
    • are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
    • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
    • are breastfeeding
    • have received another COVID-19 vaccine
  • Individuals should not get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine if you:
    • had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
    • had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine
    • **this does not include individuals with seasonal allergies, etc.
  • Pregnant/Breastfeeding Individuals:
    • If an individual is pregnant or breastfeeding, they should discuss their options with their healthcare provider
  • In clinical trials, approximately 20,000 individuals 16 years of age and older have received at least 1 dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Side effects that have been reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine include:
    • injection site pain
    • tiredness
    • headache
    • muscle pain
    • chills
    • joint pain
    • fever
    • injection site swelling
    • injection site redness
    • nausea
    • feeling unwell
    • swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)
  • There is no information on the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines.

Further Information:


COVID-19 Vaccine 101

The following Q & A was addressed on the December 10, 2020 QC COVID-19 press briefing with local media. The full briefing can be viewed here: https://www.scottcountyiowa.gov/health/post/covid-19-press-briefing-december-10-2020

Links to COVID-19 vaccine resources, including the CDC, Iowa and Illinois Health Departments, and Scott and Rock Island County Health Departments are located on the vaccination page: https://togetherqc.com/vaccination/

It seems like the process for approving the vaccine moved really quickly. Did it?

  • Traditionally, it has taken many years to develop a vaccine, confirm its safety and efficacy, and manufacture the vaccine in sufficient quantities for public use. This timeline was shortened for the COVID-19 vaccines in development. Many of the steps taken in any clinical trial were allowed to take place at the same time instead of one after another.  Also, due to the pandemic the United States government and others t ‘
  • The United States government has heavily invested in building the manufacturing capacity to produce large numbers of vaccine doses before the findings of the phase 3 trials were available.  This ensures that vaccine is available once the authorization is given.  None of the ways in which this vaccine development and production was sped up mean that short cuts were taken or safety was compromised.

What will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me from and for how long?

  • Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine trials have shown about a 95 percent success in protecting people from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Experts do not know what percentage of people would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19. Herd immunity is a term used to describe when enough people have protection—either from previous infection or vaccination—that it is unlikely a virus or bacteria can spread and cause disease. As a result, everyone within the community is protected even if some people don’t have any protection themselves. The percentage of people who need to have protection in order to achieve herd immunity varies by disease.

When will the first vaccines begin to arrive in the community and how many doses will be available?

  • The Illinois Department of Public Health has told local health departments to expect the first shipments to arrive in Rock Island County sometime next week. The Rock Island County Health Department is expecting 1,000 doses that will be split evenly between UnityPoint-Trinity and Genesis health systems. From there, the hospital systems will triage doses to their healthcare team. Subsequent shipments also will go to the hospital systems.
  • After the hospital systems have vaccinated their team members, doses then will go to other medical first-responders, including paramedics.
  • The Iowa Department of Public Health also anticipates some vaccine will arrive in local areas next week.  Scott County is expecting about 2,000 doses that will primarily be going to Genesis and UnityPoint-Trinity.        We are awaiting final guidance from the state of Iowa and may adjust allocations next week to include emergency medical service providers

How will the community deal with the ultra-cold storage of the Pfizer vaccine?

  • The Pfizer vaccine is required to be shipped at up to 100 degrees below zero. However, it is stable for five days outside of that ultra-cold temperature. The Moderna vaccine does not need the ultra-cold storage.
  • The State of Iowa is only shipping the Pfizer vaccine to facilities and providers that have ultra-cold storage.  Certain facilities in Scott County are able to store vaccine in this type of storage.
  • The five-day clock starts ticking when the doses start to be transported to Rock Island County.

How many doses of the vaccine will I need?

  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are expected to arrive in our community in the next two weeks, require two doses.
  • Individuals will receive the second dose of the vaccines after at least a 21 day wait for the Pfizer vaccine and after at least a 28 day wait for the Moderna vaccine.

Do both doses of the vaccine have to come from the same vaccine?

  • Yes, both doses must be of the same vaccine.  The vaccines cannot be interchanged.  As individuals are given their first dose of vaccine, the vaccine manufacturer and other information is recorded in the state’s immunization registry for future use. 

Will I be able to choose which of the COVID-19 vaccines I want?

  • When limited supply of vaccine first makes its way to our community and is provided to priority groups such as health care workers, individuals in the priority groups will be provided the vaccine that is available at the time based on supply and distribution factors.
  • When enough vaccine is available in our community for everyone who would like to receive it, it is likely that individuals will have greater choice in which vaccine they receive and where they receive it.

How do we know if the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?

