Slight slowdown in COVID-19 cases in Orland Park

Slight slowdown in COVID-19 cases in Orland Park
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Slight slowdown in COVID-19 cases in Orland Park

Coronavirus COVID-19 continues its threatening levels in Orland Park, which has become the symbol of the anti-face mask movement because of the failed leadership of the Village’s administration. These statistics reflect all of the cases in Orland Park, as opposed to the partial and incomplete statistics that have been published by other websites and showcased by the Village administration.

By Ray Hanania

Coronavirus infections dropped slightly for the first time in six months in Orland Park, which is seen as the focal point of the anti-face mask movement. The positivity rate also dipped slightly, according to complete data provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

According to the IDPH, Orland Park reported an accumulative total of 5,437 COVID-19 cases during the past month of January, 2021. That reflects an increase of 778 cases since January 1 when the total cases were 4,659. The 5,437 confirmed COVID-19 cases reflects a 9.8 percent positivity rate for the 55,479 total tests that the IDPH reported have been administered in Orland Park since the pandemic began one year ago. Several individuals have taken the test more than one time.

The safe positivity rate was designated as being 2.3 percent and although the positivity rate has slightly dropped from the 10 percent it reflected last month, the dip is slight and suggests the cases continue to be a threat to the public health especially for senior citizens who are the most vulnerable target group.  

Orland Park has a population of 58,312 residents. Almost 10 percent of the village population has been infected, and that only reflects those who have taken the COVID-19 tests. If more take the test the infection rate would certainly be expected to grow.

Face Mask must be worn sign posted at Orland Park store entrance. Photo courtesy of Ray Hanania

Pekau’s defenders have personally attacked anyone who has challenged the mayor’s position on the fight against the virus and the wearing of face masks, avoiding addressing the issues and instead focusing almost completely in personal attacks and name calling.

For example, Mayor Pekau and his small collection of supporters, have attacked Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady for his expressions of concerns for the community and his urging of residents to take the step of wearing face masks whenever they are in public.

Here’s the tabulation that you will not find on the website of the Village of Orland Park which appears to be downplaying the virus threat, and by a Mayor who appears to not be taking the infection rate seriously enough.

Chart of COVID-19 infections in Orland Park covering the months beginning with June 1, 2020 and reported July 1, 2020.

    • Feb. 1, 2021: 5,437 total infections
    • Jan. 1, 2021: 4,659 total infections.
    • Dec. 1, 2020: 3,463 total infections.
    • Nov. 1, 2020: 2,094 total infections.
    • Oct. 1, 2020: 1,398 total infections.
    • Sept. 1, 2020: 1,078 total infections.
    • Aug. 1, 2020: 781 total infections.
    • July 1, 2020: 530 total infections.

It’s pretty clear that the infection rate would have gone down and not continued its strong surge upwards had the Mayor of Orland Park and the Village Board taken a more serious approach to the pandemic, not turning it into a political issue and seeing Coronavirus as a truly threatening health issue.

The infection rate coincidentally began to surge after one of Pekau’s Village Board trustee minions , who wasn’t wearing a face mask during the board meeting, last April ridiculed another trustee who was wearing a face mask suggesting she wear Duct Tape over her mouth, instead of a face mask.

Vaccinations against the COVID-19 virus have become available beginning in early January but the number of vaccines available is far lower than the demand, The low supplies and high demands have created bottle necks on the administration of the vaccinations with large crowds showing up for vaccinations even though they did not have appointments.

Coronavirus COVID-19 infections in Orland Park since June 1, 2020 through Feb. 1, 2021 according to the IDPH.

Coronavirus COVID-19 infections in Orland Park since June 1, 2020 through Feb. 1, 2021 according to the IDPH.

The State of Illinois has designated that individuals in the 1A and 1B categories can receive the vaccinations, essentially covering first responders, health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, and anyone 65 years of age and older. Vaccinations were being given based on application and appointments but many in the public who could not get appointments because the number of the vaccinations were far less than the number of people wanting the vaccinations.

Worse is that the level of anger caused by the political exploitation of the wearing of face masks, what the CDC has said is needed to increase the prevention of infection, has sparked angry debates including from anti-face masks individuals who have threatened violence.

For more detailed information on the COVID-19 pandemic and statistics on Orland Park and other communities, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Pandemic data website by clicking this link.

Click here to read Ray Hanania’s column in the Orland Park Patch on the debate on whether people should wear one face mask or two face masks.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and former Chicago City Hall reporter. Visit his online hub for links to all of his columns, radio shows and podcasts at www.Hanania.com. Email him with your comments at rghanania@gmail.com. And Please share this column on your social media.)

Ray Hanania

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