Headlines for Saturday, October 17th

The Wayne County Health Department reported 14 new positive cases of the coronavirus Friday, bringing the county’s total to 429.  Friday’s cases included three males in their teens, a female in her 20s, a female in her 40s, three females in their 50s, two females in their 60s, a male in his 60s, a female in her 80s, a female in her 90s and a male in his 90s.  Elven people who were lab-confirmed positive cases have passed away, according to the health department, five are currently hospitalized, 104 people are isolating and 309 have recovered.  The county also has several probable cases in the process of contact tracing.

Wayne County has moved back to the Orange Warning Level Risk for COVID-19, according to the Wayne County Health Department.  They said the county moved back to the level based on the New Cases Per 100,000 People Incidence Rate and the Test Positvity Rate.  The county has reported 62 new cases the week of October 4th through 10th, which based on the county’s population, triggered the warning, and the test positivity rate for the same period was 8.6 percent.  A rate above eight percent indicates a warning.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4554 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, the highest one-day total, and 38 additional deaths.  Some of the deaths came from southern Illinois, and included one from Wayne County, a male in his 90s, two from Clay County, a female in her 50s and a female in her 80s, two from Jefferson County, a male in his 60s and a female in her 90s, one from Lawrence County, a male in his 70s, two from Richland County, a female in her 70s and a female in her 90s, and one from Williamson County, a male in his 70s.  Statewide numbers are at 336,174 cases and 9165 deaths.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate from October 9th through 15th is 5.1 percent.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday 34 counties in Illinois are at a warning level for the coronavirus.  Wayne County is among the counties, along with Clay, Jefferson, Randolph, Saline and Washington counties in southern Illinois.  The other counties are Admas, Alexander, Boone, Cass, Christian, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, DeWitt, Jasper, Johnson, Kane, Lee, Macon, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Monroe, Pike, Pulaski, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Warren, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago.  The IDPH uses eight factors to determine if a county enters a warning level, and issues the warning if two or more of the risk indicators increase.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Friday the state’s unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent for September, down eight tenths of a percent from the previous month, while nonfarm payrolls lost 12,000 jobs in September, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by the IDES.    September’s rate was 2.3 percent higher than the national average.  The August state unemployment rate was 11 percent.

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 3.99 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the river is at 3.81 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 3.15 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 4.88 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 2.48 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  A Red Flag Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the area today due to dry conditions and expected windy conditions, leading to high fire danger.