Headlines for Sunday, January 3rd

The Wayne County Health Department reported just one new positive case of the coronavirus Saturday, a female in her 50s, to bring the total number of lab-confirmed positive cases for the county to 1238.  The health department reports 44 people who were lab-confirmed positive cases have passed away, four are currently hospitalized and 94 people are isolating.  There have also been 115 “probable” reported cases of COVID-19 in Wayne County, with 11 of those currently isolating along with being actively contact traced.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a total of 975,352 cases of the coronavirus statewide and 16,674 deaths.  Since Friday evening the IDPH has reported another 11,963 cases and 184 deaths.  Media reports Saturday indicated one of the deaths came from Jefferson County.

The Rend Lake Project Office/Visitor Center is looking for live Christmas trees to use for Rend Lake to collect for fish habitat.  According to a Facebook page post, The Mt. Vernon and Marion collection sites will be open through this Thursday, January 7th, and Rend Lake sites will continue collecting until January 15th for those who would like to contribute their live Christmas trees.  The trees will be used this spring to replenish the fish attractors in Sandusky Cove.

Work will continue this week on the Fairfield Memorial Hospital expansion project.  Weather permitting, the spray fire proofing is expected to get underway on the 2nd floor, work on partitions and door frames will continue on the 3rd floor and workers will begin setting the remaining exterior studs and sheathing.  The mechanical, plumbing and electrical work will continue with the in-wall and above-ceiling work throughout the addition.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding the public that Driver Services facilities statewide will reopen this Tuesday, January 5th.  White is also reminding the public that driver’s licenses and ID card expiration dates have been extended to June 1st, so there is no need to rush to visit a facility.  Face masks will be required and social distancing measures will be in place.  Many transactions can continue to be handled online at   www.cyberdriveillinois.com

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 21.11 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 18 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet, with a crest of 18.4 expected early this week.  At Carmi the stage is 21.9 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 9.22 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash River at Mt. Carmel is at 10.56 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.