Local health department leaders say COVID-19 cases could increase after Fourth of July celebrations

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TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — Local health departments are worried about a possible spike in COVID-19 cases and they say Fourth of July celebrations could be the cause.

The last time Illinois saw a daily total of COVID-19 cases greater than 1,000 was on June 5.

On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 587 new cases. That includes 11 new cases in Tazewell County since last Thursday.

Leaders at the health department say celebrations without masks and social distancing could increase the virus’s spread.

“If you were celebrating the Fourth of July with other people and you didn’t wear a mask, you didn’t social distance, then there are risks, you could’ve exposed yourself,” said Sara Sparkman, communications manager for the Tazewell County Health Department.

In the coming days, they want anyone who went to gatherings to monitor their health and any symptoms.

Sparkman says it’s a personal responsibility to safely attend events and get tested if feeling symptomatic.

“If there has been a large gathering, it’s something that we would find out through our contact tracing, and then that would be a system we’d have to go through and contact all those people. It is something that concerns the health department because we know that people are starting to get together more often,” said Sparkman.

Sparkman says if you do attend events or gatherings, stay with your family unit while distancing and wearing masks.

People in Tazewell County can get a COVID-19 test at the Heartland testing site at Tazwood in Pekin. It’s open on Wednesday by appointment only. Other testing site information can be found here.

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