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THIS WEEK: COVID numbers on the rise as Quad City crowds gather

A big weekend of big crowds has health care workers concerned about COVID numbers

It's been one of the busiest weekends of the year.

Is it also the most dangerous?

"Yes, we worry," said Community Health Care chief executive officer Tom Bowman.

Whether it was thousands of runner and fans lining up for the Bix 7 race, or the thousands enjoying Davenport's downtown street festival, or the crowds who made the most of the Rock Island County Fair it has been a weekend of crowds trying to put COVID behind them.

"I think every health care organization that has been battling the pandemic from the start worries about large crowds especially if there's unmasked, which it's going to be at this point," Bowman said on "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens".

Listen to the entire interview with Community Health Care's Tom Bowman on THE CITIES PODCAST.

Since the Fourth of July, the COVID positivity rate has slowly climbed in Illinois region 2 which includes Rock Island County and 19 other counties.

The positivity rate is now at 3.2% when it was one percent a month ago...

52 people are hospitalized right now up from 31 on the fifth of July.

And it's not going unnoticed.

"We're constantly monitoring COVID, as you know, across the state," said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week at a signing for new legislation to increase telehealth services across the state.

"We'll impose mitigations when and if we need to," he said to a reporter's question.

"As you know I have not been reticent to do that especially because we want to keep people safe especially those who are unvaccinated and are most at risk."

Health professionals remember all too well last year's summer COVID surge.

They say the difference this year has been COVID vaccines.

"We kinda knew this was going to be coming as you roll back restrictions and quarantine and all that kind of stuff," said Bowman.

"It's just the natural cycle of any infectious disease."

Watch "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens Sunday mornings at 10 on WQAD News 8.