  • Vaccine safety is a priority – new vaccines undergo serious reviews in a lab and through trials.  Early results from trials show the COVID-19 vaccine has worked as it is supposed to with no serious side effects.  These results include the more than 2-3 months of follow-up of individuals involved in the vaccine trials.
  • There is solid medical and scientific evidence that tell us the benefits of approved vaccines far outweigh the risks.  This is also true for the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The FDA advises manufacturers that at least 3,000 participants are required to assess safety. The current Phase 3 of trials have included 30,000-50,000 participants.
  • Vaccine approval normally includes four phases. Once the vaccine is approved after Phase 3, Phase 4 will continue and will include continued monitoring and gathering of safety data.

What reaction should I expect after getting the vaccine?

  • The vaccine does not cause someone to get sick with COVID-19.  Vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as a sore arm, headache, chills or fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs the body is building immunity.
  • You can expect side effects to go away without complication or injury within about a day or two. Remember, these are signs that your immune system is responding to the vaccine and building immunity.

I already had COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?

  • Not enough is known about how long natural immunity lasts for those that have recovered from the virus. The CDC is still learning more about natural immunity to COVID-19.  The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will make recommendations to CDC on who should get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The vaccine can increase your protection from the virus.

I’m healthy.  Why do I need to be vaccinated?

  • While you may be healthy, many individuals in our community have risk factors for getting serious complications from COVID-19 infection. Getting a COVID-19 vaccination protects you so you may protect others around you as well.

I’m nervous about getting the vaccine.  What should I do?

  • It’s normal to be nervous about something new and to have questions.  We encourage you to ask questions and get answers to your questions from reliable sources.  We recommend looking for information from the CDC, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), both state health departments, and our local health departments. 
  • As it gets closer to the time when the vaccine may be available for you, your healthcare provider will also be a great resource to talk with about the COVID-19 vaccine.

How will I know it’s my turn to get the vaccine?

  • We have a team in place working hard to communicate this important information to our community.  You can expect to get information from our departments, through avenues such as social media, our website, our local media partners, and also local healthcare providers.
  • There is no “list” that any first responder, healthcare worker or member of the public needs to get on at this point.
  • The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program can be compared with the rollout of new software for phones – we expect some challenges, and we’ll work quickly to meet them.

Where will I get the vaccine when it’s my turn?

  • The first priority groups to get the COVID-19 vaccines will likely get the vaccine through their employer or at a community-based site. As more vaccine makes its way into our community, we expect to continue using community-based sites.  Once the vaccine is available to all who would like it, individual healthcare providers will likely have a role in also giving the vaccine.  These plans are changing as we learn more about the vaccine supply and federal and state recommendations.

Once I receive the vaccine, will I still need to wear a mask and social distance?

  • We will still need to wear masks and practice physical distancing until a large proportion of the population is vaccinated and we are sure the vaccine provides long-term protection. Initially, we will not have enough vaccine to vaccinate everyone who wants the vaccine and the virus still will be transmitted.

Will I have to pay for the vaccine?

  • The federal government is committed to providing free or low-cost COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine doses purchased with taxpayer dollars will be given to those who choose to receive them at no cost.  There may be an administration cost that is covered by insurance or other sources for individuals without insurance.  Cost will not be a barrier.

What can you tell us about the new method of vaccine being used, called mRNA vaccines?

  • They cannot give someone COVID-19.
  • mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
  • They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
  • mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.
  • The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.

For Illinois, how do we know that downstate is getting its “fair share?”

  • The City of Chicago is getting separate shipments of vaccines from the federal government.
  • The rest of Illinois will receive shipments through the Illinois Department of Public Health, which determined that 50 counties in the state will get doses first because of their case counts. Rock Island County is among those first 50 counties.

When will children be given the vaccine?

  • The Moderna vaccine has included children in its clinical trials. We expect more information about results when the Moderna vaccine receives emergency use authorization from the FDA. This could be as early as next week.
  • If a pediatric vaccine is approved, children will be prioritized along with all of other groups.  Some may fit in with other groups, including those with chronic disease, essential workers, etc.

Healthy Holidays – Tips for a Safe Holiday Season

This year the holidays are about adapting to keep each other safe, and while we may not be breaking tradition, we are certainly bending it. From socially distant holiday carolers to virtual parties, we’re proving we can still have joy and stay safe, too.

-As you finish up your holiday shopping, consider shopping from home.
-Consider having virtual gatherings to celebrate the holidays.
-Always wear a mask in public and keep social distance when you’re around people outside of your household.
-Wash your hands often.


COVID-19 Vaccination Planning

Extensive vaccination planning has been taking place in Scott and Rock Island Counties. The following Q & A was addressed on the December 8, 2020 briefing with local media. The full briefing can be viewed here: https://www.scottcountyiowa.gov/health/post/covid-19-press-briefing-december-8-2020.

Who is involved in the vaccination planning in the Quad Cities?

