STERLING — CGH Medical Center has announced a relaxation of its masking policy for patients and visitors, and coronavirus cases continue to decline in the region.
Whiteside County has had 21 cases in the past seven days, according to the most recent information available Monday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 data tracker. There were 47 cases the previous week.
The positivity rate for the past seven days is 1.96% compared to 3.97%, and the case rate is 38.06 per 100,000 people. There were five new hospitalizations.
The Whiteside County Health Department is offering the updated COVID-19 bivalent booster shots.
Lee County had 26 cases, down from 44 the previous week and has a positivity rate of 2.38%, down from 4.75%. The case rate is 76.26 per 100,000 people and there have been four new hospitalizations.
Ogle County had 52 cases during the week down from 54, with a positivity rate of 9.19%, down from 9.07%. The case rate is 106.63 per 100,000 people and there have been six new hospitalizations.
Carroll County reported fewer than 10 cases, down from 17 the previous week, and a positivity rate of 7.14%, down from 15.25%.
Whiteside and Carroll counties have been upgraded to medium risk for the spread of COVID-19, and Lee and Ogle counties remain at low risk.
CGH Medical Center has changed its masking policy following an update from the CDC.
“After more than two long years of continuous masking, we are excited to share some upcoming changes based on new CDC guidelines,” CGH announced Sunday.
Wearing a mask will only be required for patients and visitors who show symptoms in the hospital and clinics. Staff will only be required to wear a mask when in direct contact with patients.
“Masks will not be required in public spaces such as hallways, the cafeteria or waiting rooms, unless you are symptomatic,” according to the announcement. “As always, those who wish to continue masking may do so, and CGH staff and suppliers reserve the right to ask symptomatic individuals to mask in our facilities during the ongoing effort to keep our patients safe. and our communities.”
COVID testing will only be required for patients expecting an overnight stay, higher risk outpatients, or as per the clinical judgment of the provider.
Patients with symptoms of COVID can also now be seen by their primary care provider if they test negative with a home test on the same day as the appointment.