The Effingham County Health Department reported 54 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

When added to the numbers released last Monday, it brings the seven-day total to 82. The total is 12% higher than the previous week. The department reminds residents as activities move indoors of the need to be more proactive in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Illinois Region 6 seven-day test positivity rate was 3.8% through Oct. 19, while Effingham County was at 4.3% for the same period.

The Moderna Booster and J&J Booster plus the “mix and match booster” options were approved by the FDA last week. That means they move a step closer to being made available to the public. The next step is approval by CDC and then IDPH, this is anticipated to happen within the next week or so. There are also logistics to be finalized. As soon as they are fully approved, the health department will let people know how and when they can book appointments. A booster dose is different from a third dose. The third dose is only for the immunocompromised.

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots will be available for those who completed their initial series at least six months ago and are:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18 and older who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18 and older who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18 and older who work in high-risk settings
  • Age 18 and older who live in high-risk settings

The health department encourages the community to do the following to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

• Vaccinate

• Distance socially

• Use masks

• Practice hand hygiene

• Socialize outdoors or in well-ventilated locations

• Avoid crowds

• Isolate and quarantine when required

COVID vaccine appointments can be booked at www.effcohealth.org.

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