Illinois health officials will implement new coronavirus restrictions in two of the state’s healthcare regions this week, bringing the total number of regions seeing the enhanced mitigations to six.
Suburban Cook County will now join that group of regions dealing with the new rules, as will Region 4 in southwestern Illinois. Regions 1, 5, 7 and 8 were already in that category, and Region 9 could potentially be heading in that direction after passing a key threshold on Monday.
Here are the metrics from regions where mitigations are now in place:
Region 1 –
With even more stringent restrictions in place, Region 1, located in northwestern Illinois, is seeing the highest positivity rates in the state, with that number not standing at 12.7%.
After seeing hospitalizations rates holding steady, the region is also seeing an increase in that rate as well, including bumps upward on three of the last four days. Hospital bed availability remains within safe limits, but is worth keeping an eye on.
Region 5 –
Located in far southern Illinois, this region had new restrictions put into effect Thursday, but its positivity rates are still slowly trending upward, sitting at 8.8% on Monday.
Another worrying trend can be seen in the number of COVID-like illness admissions to hospitals, which have risen three of the last four days in the region. Fortunately there is still good availability of both hospital beds and ICU beds, which could help ease the burden of increased admissions in coming days.
Region 7 –
Kankakee and Will counties are included in this region, which is seeing increasing positivity rates nearly every day. The good news on that front at least is that the seven-day positivity rate has stabilized at 9.3% over the last three days, which could precede a decline in the number.
That would be welcome news to health officials, who no doubt are casting a weary eye on the hospital bed availability in the region. Those numbers are among the lowest in the state, with 25% of hospital beds and 28% of ICU beds currently available.
Region 8 –
This region, comprised of DuPage and Kane counties, is among the state’s hotspots in several areas. The seven-day positivity rate in the region has increased to 9.5% in recent days, and hospital admissions have gone up for five consecutive days and eight of the last 10 days overall.
Add to that the 27% availability of hospital beds in the event of a surge of new COVID patients, and the region could be facing some challenges in coming days.
Here are the Illinois regions where positivity rates have moved toward the 8% threshold.
Region 2 -
After hovering at 7% for three consecutive days, this region, which includes Peoria and parts of western Illinois, is now at a 7.2% seven-day positivity rate.
Hospital admissions in the region have largely stayed the same in recent days, with nearly 40% availability of both hospital beds and ICU beds.
Region 3 –
This region, which includes Springfield and other cities in western Illinois, saw its positivity rate climb to 7.8% on Monday, a jump of 0.3% in the last day.
The region’s ICU bed availability currently stands at 27%, a worrying sign for officials as restrictions could potentially go into effect.
Region 4 –
This region, adjacent to St. Louis, will see enhanced mitigation rules go into effect this week, as the seven-day positivity rate has risen to 8.4%.
Another big concern in the area is hospital bed availability, with 26% of beds available for a potential surge in patients. Fortunately there hasn’t been a large increase in the number of hospital admissions for the virus, but those increases have been shown to follow closely behind increases in positivity rates.
Region 9 –
This region, comprised of McHenry and Lake counties, could potentially see new coronavirus mitigations later this week, as the positivity rate climbed above the 8% threshold on Monday. If that rate remains above 8% for the next two days, then the new rules could go into effect by this weekend.
Hospital admissions have largely stabilized even with the rapid increase in positivity rates, but those metrics will continue to bear watching.
Region 10 –
While this region, which includes all of Cook County not within Chicago’s city limits, will see restrictions put in place this week, it’s not specifically because of the positivity rate. That rate is still sitting at 7.7%, but an alarming spike in the number of coronavirus illness-related hospitalizations continued on Monday.
Bed availability is down, currently sitting at 26%, lending more urgency to efforts to help contain the spread of the virus.
Region 11 –
For a long stretch during the summer and in the early fall, Chicago was one of the top areas in the state when it came to suppressing the spread of the virus, but things have begun to turn around in the city.
Currently, the city is reporting a 7.7% seven-day positivity rate, and hospital admissions have increased six of the last 10 days. Hospital bed availability has slowly been increasing overall, but ICU bed availability has decreased slightly, with officials monitoring both numbers closely in the days ahead.