One of the most important metrics health officials watch to guide their response to the coronavirus pandemic is the positivity rate in testing.
That figure is the percentage of tests conducted that have positive results - often examined as a rolling 7-day average to examine any trends in the spread of the virus.
In May, the World Health Organization advised governments that positivity rates should be below 5% (meaning five of every 100 tests come back positive) for at least 14 days before reopening to slow the spread.
Illinois begins to reimpose mitigations on regions in the state if they see three consecutive days averaging more than 8% positivity rate, or a sustained increase in the positivity rate plus an increase in hospital admissions or reduction in hospital capacity. Those mitigations may include things like reduced capacity at bars and restaurants and changes to retail, fitness, salon settings and more.
As of Wednesday, Illinois' positivity rate for the previous two weeks has hovered at or just below 4% statewide.
How does that compare to Illinois' Midwestern neighbors? Of 10 Midwestern states, Illinois is ranked third for the lowest positivity rate, behind Michigan and Ohio, trendlines for all three states remaining steady over the past two weeks.
Just to the north, Wisconsin has one of the highest rolling positivity rates in the nation, reaching 16.9% on Wednesday. Iowa is close behind, with a 15.8% positivity rate, and Missouri has the third highest positivity rate at 11.6%.
You can track and compare all 10 Midwestern states' rolling 7-day average positivity rates over the last two weeks in the chart below.
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