Not only are schools a bigger risk for exposure to COVID-19, where you shop and where you work may present greater risk than bars and restaurants.

On the dangers of COVID-19 exposure risk in Region 1, of which Rockford is a part, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) just released some surprising new numbers.

First, Illinois Region 1 is made up of nine counties and they are, Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago. Within these nine counties, the IDPH says, your greatest risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is inside a Region 1 school, than a Region 1 restaurant or bar.

Contact tracing data from IDPH shows that statewide, bars and restaurants are the most common potential location of exposure for people who test positive for COVID-19. However, in Region 1, schools top the list.


Region 1 bars and restaurants have been forced into some awful situations, making it incredibly difficult for survival. Mitigation efforts have made it nearly impossible for these types of business to remain open.

“If we want to get these numbers down, I don’t see how that happens without schools closing." Scott Frank, owner of Ciao Bella Kitchen.

I couldn't agree more, with Scott Frank from Ciao Bella Kitchen. If we want to see our positivity rate go back down, transitioning schools to remote learning needs to be more strongly considered. The number of COVID-19 cases amongst students and faculty forced the Freeport School District to make the transition to remote learning, at least until November 30.

Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.

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