CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Widespread levels of COVID-19 transmission have prompted the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District to recommend severe mitigation efforts to bring Champaign “county back to some semblance of normalcy,” administrator Julie Pryde said in a news conference Thursday.
Pryde said that the county is “getting anywhere between 100 and 150 cases” of COVID-19 every day and that “they are continuing to rise.” The county has marked a test positivity rate of eight percent and Region 6, which includes Champaign County, has a rate over 12 percent.
Among the mitigation efforts announced by CUPHD:
- Religious services transitioning to remote-only
- Recommending that people cancel holiday travel plans and do not attend gatherings that mix households
- Recommending K-12school districts switch to or keep remote learning in place until January 5; Pryde added this transition should be made “as soon as possible”
“I do want to be clear that the schools in our county are doing an amazing,” Pryde said. “You’re doing a great job control(ing) things that we’ve put in. But with this much uncontrollable spread –once we get to a certain level of positivity, this is the recommended steps to take. So, basically we cannot have… everything.”
CUPHD sent out the following email to districts earlier Thursday:
“Champaign Urbana Public Health District is strongly recommending all schools in Champaign County to consider remote learning until January 5th. Based on the most current data and cluster of cases in local schools, these recommendations will help limit the spread of infection and assist in reducing the positivity rate in Champaign County. Based on the metrics below, Champaign County is in Substantial Community transmission which necessitates adaptive pause.
- Current Positivity Rate in Region 6 : 12.7%
- Current Positivity Rate in Champaign County : 8.4 %
- Weekly positive cases per 100,000 population in Champaign County: 350+
- Weekly youth positive cases in Champaign County: 137 ( and increasing)
- Current hospitalizations in local Hospitals: 75 + ( this is the most hospitalizations we have seen ever)
- Multiple clusters and outbreaks in schools and daycares.
- We are recommending schools to implement remote learning as soon as possible.”
Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin said the community spread is dire enough that “it will begin to affect city services — it is already.”
“We have positive cases among employees,” she said. “We have employees who have been exposed to a family member or friend. They are either isolated, or quarantined at home, and so many municipal employees are ones that cannot work from our staff, or police or firefighters — they can’t do their jobs at home.
“We’re asking again for people to think of the larger community, to think of the impact. The sacrifices we make today will allow your city and county governments and municipalities to keep it functioning for you to get services.”