MASSAC COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - A county in Southern Illinois has been on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 warning level for five months.
Nathan Ryder, the Southern Seven Health Department outreach coordinator, is happy with the county’s progress.
Massac County received good news on Friday, February 26 after being in the warning level since October: they moved to a moderate level.
“People have gotten a lot better at wearing their masks and following those social distancing guidelines, making sure they’re washing their hands all the time,” said Ryder.
He explained why he believed they remained in a warning level for so long.
“Folks were gathering,” he said. “We had a lot of fall lit gatherings going on, or a lot of parties for groups and individuals sort of mixing together. There might’ve been some relaxed mask wearing during events like that.”
With the county being moved to a moderate risk of contracting the virus, Ryder doesn’t want people to get pushed into a false sense security.
“With the nice weather coming up, people are going to want to start getting outdoors and start mixing around,” he said. “And then also we got vaccine distribution going on right now.”
“We just have to remember with those two events coming on, we might be lulled into thinking ‘well, we don’t need to wear our mask or follow those other mitigation’s procedures’ but we really need to stay on top of it right now,” he continued.
Now, moving forward, Ryder wanted people to keep wearing their mask, to continue following the social distancing guidelines and to continue washing their hands frequently.