Illness increases bring masks back to Blessing

Blessing Health System logo.

QUINCY — Effective Monday, Dec. 5, all patients and visitors entering any Blessing Health System facility must wear a mask for the protection of patients, visitors and employees as respiratory illness levels rise.

“Over the past week the level of community transmission of COVID-19 in most communities served by Blessing Health reached the level of “High” as reported by the Centers for Disease Control,” said Dr. Mary Frances Barthel, MD, MHCM, FACP, SFHM, Chief Quality and Safety Officer, Blessing Health. “When a community is in high level of transmission of COVID-19, federal guidelines state that universal masking in all healthcare settings is recommended.

Masks are available at all public entrances to Blessing Health clinics and hospitals.

“Blessing has experienced a sharp increase in sick visits to the Express Clinic, increased positivity rate of testing, increase in hospitalized patients, and outbreaks among staff,” Barthel said.

Barthel recommends everyone who is eligible get their flu shot and make sure they are up-to-date on COVID boosters. The drive-thru Blessing Express Clinic at 34th and Broadway in Quincy offers both of those vaccines, as well as testing for respiratory illnesses. Testing and flu vaccines are available anytime Blessing Express Clinic is open, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm and weekends 8 am to 5 pm. COVID boosters are available on select days and times by appointment only. Call 217-214-9626 to schedule.

Primary care providers and many area health departments also offer the vaccines.

Since Thanksgiving, inpatient COVID cases at Blessing Hospital have increased to an average census of 15, with inpatient influenza admission totaling seven including two in the Intensive Care unit.

The COVID positivity rate for Adams and Pike counties stands at 10.23 percent, with new cases per 100,000 population at 181 at last report.

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