The Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD), consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health, strongly recommends everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask while indoors in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission. WCHD recommends that employers, retailers, restaurants/bars, fitness/recreational centers, libraries, governmental entities, healthcare facilities, and other public venues require UNIVERSAL INDOOR MASKING of their staff and patrons regardless of vaccination status.

Based on increasing cases (case rate of 79/100,000), increasing positivity rate (6.2%), and declining ICU availability in the hospitals serving the region, Winnebago County is experiencing a SUBSTANTIAL level of community transmission for COVID-19. With less than 50% of the eligible population in Winnebago County vaccinated, there is a SUBSTANTIAL risk for transmission of COVID-19 among the unvaccinated including children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination.  It is our duty to protect the future generations in our community.

In addition to masking, the Winnebago County Health Department recommends vaccination, social distancing, handwashing, staying home when sick, and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces.