Statewide and local cases, hospitalizations continue to rise
By Angela Simmons, Weekly Editor
As statewide and St.
Clair County cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to
rise, Shiloh Mayor Jim vernier visited with members of the St. Clair
County Emergency Management Agency to share how the Village is
handling the virus.
When asked by St.
Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern about how things are running,
and the differences in the Village from two months ago to now,
Vernier said “Obviously, our world has turned upside down just like
everyone else’s has, but we’re doing our best to continue to move
forward, and meet our residents’ needs. Our municipal building is
Vernier said that
occupancy permits are being issued with home inspections are
happening for unoccupied homes, or temporary permits being issued for
occupied homes with inspection to occur at a later date.
He urged residents
to call Village Hall before coming to the building, as only staff
members are allowed inside. There are six different entrances into
the building and each staff member has their own office to allow for
maximum social distancing. “Everyone feels safe there,” he said.
“Our public works
department has continued to function with no layoffs- everyone has
been working. They’re all practicing social distancing.
Fortunately, we have enough vehicles that they all ride in their own
vehicles. Our street department is moving forward with projects,”
said Mayor Vernier.
He continued “Our
police department continues to operate of course. No one is allowed
in the building. Non-emergency calls they prefer to handle over the
phone. Emergency calls- they will respond. If it’s a medical issue,
they will not get out of their vehicles until emergency services gets
there. They’re getting along. I just spoke with Chief (Rich
Wittenauer) earlier and we’re in great shape with PPE for the
He added that the
parks department is continuing to function, as the parks are still
open with playgrounds and restrooms closed. “Our walking trails are
being heavily used. We had problems early on with kids getting
together to play basketball, so we took the hoops down, then they
were playing volleyball so we took the nets down, but we haven’t
really had any other problems. I do live near our dog park, which is
heavily used, and I wish people would social distance more there.”
Vernier said that
after the shutdown first occurred, one Shiloh Police Department
officer had a slight fever, and that other officers responding to a
domestic dispute began to show symptoms, but all officers were tested
and the test results were negative.
To help the mental
health of the officers and make them feel reassured, the Village had
Service Master come out to disinfect the police station on Lebanon
Road and all of the police vehicles. “We were pretty confident the
tests would come back negative, but you never know,” he said.
Vernier said that
home sales are still occurring in the Village, and commercial
construction is still ongoing.
When Kern mentioned
the 2020 Census, Vernier said “Please, ladies and gentlemen,
whether you live in Shiloh or in another community, please fill out
that census information. A lot of you have time to do it because
you’re at home, please do so. I think my residents, our percentage
is that 65 percent of our residents have completed it, which is five
percent higher than the average, but please do fill that out. You may
think its an aggravation or a government intrusion, but it’s how
every community gets federal dollars assigned to them, by population.
Please do the census, and please do so sooner rather than later.”
Mayor Vernier also
asked residents to support local businesses and restaurants as much
as possible to ensure that their doors can remain open and their
staff can continue to remain employed.
St. Clair County
There have now been
30 deaths in St. Clair County. The three most recent deaths include a
male in his 80s with underlying health conditions, and two women in
their 70s with unknown health conditions.
The county has 454
COVID positive residents, with another 1,475 negative tests and 59
tests pending result.
Long Term Care Facilities in Outbreak status (statistics per St.
Clair County Health Department):
BRIA of Belleville- 12 positive cases and 2 deaths
Colonnade of O’Fallon- 2 positive cases and 0 deaths
Four Fountains in
Belleville- 49 positive cases and 6 deaths
Memorial Care Center
in Belleville- 43 positives and 5 deaths
St. Paul’s home in
Belleville- 5 cases and 0 deaths
Lebanon Care Center
in Lebanon- 14 positive cases and 1 death
The numbers we
normally report for long term care centers have increased. I would
just like to make you aware that those deaths have been already
counted in the totals and we are now attributing them to the home
they resided in before they went into the hospital, so just keep that
in mind. I know when we’re reporting, it seems like a large jump.
Those deaths have already been reported, and again are just being
attributed to the facility they reside in,” said Samantha Bierman,
St. Clair County Health Department Emergency Response Coordinator.
Zip Codes per IDPH:
62269- 40 cases
62254- 12 cases
62226- 65 cases
62221- 35 cases
62208- 32 cases
Memorial Hospital in
Belleville has 20 COVID-19 positive patients and 10 PUI (patients
under investigation). They have discharged four medically well COVID
positive patients in the past 24 hours.
HSHS St. Elizabeth’s
Hospital in O’Fallon has 20 COVID positive patients and three PUI
Hospital has one COVID positive patient and one PUI
are up, and as we talk about getting businesses open and starting to
get back to our normal lives, all the experts are telling us that we
have to have 14 days of a decrease in hospitalizations. That’s a
good metric to use, so as you see, today we went up by five, so we’re
still at this peak level, we still have to remain vigilant, stay
home, and maintain precautions,” said Kern. He continued that he
hopes the county can avoid a second wave in the summer.
Kern and Bierman
recommend keeping a log of people that you’ve been around,
especially encounters within six feet that have lasted for 10 minutes
Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 2,253 new
cases of the virus and an additional 92 deaths in the past 24 hours
for a state total of 50,355 cases and 2,215 deaths in 96 Illinois
the past 24 hours, laboratories have processed 14,478 specimens for a
total of 256,667.