BELOIT — As COVID-19 conditions continue to improve in the Stateline Area, Beloit leaders say they are optimistic about the current state of the pandemic as businesses continue to fully reopen and summer events are fast approaching.
Beloit Health System President Tim McKevett and Beloit City Manager Lori Curtis Luther said they will both monitor virus conditions in conjunction with the Rock County Public Health Department as the July 4 holiday draws near.
“This is a very positive time and I think that we are all having a collective sigh of relief,” Luther said. “There are some who are still in need of medical care, but overall the environment is much more hopeful and we’ve only seen that grow. It’s great to see people back out and enjoying one another’s company.”
McKevett added, “As a health system, we are optimistic with the trends we are seeing right now. We’ve learned so much and we’ve applied those lessons we’ve learned. We are finally learning to coexist with COVID.”
Hospitalizations continue to remain below half a dozen admissions in the Beloit Memorial Hospital’s COVID unit, and McKevett said spikes following holiday weekends had continually lessened since the Easter holiday. To date, the health system has seen over 550 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19.
The hospital will return to normal visiting hours starting two weeks after the July 4 holiday, McKevett said, and he noted that the health system would transition its current testing site to a vaccination site coupled with other changes. Johnson and Johnson vaccinations will be offered to all patients who seek treatment at the hospital’s emergency room.
As previously reported, the health system is offering vaccinations to all patients who make appointments with their primary care physician. The health system will also offer a vaccination clinic from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 10.
Luther also confirmed Beloit Fire Department personnel will continue to offer limited vaccinations during pop-up events, including the community events on June 15 and 16 at Vernon and Summit parks with Beloit Police Department personnel, along with the Juneteenth celebration on June 19 at Riverside Park.
Those interested in booking tickets for the July 4 fireworks at Pohlman Field will continue to have to wait, with the city to issue registration instructions in partnership with the Beloit Snappers in the coming weeks, Luther said.
City Hall, 100 State St., will also remain only open to the public on the first floor, as in months past. Luther said the reason for not reopening the upper floors of City Hall is due to HVAC work that is needed to the second and third floor.
“We didn’t want to reopen, only to have to close to the public again,” Luther said.
There’s no current timeline for the project, which has been yet to be bid out, she added, citing high demand for commercial construction and sky-rocketing building material costs.
In Rock County, 47.3% of residents have received one vaccine dose and 40.7% have completed vaccination, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).