With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging in our region, Rochelle Community Hospital, a member of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA), is participating in a new statewide public education campaign—Don’t let your guard down. Keep your mask up.—to communicate the importance of taking reasonable precautions to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“In our region, we are seeing hospitalizations reach new highs just before the holiday season when friends and families look forward to getting together,” said Gregg Olson, Chief Executive Officer.  “Just this week, COVID hospitalizations in this area surpassed the previous peak from the spring. RCH is seeing a surge in COVID testing and increased hospitalizations as well.”

“We can rein in this virus, but all of us must act now and take the following effective steps to protect our families, our communities and ourselves,” added Olson.

  • Wear your mask.
  • Watch your distance—stay at least 6 feet from others.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid travel or having people in your homes who have traveled.

“COVID fatigue and a desire to return to normalcy are certainly understandable, especially eight months into the pandemic,” added Olson.  “But letting our guard down will help fuel the increase in cases and hospitalizations, and will result in lives lost. Let’s redouble our efforts together.”

Doctors, nurses and healthcare providers on the front lines are asking all Illinois residents to help stop the spread.  “We know this is particularly challenging as we approach the holidays,” added Olson. “We all want to celebrate with family and friends, but we need to carefully consider our choices. The decisions we make now will help us get control of this second surge, protecting the health of our families, ourselves and our friends.”

Olson also urged everyone to get a flu shot. “While a flu shot will not protect you against COVID-19, avoiding the flu will help you keep your lungs and immune system healthier during this pandemic. It’s about keeping your body’s defenses as prepared as possible to fight the virus.”

“If everyone works together, we will get through this,” added Olson. “Now is not the time to let your guard down. Simple actions like ‘masking up’ can have a significant impact in curbing the spread and reversing the surge.”