Clinton County reports 76 active cases as of Monday, quarantines in local school districts level off some after bump to begin new year
EDITOR'S NOTE: There was an error in the initial printing of this story, which appeared in the 9/16 edition of The Leader. That story misstated that the county had added just seven cases in the previous seven days, bringing the total to 76 active cases. The county initially had added 51 new cases, with the officially tally later being revised to 57 new cases in the previous seven days. We regret the error and apologize for the inconvenience.
By BRETT ADKISON
Nearing the first full month of school, the number of COVID cases in Clinton County continues to climb.
Clinton County Health Department Administrator Blair Shock said Monday that Clinton County had received 57 new cases of COVID in the previous seven days, putting the county’s total at 76 active cases. Shock said the county has seen an increase in cases among children under the age of 17.
“This is troubling to us, as the American Academy of Pediatrics released new data on September 2 which indicates that one out of 125 cases of COVID in children 17 and younger results in hospitalization,” Shock said. “The idea that COVID does not affect children has proven to be very untrue, especially since the Delta variant has taken root in our communities. It is causing more illness, and significantly worse illness in younger people.”
Shock said that the health department has received word of two additional deaths likely attributed to COVID (investigations are pending in both cases), which would bring the county’s total to 75 COVID deaths.
After closing its elementary school last week due to overwhelming quarantines, the Lathrop R-II School District finds itself in a better position. As of Tuesday, Lathrop had 37 students quarantined and nine students with positive tests. There were three staff members testing positive with three in quarantine, as of Tuesday.
The previous week, Lathrop R-II had 230 total quarantines and 34 positive cases among students and staff. The district voted last Wednesday to stop testing students for COVID, as it was the lone district in the KCI Conference to do so (for more on this story, see this week’s edition of The Leader).
Also on Tuesday, the Clinton County R-III School District had 19 students quarantined and two positive cases of COVID. Of those quarantines, 18 were at Ellis Elementary. East Buchanan C-1 in Gower had 53 students quarantined on Tuesday, with 22 in the high school, 26 in the elementary and four in the middle school. In the Cameron school district, less than one percent of the student population was absent Tuesday due to COVID or COVID-related issues, including quarantine. Superintendent Dr. Matt Robinson said that the high school had previously reached eight percent of students out at the high school, but added most of those students have returned to class.
Shock said that schools have struggled with the burden of both positive cases and quarantines early this school year.
“We are continuing to work with the schools, encouraging them to implement control measures which have the potential to significantly reduce the number of quarantines associated with cases who are present within the schools,” Shock said.
The Clinton County Health Department is still offering COVID-19 vaccination via walk-in clinics on Mondays and Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (the department is closed from noon to 1 p.m.). Shock said they have FDA-license Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, but not the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which is in short supply.
“Vaccination is the number one most effective method at preventing COVID-19 infections, as well as preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death,” Shock said. “The vaccines have proven to be both extremely effective and extraordinarily safe.”
Shock went on to add that residents should not consume any medication that isn’t intended for use in humans. “We have received reports from residents of Clinton County who are consuming veterinary Ivermectin in an attempt to both prevent COVID-19 infections, as well as treat themselves after being infected,” he said. “The danger here is that these products are dosed for farm animals and may contain other medications which are toxic to humans. Overdoses of these medications across the United States are causing blindness, liver failure, and even death in the worst cases.”
Shock said anyone who has questions about COVID-19 should contact their doctor for current information on management and treatment.
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