coronavirus illinois

13 Illinois Counties Now at ‘Warning Level' for Coronavirus, Health Dept. Says

Last week, 11 counties were at a "warning level," five of which remained on the list Friday

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Thirteen counties in Illinois are now at a "warning level" for coronavirus, the state's health department said Friday.

The warning means each of the counties saw increases in two or more COVID-19 "risk indicators," the health department said.

The counties now under a warning include: Cass, Coles, Grundy, Iroquois, Jackson, Monroe, Perry, Saline, St. Clair, Tazewell, Union, Williamson, Winnebago.

Last week, 11 counties were at a "warning level," five of which remained on the list Friday.

The counties each "saw cases or outbreaks associated with businesses, long-term care facilities, large social gatherings, and out of state travel," according to IDPH.

"There have been several instances of multiple cases among family members in the same, large household," the department said in a release. "Students returning to universities and colleges are also driving the recent increase in cases in several communities. Many students are not wearing face coverings or social distancing and are gathering in large groups and at bars."

Among the metrics evaluated to determine if a county has reached a "warning level" are:

• New cases per 100,000 people. If there are 50 or more new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
• Number of deaths.  This metric indicates a warning when the number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Weekly test positivity.  This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
• ICU availability.  If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
• Weekly emergency department visits.  This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Weekly hospital admissions.  A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Tests perform. This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
• Clusters. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

Health officials in Illinois reported more than 2,000 new cases of coronavirus Friday, the highest daily increase since late May and the first time the state has crossed the 2,000 mark in recent weeks.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state saw 2,084 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began to 190,508.

The number is the highest daily case increase since May 24, which saw more than 2,500 new cases in a single day. That date also reported significantly fewer test results, however.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate increased slightly to 4.1%. The last time the state went above 4 percent in that category was on June 11, according to data compiled by the NBC 5 Investigates team.

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