Headlines for Sunday, February 21st

The Wayne County Health Department reported five new lab-confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus Friday and Saturday, bringing the total number for the county to 1501.  The newest cases are a female child, a male child, two females in their 30s and a female in her 70s.  The health department also reported one Antigen Probable Reported Case, a male in his 70s, and 157 “probable” reported cases in the county.  51 people who were lab-confirmed positive cases have passed away, 25 are isolating and no one is currently hospitalized.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports a total of 1,172,824 cases of the coronavirus statewide as of this morning and 20,234 deaths.  Saturday’s numbers amounted to 1922 new cases and 42 additional deaths.

Fairfield Memorial Hospital said in a Facebook post that it gave coronavirus vaccinations to over 180 people during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.  The clinic was for individuals in Phase 1B but did not include those under 65 with underlying health conditions.  That group is scheduled to be included in Phase 1B Part II on February 25th.  The hospital said the Fairfield Fire Department helped with traffic control at the clinic and maintenance staff provided valet parking and shuttle services.  Sweet treats and bottled water were provided to the participants.

52-year-old Tracy Williams of Flora was cited for failure to yield the right of way while turning left following an accident late Friday afternoon at the eastbound entrance ramp to I-64 in southern Wayne County.  State police said Williams turned into the path of a northbound vehicle, driven by 87-year-old James Newman of Enfield.  Newman was not hurt, and Williams was flown to a regional hospital following the crash.  Two passengers in Williams’ vehicle also escaped injury.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is urging motorists to adhere to the state’s Move Over Law, also known as Scott’s Law, designed to protect law enforcement and emergency responders who are stopped on the side of roadways.  White also emphasized the importance of not driving while distracted, with a special emphasis on avoiding texting while driving at all times.  White says since the beginning of the year, ten Illinois State Police troopers have been victims of Scott’s Law-related crashes.  Motorists violating the law face fines between $250 to $10,000.

Area river stages as of this morning:  Little Wabash River east of Fairfield is at 8.26 feet.  Flood stage is 17 feet.  At Clay City the stage is 6.99 feet.  Flood stage is 18 feet.  At Carmi the stage is 6.26 feet.  Flood stage is 27 feet.  The Skillet Fork at Wayne City is at 5.65 feet.  Flood stage is 15 feet.  The Wabash at Mt. Carmel is at 5.05 feet.  Flood stage is 19 feet.  Drier and warmer weather is expected in the region this week with highs in the 50s by Tuesday.