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DANVILLE — COVID-19 cases have begun to increase again in Vermilion County and health officials continue to urge people who have not yet done so to get vaccinated.

Statewide, more than 50% of Illinois residents are fully vaccinated against the virus and its variants. In Vermilion County, however, the fully vaccinated rate is just 30.9%, a rate lower than all surrounding counties in the state.

Health officials reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week. On July 16, they reported six new cases — one resident in their 70s, one in their 60s, two in their 50s, one in their 20s, and one teen. That brought the total cases since the pandemic began 16 months ago to 10,133, 39 of which are active.

The death toll in the county remains at 153. There are currently three local residents hospitalized with the virus.

On July 14, health officials reported 11 new cases — one resident in their 60s, one in their 50s, one in their 40s, two in their 30s, two teens, one grade-school-aged child, one toddler, and two infants.

Health department statistics on breakthrough cases of vaccinated people later being infected show that so far in 2021, nine fully vaccinated residents have been hospitalized for COVID-related reasons. Of those nine people, four received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two received the Moderna vaccine, and three received the Pfizer vaccine.

Three of the 85 Vermilion County residents who have died from COVID-19 in 2021 so far were fully vaccinated.

Officials emphasize that the vaccination offers excellent protection against the coronavirus. “Vaccinations save lives,” officials said..

At a vaccination clinic earlier this month, officials reported 52 people received one of the vaccines.

The health department will be conducting one COVID-19 vaccination clinic per month at the health department in the next two months. For registration information, visit Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins will be allowed up until 30 minutes before the end of clinic times, officials said.

Upcoming clinics at the health department will be:

August 11 — Moderna from 10 a.m.-noon.

September 8 — Moderna from 10 a.m.-noon.

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