The variant driven surge in COVID-19 cases continues, with area health departments reporting 249 new cases Tuesday.

130 of those new cases were reported in Adams County, with 40 hospitalized, six in ICU and 131 deaths.

The Ralls County Health Department reported 52 new coronavirus cases since last Thursday, bringing their case total to 1,380, with 69 active, five hospitalized and 16 deaths.

43 new COVID cases and two additional deaths were reported Tuesday in Marion County. Their case total grows to 4,629, with 249 active, 16 hospitalized and now 81 deaths.

The Brown County Health Department reported 20 new coronavirus cases since Friday, running their case total to 847, with 28 active and seven deaths.

And, the Knox County Health Department reported four new COVID cases. Their case total is now 467, with 21 active and four deaths.

The Pike County, Illinois Health Department reported 202 new coronavirus cases in July, and 65 new cases so far in August.

The PCHD continues to hold vaccination clinics on Thursday in August - on the 12th and the 19th from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and August 26th from 9:30 a.m. till noon.

No appointment is necessary, but masks are required to enter the building.

About 30 percent of Pike County residents, about 4,714. have been fully vaccinated, with 5,619 residents with at least one shot.

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LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.