SPRINGFIELD — The seven-day rolling positivity rate for COVID-19 tests conducted remained at 2.7% on Monday as the state reported the lowest single-day death total related to the pandemic since March 30.
There were 14 deaths reported Monday after 15 were reported Sunday and 26 on Saturday, bringing the COVID-19-related death toll since the pandemic began to 6,902 among 142,461 confirmed cases statewide.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced another 738 confirmed COVID-19 cases out of 26,918 tests completed over the previous 24 hours.
There were a combined 1,432 cases reported Saturday and Sunday as the number of new cases has leveled in recent weeks.
The number of persons hospitalized due to COVID-19 continued to trend downward as well, with total hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients dipping below 1,500 over the weekend for the first time since the state began reporting the data daily on April 12, before ticking back up to 1,501 as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
COVID-19-related intensive care unit bed and ventilator usage dipped to their lowest amounts as well, with 372 and 187 in use, respectively, as of 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
The state also reported Monday that the Illinois Department of Agriculture will host junior livestock and horse shows in place of the events that would have taken place at the canceled Illinois State Fairs.
The Junior Livestock Expo is scheduled to take place in Springfield for two consecutive weekends in September — the weekend of Sept. 11-13 for beef, sheep, dairy goats, pygmy goats and rabbits; and Sept. 18-20 for swine, dairy cattle and meat goats.
The Du Quoin State Fairgrounds will host a junior horse show on Aug. 29-30 and Sept. 5-6.
“After the cancellations of the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs we knew there was a need to recognize our junior exhibitors who work year round preparing for the fairs,” Jerry Costello II, acting IDOA director, said in a statement. “We are excited to provide modified shows that will provide an opportunity for young adults to exhibit their animals safely following the Restore Illinois plan.”
Shows are limited to Illinois residents between the ages of 8 and 21.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Meet the 'Mask Committee,' making masks for Southern Illinois police, health care workers
Photos: Meet the 'Mask Committee,' making masks for Southern Illinois police, health care workers
On March 20, I made a mask for my husband, who is a health care worker, because there was a shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE, at his workplace. Then, I made more masks for my elderly neighbors, elderly local people and local friends, as well as friends from New York and Florida. I was using leftover fabric I had in my workshop — holidays patterns like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Fourth of July.
I was running out of material and then Calico Country Sew store in Carbondale started donating fabric. I picked up some yards, and I was able to make masks for the police officers from Carterville. But, that was it: I ran out of material, and Amazon wasn’t shipping until May. As soon as I announced on my Facebook page that I had run out of material, people started donating fabric, metal wire, machine needles and threads. With that donation, I was able to keep making more masks to donate, and I completed a group of masks for Herrin police officers.
Then, Dr. Amanda Brazis Cook from Southern Illinois Healthcare approached me asking if I can reuse operating room drapes to make masks. She brought the material to my house, and at that point, I realized I needed extra hands to mass produce masks for area health care workers.
I asked the president of Carterville Rotary Club to help me find ladies who know how to sew, and Mary Slider and Louise Humble joined the effort. I also asked the president of my Woman’s Club in Herrin, and she was able to help me find three more ladies: Patty Cox, Carla Shasteen and Tienne Kollar, all of Herrin.
Another doctor joined the team: Dr. Danielle Tomevi brought material and also found a lady to help us, Dorene from Murphysboro.
And that is how the mask committee was formed. We named it "Mask Committee: Keep Calm and Sew."
After that, Joni, a nurse at Herrin Hospital, joined the committee, too, then Mary Russell, one of the managers from Dillards, Nancy, one of my neighbors, and Mirna from Murphysboro.
We have been sewing our hearts out since March. April was the busiest month for us. We have made hundreds of masks to donate.
Then, we had a request of a new pattern and we had to divide the committee in two to work the requested pattern. Dr. Sara Altamimi provided us with more OR drapes to use, and we have been working making two different masks for area health care workers.
Ninety-five percent of the masks have been donated to SIH, and 5% to community members and police officers. We have received several selfies of health care workers wearing the masks in different departments. It really made us happy that we can give back and help the community in time of need.
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