Headlines for Saturday, August 8th

The Wayne County Health Department reported two new positive cases of the coronavirus Friday.  The two newest cases are a female child and a female in her 40s, bringing to 59 the total number of lab-confirmed positive cases in Wayne County.  One person has since passed away, two people are currently hospitalized, 21 people are isolating at home and 35 people have recovered.  The Wayne County Health Department continues to investigate each case ensuring the isolation of positive patients, and places close contacts that have had exposure to positive patients on quarantine for at least 14 days.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2084 new cases of the coronavirus in the state Friday, along with 21 additional deaths.  The IDPH is reporting a total of 190,508 cases and 7163 deaths in all 102 Illinois counties.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 31st to August 6th is 4.1 percent.  The IDPH also reported Friday that 13 Illinois counties are at a warning level for COVID-19.  Counties in the southern Illinois region included are Saline, Williamson, Jackson and Perry counties.

Reports out of Mt. Vernon, IL said the Jefferson County Health Department reported 21 long-term care residents at a facility along with six staff members tested positive for the coronavirus Friday.  In addition to the 27 people connected to the facility, five other residents tested positive, for a total of 32 new cases in the county on Friday.  Jefferson County now has a total of 265 positive cases, with 59 cases active and currently in isolation.  The health department did not identify the long-term care facility.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that the Illinois Department of Public Health will file emergency rules for businesses, schools, and child care establishments regarding the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings.  The governor also signed a bill to help protect workers who continue to serve on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.  The rules will provide several opportunities for compliance before any penalties are issued, giving local health departments and local law enforcement more leeway to support community public health in a productive manner, according to a press release from the governor’s office Friday.

Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Nathan Douglas, has announced the ISP will conduct Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols in Wayne and White counties during late August and early September.  The patrols will allow the state police to focus on seat belt and child safety seat laws.  State police say seat belts are estimated to save nearly 14,000 lives each year.  Illinois law requires all vehicle passengers, front and back, to buckle up while in a vehicle.

Area river stages this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 23.88 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 20 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the river is at 20.24 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.68 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 8.94 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.