County commissioners updated on pandemic

Last Friday, the Randolph County Board of Commissioners held their regular meeting, but encouraged those wanting to attend to do so remotely by calling in.

The biggest part of the meeting was Randolph County Health Department Administrator Angela Oathout’s report. At the time of the meeting, she noted that there were 15 positive COVID-19 cases in the county, and of those one was hospitalized but the rest were recovering at home. At that time, the reported cases were in four of the county’s communities. Oathout added that many of the cases stemmed from a common gathering event.

She was optimistic though, telling the commissioners that while the “ripple gets bigger and bigger, she felt like the health department was getting a handle on it. The health department has been in contact with all three hospitals, Chester Mental Health and Menard Correctional Center.

For Menard, she reported that they have 90 beds ready in case they need to quarantine inmates. As for Chester Mental Health, there was discussion on moving cases elsewhere.

Oathout noted that all three hospitals, Red Bud Regional, Chester Memorial and Sparta Community, are all working together. In addition, they were asking the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for help to get a triage center outside of the hospitals.

For more from the Board of Commissioners meeting, please see this week’s print edition.