Westmont, Illinois - Date Issued: December 11, 2020
“In the past few weeks, the entire country has seen a dramatic increase in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” said Westmont Fire Chief Steve Riley. “In Illinois, we are now seeing a slight improvement, but COVID-19 is a problem that everyone needs to take seriously, especially as we head into the holiday season. The recommendation is for everyone to be diligent and resist gatherings with people who are not in your immediate, everyday life circles. With the news of vaccinations coming in the not too distant future, we have reason to be patient a little longer to help ensure that everyone stays safe and healthy.”
In Region 8, which includes DuPage and Kane Counties, the positivity rate and hospitalizations have been increasing over the last few weeks. Hospital ICU bed availability is less than 20%. There have been more than 1250 residents of the Village of Westmont that have tested positive since March with almost 200 positive cases in the last two weeks. The Westmont Fire Department transports at least one resident per day with serious medical complications that are COVID-19 related.
VIllage staff are engaged in frequent meetings about the vaccination plan for DuPage County and the Village. While the roll out of the initial vaccines appears to be imminent, it will likely be 3-6 months before a vaccine is available to the general public. Initial vaccine distribution will be to health care workers and residents of long term care (LTC) facilities. This is of particular importance to Westmont having several LTC facilities in the community. Several of these facilities have seen significant numbers of cases and unfortunately many lives lost.
“We also want to make sure that residents are seeking accurate information from trusted sources including DuPage County and the State of Illinois,” added Riley. “Unfortunately, many posts on social media and politically-motivated websites are inaccurate. The Village of Westmont has a COVID-19 webpage which also provides local news specific to this topic.”
The Village of Westmont strongly encourages citizens, including people who have already had COVID-19, to continue to follow the guidance issued by the CDC, State of Illinois and DuPage County Public Health, as summarized below.
Know how it spreads
Wash your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. It’s especially important to wash:
Avoid close contact
Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
Cover coughs and sneezes
Clean and disinfect
Monitor your health daily
“Recently, there was a misleading post on local social media regarding Westmont COVID-19 statistics,” added Chief Riley. “We want to encourage everyone to seek information directly from the source rather than social media posts that may be misleading or flat out wrong. Our goal is to make sure our residents are safe and we will report important updates in a timely manner.”
Contact: Larry McIntyreVillage of WestmontCommunications Director/Public Information Officer630firstname.lastname@example.org