Effingham County Health Department received notice Monday of 17 new positive cases of COVID-19 from Saturday, Oct. 3, through Monday, Oct. 5.

There were four cases on Saturday, three cases on Sunday, and 10 cases on Monday. Two individuals are currently hospitalized, a female in her 50s and a male in his 90s. Those testing positive ranged in age from teens to 60s.

The State IDPH Mobile COVID-19 Testing Unit will return to Effingham on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be located at the Effingham County Health Department, 901 W Virginia Ave, Effingham. The free drive-thru testing is open to anyone with no appointments needed. Those planning to take advantage of this free testing are asked to bring their insurance cards.

Last week IDPH announced that it has been closely monitoring Region 6 of which Effingham County is a part. In doing this, IDPH has found that Region 6, with Champaign County included, is seeing a 2% seven-day rolling test positivity average. Without Champaign County, Region 6 is seeing 7.2%. IDPH is encouraging local leaders and communities in Region 6 to begin taking action now to reduce the test positivity rate, which includes making sure people are wearing masks in public, maintaining social distance, and not gathering in large groups.

The Effingham County Health Department asks everyone to do their part in reducing the spread of COVID by masking up properly, washing hands regularly, maintaining 6-foot social distancing and avoiding large groups.

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