Several Illinois healthcare regions are seeing declines in key coronavirus metrics as the state remains under Tier 3 mitigations, but there is still plenty of work to be done in other parts of the state.
In Region 6, the positivity rate over the last seven days dropped below the 12% threshold, meaning that the region is nearing a reduction in restrictions, perhaps as soon as Monday.
In order for a region to see restrictions reduced, three statistical thresholds must be met. First, a region must have a seven-day positivity rate below 12% for three consecutive days. Second, the availability of ICU beds and medical/surgical beds must be above 20% for three consecutive days. Finally, a region must see decreases in overall hospitalizations for seven days in a 10-day span, and if the region satisfies all of those requirements, it can move back to a lower level of coronavirus restrictions.
Here is where things stand in each region. Positivity rates are calculated with a three-day lag, meaning that the latest data availability is from Wednesday, while all hospitalization data is updated on a daily basis.
Region 1 (Northwest Illinois):
Hospitalization numbers in the region continue to improve, decreasing for nine of the last 10 days. The availability of ICU beds and med/surgical beds continues to remain over the 20% threshold, but just barely at 23.3% and 24.4%, respectively.
The region’s positivity rate, after a decline, has flattened, staying at 15.1% as of Thursday.
Region 2 (West-Central Illinois):
While the region’s positivity rate has continued to drop, down to 13.5% as of Thursday, the availability of ICU beds continues to be a concern, dropping below the 20% threshold as of Friday. Hospitalizations are starting to decrease slightly, but remain high.
Region 3 (Western Illinois):
For two straight days, this region, which includes Springfield, has been below the 12% threshold in terms of positivity rate, but the region is still not seeing a rebound in ICU bed availability, having been below the 20% threshold for seven consecutive days.
The good news is that hospitalizations are finally starting to decrease, and the availability of medical and surgical beds is beginning to rise after dropping near the threshold earlier in the week.
Region 4 (Southwest Illinois):
This region is one of the few that is actually seeing an increase in positivity rates, as that number has risen to 14.2% in recent days. Hospital bed availability is continuing to decrease, while ICU bed availability has also dropped below the 20% threshold.
Region 5 (Southern Illinois):
The positivity rate in this region is drawing ever closer to the 12% threshold, currently at 12.3%. The availability of hospital beds ticked upward on Saturday, as did the availability of ICU beds, but there is still a ways to go in terms of overall hospitalizations before mitigations can be rolled back, as the region has seen increases on nine of the last 10 days.
Region 6 (East-Central Illinois):
Thursday was a big day for the region, as it dropped below a 12% positivity rate. The region’s ICU bed availability has largely steadied, and the availability of hospital beds has begun to increase as well. If the region’s positivity rate holds below 12% for two more days, and if the region sees one more day of decreases in hospitalizations, then Tier 3 mitigations could be rolled back in the coming days.
Region 7 (Will, Kankakee counties):
There is a bit of good news in this region, as hospitalizations have decreased for three consecutive days after topping out on Monday. The availability of ICU beds and med/surgical beds has jumped back above 20% in the last three days, but numbers are still extremely close to the threshold, meaning any drop could reset the clock on that metric.
Positivity rates are slowly declining in the region, currently sitting at 17% as of Saturday.
Region 8 (DuPage, Kane counties):
The region’s positivity rate has dropped to 13.2%, drawing closer to the threshold required for a rollback of mitigations. The availability of ICU beds and med/surgical beds has also jumped above the 20% threshold in the last two days, and hospitalizations have dropped for five consecutive days.
Region 9 (McHenry, Lake counties):
The region’s positivity rate has continued on a steady decline in recent days, dropping to 12.3% as of Wednesday. Hospitalizations are decreasing, dropping each of the last eight days, and the region’s bed availability has remained just above 20% for the last week, although that metric is dangerously close to dropping below the threshold.
Region 10 (Suburban Cook County):
The region is seeing positivity rates plummet, dropping to 12.7% as of Wednesday, and a slow increase has been charted in both ICU bed availability and medical bed availability, with both just inching above the 20% threshold. Hospitalizations, which had increased on seven consecutive days heading into Wednesday, have decreased two of the last three days, suggesting that the region could be slowly turning a corner in that category as well.
Region 11 (Chicago):
Chicago’s positivity rate is at exactly 12% as of Wednesday, with hospital bed and ICU bed availability on the rise over the last three days. Hospitalizations have also decreased the last two days, meaning that the region could conceivably see a rollback in Tier 3 mitigations by the end of next week if numbers continue to trend well in those three areas.