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The vaccine for COVID-19 arrives and begins to go in arms of Quad-City healthcare workers

DAVENPORT, IOWA – The big news in the Quad-Cites this week was the arrival of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that was administered for the first time Tuesday in the Iowa Quad-Cities and Wednesday on the Illinois side.

Friday, Dec. 11

  • The city of Davenport launched its Small Business Resiliency Project to assist small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 on Oct. 1, and 10 of the 42 businesses that applied have been notified they will receive assistance.
  • Rock Island County has had 195 people die of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, while Scott County has had 116. The six latest victims raised the Quad-Cities’ death toll to 69 in the first 11 days of December — that’s 22% of the Q-C’s COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Rock Island County health officials reported a total of 9,617 cases.
  • The COVID-19 death toll surpassed 14,000 in Illinois on Friday.
  • Illinois residents shopped for guns and applied for firearm permits more than any other time in the state’s history as the COVID-19 pandemic raged and Chicago dealt with civil unrest, according to state police data. There have been more than 500,000 inquiries about gun purchases through November, according to Illinois State Police statistics. That is a 45% increase from 2019. The department also received 445,945 applications for firearm owner’s identification cards, a 167% increase from 166,649 applications in 2017. There are more than 2.2 million Illinoisans with Firearm Owners Identification cards.

Saturday, Dec. 12

  • The U.S. gave the final go-ahead to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, marking the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans, according to a person familiar with the decision but not authorized to discuss it publicly. Shots for health workers and nursing home residents are expected first as the vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech rolls out to states.
  • The Rock Island County Health Department on Saturday reported that a man in his 60 died of COVID-19-related complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the county to 196. County officials also reported 46 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the county since the pandemic was announced to 9,663. The Scott County Health Department reported 12,844 COVID-19 cases in the county, with the death count remaining at 116.

Sunday, Dec. 13

  • The Scott County Health Department on Sunday reported 12,929 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, a rise of 85 from Saturday’s total of 12,844. COVID-related deaths total 116.
  • The global COVID-19 pandemic reached Iowa nine months ago. The disease has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 Iowans — including at least one in each of the state’s 99 counties — and has infected more than a quarter-million Iowans.
  • The Rock Island County Health Department on Sunday reported 70 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 9,733 since the announcement of the pandemic, with 196 deaths.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health reported a total of 848,904 cases, with 14,291 deaths.

Monday, Dec. 14

  • COVID-19 vaccinations went into the arms of Iowa City nurses for the first time Monday, while Illinois received about 100,000 vaccinations for its initial rollout this week. The cheering news came as six more from the Quad-Cities area lost their lives to the virus and the national death toll topped 300,000, but as new cases slowed locally.
  • Rock Island County reported 50 new cases, for a total of 9,783. The virus has taken 199 people in the county. Scott County had 38 new cases, for a total of 12,967. There were two additional deaths, for a total of 118. Henry County reported one new death for a total of 26. The Henry and Stark County Health Department said there had been 3,285 cases in Henry County and 383 in Stark County.
  • Moline-Coal Valley School Board members said Monday they were not quite ready to commit to a return date for Moline-Coal Valley students who are learning remotely until at least Jan. 5.
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday she would return to Iowa’s Coronavirus Relief Fund the $21 million regulators said she misspent on a new computer system. The announcement acknowledges a defeat for Reynolds, who had argued in October that a $57 million contract with cloud-computing company Workday was “necessary” to address the pandemic — even though the contract was signed months before COVID-19 hit Iowa in March.
  • The wait for winter sports in Illinois continues. “Everything is still in a holding pattern,” said Katy Hasson, president of the Illinois High School Association board of directors after Monday’s virtual board meeting. Hasson said non-sports activities, including music, chess, speech, debate and drama activities “that can be done virtually” had been green-lighted and a state series for each has been outlined.

Tuesday, Dec. 15

  • Dr. Rob Mixsell and registered nurse Alli Edmunds received the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine administered in the Quad-Cities at 10:31 a.m. Tuesday at Genesis Convenient Care, Davenport. Mixsell and Edmunds were the first of roughly 50 Genesis Health System doctors and nurses slated for vaccination Tuesday. Genesis received just under 1,000 doses in Iowa and another 500 in Illinois. As of Monday night, there have been 9,783 positive cases of COVID-19 in Rock Island County and 12,967 in Scott County. In the two counties, 317 people have died with the virus.
  • Eight more people lost their lives Tuesday to causes related to COVID-19. Six of the dead were from Rock Island County, while two died in Scott County. The latest deaths put Rock Island County at 205 deaths since the start of the pandemic and raised the Q-C death toll to 335. In the 50 days since Oct. 26, 105 deaths have been linked to COVID-19 in Rock Island County. There were 100 deaths in Rock Island County in the six months and 18 days from April 7 through Oct. 25.
  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced more than $700 million in spending cuts on Tuesday, calling it a “first step” in closing a $3.9 billion revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year’s budget.

Wednesday, Dec. 16

  • The Rock Island County Health Department reported one additional death from COVID-19, for a total of 206. The county reports 94 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 9,933. Scott County reported 143 cases.
  • Health care workers at UnityPoint Health-Trinity at its Rock Island campus began receiving the vaccine Wednesday to prevent COVID-19. Health officials asked the public to be patient about their turn to receive the vaccine.
  • Illinois has been advised it will receive roughly half of the shipment of COVID-19 vaccinations that it originally expected from the federal government for the next two weeks.
  • Iowa learned Wednesday the state will receive as much as 30% fewer doses of COVID-19 vaccines than previously expected. No reason for the drop in doses was given in a state public health department news release.
  • Henry County Treasurer Tim Wells is resigning, saying he disagrees with how the Henry County Board is handling COVID-19 mitigation. “With the restaurants and the modifications, I don’t think the county board has got their act together at all, and I’m not going to be a part of it,” he said by telephone Wednesday. “The county board has two jobs, budget and policy. I think they did a terrible job on policy.”
  • Tyson fired seven of its managers after an independent investigation examined allegations that involved Waterloo, Iowa, managers betting on how many workers would get COVID-19, the company announced Wednesday. Tyson president and CEO Dean Banks said the company took action based on the investigation’s findings. Company spokesperson Gary Mickelson said the investigation “found sufficient evidence” the managers were involved in the betting allegations.

Thursday, Dec. 17

  • Despite financial shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Davenport” is in a strong and stable financial position” and continues on that track five months into the budget year that began July 1, city finance and human resources director Mallory Merritt said.
  • Quad-City area health officials reported a total of 12 COVID-19-related deaths Thursday. Scott County’s health department reported seven deaths, Rock Island County Health Department confirmed one, Stark County two and Henry County two. COVID-19 has taken the lives of 335 people in Scott and Rock Island counties.
  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration on Thursday reported 181 additional deaths related to coronavirus illness and 8,828 newly confirmed infections. With the report came new warnings for holiday gatherings with Christmas next week
  • Henry County Board members learned in a meeting Thursday night that COVID-19 has struck the county-owned nursing home. Health and social services chairman Jan May said, as of Wednesday, 67 of the home’s 70 residents at Hillcrest Nursing Home had tested positive for COVID-19. Two part-time nurses ended their employment because of COVID-19, and the home has spent $387,448 on outside agency staff to make up for the shortfall of personnel.

Friday, Dec. 18

  • The Rock Island County Health Department reported three more deaths from COVID-19, for a total of 210. The county reported 60 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 10,096. Scott County had no additional deaths, but added 103 new positive cases for a total of 13,337.

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