MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) - In addressing what she called an "explosion" of COVID-19 cases in Macon County, a local health official talked about what the community needs to do better.
Dr. Tricia Scerba, medical director for primary care with Crossing Healthcare, spoke at length with WAND-TV on Friday after Macon County saw spikes in COVID-19 cases. On Thursday, the county posted its highest single-day rise yet during the pandemic with 88 new cases, bringing its total to 2,283 total cases.
At that time, the county had 48 COVID-19 deaths and 23 people in the hospital with the virus.
Crossing saw a high rate of positive COVID-19 tests in its testing at the Decatur Civic Center from Monday, Oct. 12 to Thursday, Oct. 15. In that time, there were 174 positive tests out of 975. That's a positivity rate of 17.8 percent, or nearly 1 in 5 people testing positive.
With a recent rise in cases and more than 20 people in hospitals with the virus in Macon County, Scerba said she's worried about local hospitals becoming overwhelmed.
"Knowing the capacity of our hospitals, that concerns me," Scerba said. "Knowing that our two hospitals have 23 people admitted with the same condition, that should get your attention."
She said something needs to be done to get the attention of the Macon County community as numbers are "really snowballing." She said the local community has "infinitely more disease" now than it did in the spring when precautions were taken.
"People are tired of altering their lifestyles and that is understandable, but I think the risk that is involved, every adult has to understand that, whenever you go to a group outing or go without a mask," Scerba said.
Scerba added people should think twice about joining large groups of people they don't spend time with every day.
"Think about how this could affect people's ability to go to work, how it could affect children being able to go to daycare or the babysitter so that the parent can go to work," she said. "There is a fairly significant domino effect to that decision."
She pointed out the world is in "uncharted territory" with COVID-19 and can't predict how the virus is going to behave. She said taking personal precautions, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, are the only way communities can work to drive COVID-19 numbers down.
Scerba added she's unsure if a peak in cases has been reached and expressed her concerns about what may happen if numbers don't change.
"My fear is that we are doing this a year from now," she said.