coronavirus illinois

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

Last week, 13 counties were at a "warning level," five of which remained on the list Friday

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Fourteen 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: Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Jefferson, Kane, LaSalle, Moultrie, Perry, Union, Will.

Last week, 13 counties were at a "warning level," four of which remained on the list Friday.

The counties each "saw cases or outbreaks associated with weddings, businesses, birthday parties, long-term care facilities and other congregate settings, bars, sports camps, and spread among members of the same household," according to IDPH.

"Public health officials are seeing people in some communities are not wearing masks, or if they are, they are being worn incorrectly," IDPH said in a release. "Local health departments are finding it challenging to obtain the information necessary to halt local transmission, by quickly identifying exposures from contacts of cases and businesses. Inconsistent messaging from local elected leaders are contributing to on-going transmission in some communities where there is little public concern for consequences or enforcement of social distancing, banning large gatherings, or quarantine/isolation orders."

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 2,200 new cases of coronavirus Friday, the highest daily increase since late May.

According to new data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state saw 2,264 new cases and has now recorded a total of 202,691 cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

An additional 25 deaths also lifts the statewide death to 7,721.

Over the last 24 hours, the state has reported 49,541 new tests, an increase from a day earlier. That brings the total number of tests performed in the state to 3,285,348.

Those new test results, one of the state's highest daily test totals so far, keep the state's seven-day positivity rate at 4.1%.

In announcing Friday's new numbers, the health department singled out Region 4 in the state, also known as the Metro East Region, for its rise in positivity rates, saying it "could surpass the resurgence metrics in the coming days" and warning of potential mitigations.

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