Risks of COVID-19 in Our Area Remain Very Real


October 15, 2020

Dear Community Members of Green, Stephenson, and surrounding counties,

COVID-19 has brought forth its fair share of challenges in 2020, both professionally and personally for everyone in our community. While COVID-19 may not be as widely spread in our local area, cases do continue to increase, and the risks remain very real.

As one the largest area employers, Monroe Clinic, a member of SSM Health, feels it is incredibly important for all of us to remain diligent in doing what we can to protect ourselves and others from unnecessary exposure to the virus. We need to continue to be cautious, take the impact of our actions seriously, and assume personal responsibility to be role models in our community.

As COVID-19 cases reach a critical point across the state, we must continue to focus on the importance of wearing masks while in public settings along with practicing social distancing. COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. Attending large public gatherings continues to elevate the risk of exposure for each of us. While we all miss a certain level of normalcy, attending events that include large numbers of guests isn’t worth the risk. By avoiding or limiting attendees for large gatherings or activities, we can reduce the risk of exposure and possible transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

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According to the CDC, in general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. If you decide to engage in public activities, please continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventative actions, including: Wash your hands often. Avoid close contact (stay at least 6 feet from other people). Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when in public and when around people who don’t live in your household. Cover coughs and sneezes. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Monitor your health daily and be alert for COVID-19 symptoms. Stay home if sick.

Additionally, it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. This means getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 is more important than ever and we encourage all community members to get a flu vaccine if able. For more information about flu vaccine events, please visit MonroeClinic.org/Flu2020.

On behalf of Monroe Clinic, we’d like to thank each of you for continuing to do your part to help prevent further spread of COVID-19.


Jane Curran-Meuli, President, Monroe Clinic, A Member of SSM Health, and Darren Pipp, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Monroe Clinic, A Member of SSM Health


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