The village of Brookfield and the ZIP code encompassing both Riverside and North Riverside saw the number of new COVID-19 cases within a one-week period hit new pandemic records for the seven-day window ending Dec. 27.
Overall, the number of cases surged past 2,700 in Brookfield, which recorded 188 new cases for the week ending Dec. 27, shattering the previous one-week record of 152 set in mid-November 2020.
One more Brookfield resident, an 85-year-old man, died from COVID-19 on Dec. 20, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner, bringing the total number of fatalities from the disease in the village to 17.
Meanwhile, there were 130 new COVID-19 cases in the 60546 ZIP code of Riverside and North Riverside for the week ending on Dec. 27, surpassing the previous weekly high of 106 for the ZIP code, set last week.
The data out of the three villages in the past couple of weeks mirrors what has been taking place throughout the state and much of the nation, where the new omicron variant of the disease is beginning to supplant the still rampant delta variant that pushed up numbers this summer after seeing new cases crash in spring after the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021.
The rolling seven-day number of new cases in Illinois spiked to 14,889 on Dec. 26, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, outpacing the previous rolling seven-day pandemic high of about 12,600 cases seen in November 2020.
On Dec. 24, according to the state, there were a reported 21,131 new COVID-19 cases in Illinois, the highest single-day total reported since the pandemic began in March 2020. The previous one-day high was 17,608 on Nov. 5, 2020.
On Dec. 27, Gov. J.B. Pritzker addressed the surge in new cases throughout the state at a press conference, urging those who still have not been vaccinated or boosted to do so and outlining efforts the state is taking to expand vaccine availability and COVID testing.
He also called on those who have chosen to remain unvaccinated to “change your mind” and consider the impact of that decision on others, including their own loved ones and family.
“If you are unvaccinated and you get very sick, you’ll be filling a bed that would have been available to your ailing spouse, or your parent, or your child, or someone else’s child, someone with cancer or a heart attack, or seriously injured in a car accident,” Pritzker said. “If we are forced to move to a crisis standard of care in our hospitals, it will be because massive numbers of unvaccinated people chose to let others go without quality care, and even more people will die.”
While there was one new fatality in Brookfield, there have been fewer local deaths from COVID-19 in 2021 (six) compared to 2020, when there were 11. In Brookfield, the highest concentration of fatalities in 2020 came between Nov. 26 and Dec. 31, when there were six deaths. During that period so far this year, there has been just one death.
In Riverside and North Riverside, where the Landmark has identified four deaths in each village since the pandemic began, only one of those fatalities in each village happened in 2021.
Riverside Village Board going remote
As COVID-19 continues its rapid spread, likely via the omicron variant, through the area, some public bodies are moving to cancel in-person events and programs or move them online.
The Riverside Village Board will meet virtually when it convenes next on Jan. 6, according to Village Manager Jessica Frances. If the board also decides to meet on Jan. 20 that will also be conducted virtually.
While the tentative plan is to resume in-person village board meetings in February, village officials plan to remain flexible depending on COVID case numbers at that time.
Riverside Village Board meetings can be watched live on Comcast Channel 6 or AT&T/U-verse Channel 99 or online at the Riverside TV Commission’s website at riversidetv.us.
All village board meetings, as well as those of the Riverside Township Board of Trustees, Riverside School District 96 and the Riverside Planning and Zoning Commission are also archived for later viewing on the TV Commission website.
Riverside Public Library announced last week that it was pausing its weekly Mini-Movers Storytime program due to the rise in COVID cases and because the programs youngest participants can’t wear masks.
The Friday Storytime program is still open for registration, but the library is asking that if your child is too young to wear a mask to not attend the Friday Storytime.