Health Board President Provides COVID Update

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The State of Illinois and Bond County are seeing increases in COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Tom Dawdy, President of the Bond County Health Department, said he’s been surprised to see the situation last this long. Just before the interview he heard the State of Illinois has had an all-time high number of new Covid cases over the past week. He said cases began rising rapidly three or four weeks ago. Region 4, which includes Bond and Clinton Counties, has a high case rate.

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Dr. Dawdy was asked about the Omicron variant and said there is new information coming in all the time. He said it appears Omicron is more infectious than other variants, but isn’t as deadly. Protection with the current vaccine appears to be less with Omicron, but those who are fully vaccinated and have the booster shot, do have good protection against it. Those who are fully vaccinated and have the booster are less likely to be hospitalized and death rates are less.

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Dr. Dawdy emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated. He said if you’re fully vaccinated and don’t have the booster, you should get it. He said the science is undeniable, showing that complications with vaccinations are far less frequent. Dr. Dawdy said the increasing rates have a lot to do with lack of vaccination. He said if you don’t feel like you need one, you should consider doing it for someone else, to help protect others.

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The health department has a good supply of vaccine. Individuals can call the department or go online at the health department’s website to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Dawdy said since the cases are rising, it is still very important to wear masks and be socially distant. He said he still hears people say masks don’t work, but there is a huge body of data that shows they are effective. He said they’re not perfect, but when combined with social distancing and cleaning of surfaces, being mindful of where you go and what you do, and getting the vaccine, they go a long way in tamping the pandemic down.

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You can reach the health department at 664-1442 or at

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