  • Our health departments, emergency management agencies, our local health systems (Genesis and UnityPoint) and Community Health Care, the local federally qualified health center.
  • We are meeting frequently and updating our plans as new information is released from the CDC and the state health departments.

What do these plans include?

  • These plans include education on the vaccine, how we will store vaccine, where it will be given, and how we will communicate to individuals when their turn to get the vaccine has come. 
  • Giving vaccine during a public health pandemic where social distancing is so important adds more challenges to planning for vaccinations for the general public; however, our plans are addressing these important factors too.

Should we expect the vaccine distribution to be similar in Iowa and Illinois?

  • Unfortunately, probably not.  Similar to the beginning of the pandemic, we are planning for the rollout of vaccine distribution to be different between Rock Island and Scott Counties due to the fact that they are guided by two different states.
  • We know this can be frustrating and can add another layer of challenges not only to our planning and our communication with the community – but it is also frustrating for the community when the rollouts are different.  We realize we are going to need to be flexible and make changes to our plans as new information and guidance is given to each of our counties.  Please be patient with us!

Who is making the decision for which groups get the vaccine when?

  • There is a federal advisory group called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.  This group has announced their recommendations for the first phase of COVID-19 vaccination.  The committee recommended that vaccine should first be offered to health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.
  • In Iowa, an Infectious Disease Advisory Committee has been created to provide further guidance on the order in which individuals in this first phase of the vaccine will get vaccinated.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health also is working on its phased approach. It is adopting the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) “A Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine.”

Why will healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities get the vaccine first?

  • As prioritization discussions took place at the federal level, the factors that played a role in the priority group decision-making involved:
    • Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible
    • Preserve functioning of society
    • Reduce the extra burden the disease is having on people already facing disparities
    • Increase the chance for everyone to enjoy health and well-being
  • Healthcare workers, in particular those in hospital settings, are at the front of the line to get the vaccine because of their exposure to patients and their vital presence to keep the healthcare system running.
  • As more vaccine becomes available, additional healthcare workers will receive the vaccine.
  • Residents in long-term care facilities have accounted for a large proportion of hospitalizations and deaths, which indicates that these individuals have been bearing a greater burden of the negative outcomes from COVID-19.
  • These factors contributed to the committee’s recommendation to prevent spread by protecting those on the front lines, healthcare workers treating COVID-19.
  • Once these groups have been vaccinated, the next group in the priority list will begin to receive the vaccine.

How will I know when it’s my turn to get the vaccine?

  • We have a team in place working hard to communicate this important information to our community.  You can expect to get information on this from our departments, through avenues such as social media, our website, our local media partners, and also local healthcare providers.

When will businesses/workers get the vaccine?

  • While we can’t give an exact timeline, we do know that the national proposed priority group recommendations have essential workers listed in phase 1b.  This means they would be next in line after all healthcare workers and long-term care residents have received vaccine.
  • We expect guidance to come out that tells us who those essential workers are.

What should my business be doing right now to prepare for the vaccine that is to come?

  • We encourage all businesses to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine to help you begin the first phases of planning for vaccinating your employees.
  • The CDC has frequently asked questions about the vaccine that can be helpful.
  • Employers can also begin making sure they keep an updated roster of their employees and the role they play in the organization.  If vaccine continues to be limited, some employees of a business may meet the definition of essential workers while others may get the vaccine at a later date.
  • We promise to share more information regarding the groups getting vaccinated in Phase 1b when it is available to us.

When will I know that it is our turn to get the vaccine for my business and employees?

  • As we move through the Phase 1a vaccinations of our healthcare workers and long-term care residents, we will begin more detailed planning for Phase 1b.  This planning will include communicating new information and timelines to businesses with essential workers in our community.
  • We ask you to be patient with us as we wait for this to roll out and new guidance to be shared.  We know it’s difficult to not have the answers at this time.

Where should I look to learn more about the vaccine?

  • First, it is most important to use reliable sources of information when learning about the COVID-19 vaccine.  This type of information is researched, written, approved, and peer-reviewed by subject matter experts. 
  • Locally, reliable information is available on the Scott and Rock Island County Health Departments’ websites.
  • The QC COVID-19 Coaltiion also has a website, togetherqc.com.  This site has very similar information on the vaccine from the CDC and state health departments.
  • Your healthcare provider will also be a good source of information on the vaccine when it comes closer to your turn to receive it.

What main message would you like to share with the community about the role each person plays in our vaccination plans?

  • While our plans are vast and involve lots of factors, we are planning how we will make vaccine available to everyone in our community.
  • When your turn comes, please consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The more individuals that are vaccinated in our community, the greater likelihood we have of slowing down the virus.  The vaccine, along with wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands, and staying home when you are sick, will be an important tool is helping slow the spread.

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.