Region 2 Surpasses 8% Positivity Threshold

KENDALL COUNTY, IL — As cases and hospitalizations keep rising across the state, the Restore Illinois region, to which Kendall County belongs, has crossed the 8 percent threshold for its coronavirus positivity rate. As of Friday, Region 2 has a positivity of 8.5 percent, according to data reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The region is seeing a positivity increase for six consecutive days. Hospitalizations have also increased over the past 10-day period.

Region 2 is one of the two regions in the state that is currently not under added mitigations. During a press conference Monday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that Region 2 is doing better than all the others in the state. Although better, its numbers are “nothing to write home about” and the region is also seeing a slight uptick in hospitalizations after levelling off in August and September, he said.

Any region that sustains an 8 percent positivity rate for three days in a row or sees an increase in positivity rates and simultaneous decrease in hospital capacity will need to implement additional community mitigation interventions, the IDPH website states.

Other than three days with average coronavirus positivity rates above 8 percent, restrictions can also be triggered by a combination of seven days out of the past 10 with increasing positivity rates — plus either a decline in hospital bed capacity below 20 percent or an increase for seven of the last 10 days in the rounded average number of new hospital admissions with “COVID-like illness.”

Those measures could include restricting the size of social gatherings, reducing capacity at businesses or scaling back operations in industries that pose a higher risk of transmission, like indoor dining, bars, salons and personal care services.

The region has currently utilized 62 percent of its ICUs and 17 percent of its ventilators, according to IDPH data.

Positivity rate in Kendall County has also spiked and is at 9.3 percent as of Friday. This is a substantial increase from 6.5 percent two weeks prior. The county is also at a warning level for the number of new cases per 100,000 people. There are 179 new cases and the target is 50 or less.

As of Thursday, the Kendall County Health Department reports a total of 2,832 cases with 2,177 in recovery and 28 deaths. No new deaths have been reported in two weeks.

This article originally appeared on the Oswego Patch

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Daily coronavirus caseload surpasses 2,000 in D.C. region again, as infection rates continue to rise

A national spike in coronavirus infections continued to make its presence felt Thursday in the greater Washington region, which recorded its ninth-highest number of new cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic.


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The 2,492 new infections in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. lifted the seven-day rolling average of daily cases above 2,000 for the first time since early August. Local leaders say the spike is halting any possibility of lifting more pandemic-related restrictions anytime soon.

The seven-day average of new infections across the region stands at 2,003 cases, the highest since it reached 2,007 cases Aug. 8. It comes as each jurisdiction has seen a rise in infections this month that health experts attribute to colder weather, family gatherings and pandemic fatigue.

In Maryland, Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) said Thursday that the county will stay in the second phase of reopening, citing an uptick in the number of new cases and increases in the county’s test positivity and infection rates.

The suburb, which has reported the most coronavirus cases in Maryland, reported 852 new infections from Oct. 18 to Oct. 24 — the most in a week since the beginning of August, Alsobrooks said.

[D.C. region hits 11-week high in coronavirus infections but avoids spikes seen elsewhere]

The county’s weekly test positivity rate ticked up from 3.9 percent a week earlier to 4.3 percent last week, while the rate of infection — measuring the number of people, on average, infected by someone with the virus — ticked up to 1.07.

“These increases are not unique to us,” she said. “We will continue to do everything we can to keep Prince Georgians safe.”

Alsobrooks urged residents not to let their guard down during the holiday season and to avoid large gatherings at Halloween — including trick-or-treating — and Thanksgiving, warning that contact tracing has found that many new cases originate from family gatherings.

“This is a holiday season like no other,” she said. “These large holiday gatherings with people outside your household are just dangerous.”

County Health Officer Ernest L. Carter said he is concerned about the numbers, adding that officials are “bracing” for another potential spike in cases.

Maryland’s seven-day average of new infections Thursday jumped to 773 cases — the state’s highest since Aug. 7 — while the 962 new cases was the most in a single day since Aug. 1. D.C.’s average rose to 76 new cases — the highest since Aug. 14 — while the 101 new cases was the most in a day since Oct. 6.

[D.C. region’s coronavirus caseload hits two-month high; officials say small gatherings are fueling rise]

Virginia’s daily average Thursday approached a record.

The state’s seven-day average stood at 1,154 cases, which is 44 cases short of a record set Aug. 8. The 1,429 new cases reported Thursday was the sixth-highest in a single day in Virginia since the start of the pandemic.

More than 30 percent of Virginia’s cases in recent days

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D.C. region hits 11-week high in coronavirus infections, but avoids spikes seen elsewhere

New coronavirus infections across the greater Washington region hit an 11-week high Wednesday, mirroring a rise seen across large swaths of the country as the pandemic’s spread worsens ahead of the cold winter months.

The rolling seven-day average of new infections across D.C., Virginia and Maryland stands at 1,949 cases, the most since the average reached 2,001 new cases on Aug. 9. Health experts said adherence to health precautions will limit further spread, but warned that residents might want to reconsider travel during the busy holiday season.

Despite the rise, caseloads in the capital region are far below those in many other states. Virginia is recording 14 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, a number that drops to 12 in Maryland and 10 in D.C. — about half the national average of 22.

By comparison, the state with the lowest rate is Vermont, at three new cases per 100,000 residents, while new daily infections have surged to 104 per 100,000 in North Dakota and South Dakota — more than 10 times the rate as the nation’s capital.

[Places in the U.S. with highest daily reported cases per capita]

Health experts said Wednesday that while the Washington region’s number of infections might rise further, they don’t expect large spikes like those in other parts of the country — assuming residents continue to follow standard guidelines of wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and not traveling for nonessential reasons.

Costi Sifri, director of hospital epidemiology at UVA Health in Charlottesville, said “virus fatigue” has started to set in, with some people opting out of precautions they took earlier in the pandemic. Cold weather is another factor, prompting residents to spend more time indoors and in closer proximity, creating an ideal environmental for the virus to spread.

“We are starting to see an uptick in the DMV of cases,” Sifri said. “But we’re fortunate that we’re one of a handful of states — Maryland, D.C. and Virginia — that are not seeing surges.”

[Coronavirus cases and metrics in D.C., Maryland and Virginia]

He credited the region’s success with the widespread following of health guidelines, which he said were accompanied by less political tension than in other parts of the country.

Sifri said that as Halloween and Thanksgiving approach, actions taken now will help to determine how the virus is spreading as the December holidays and New Year’s get closer. Combating any virus is generally more difficult during the fall and winter months, he said, and the coronavirus is no exception.

“If we don’t do things well now, it could lead to a very bad holiday season,” he said.

In Virginia, Sifri said rural parts of the state continue to see a rise in infections, a shift from more densely populated areas hit early in the pandemic.

Virginia Department of Health data shows Northern Virginia saw its average number of new daily cases rise Wednesday to 271 — the highest in that region since mid-June. But much of the state’s rise is coming

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Coronavirus tally in D.C. region hits two-month high; Maryland’s Hogan says earlier restrictions unlikely

The seven-day average of new infections across the region stands at 1,874 cases, the highest since Aug. 13, when it stood at 1,916. The number of new cases reported Tuesday in D.C., Maryland and Virginia surpassed 2,000 for the fourth time this month, mirroring a rise seen across much of the country.

Hogan said Tuesday during a WBAL radio interview that the pandemic will probably get worse before it gets better but that it’s unlikely that restrictions imposed during the height of the pandemic will return to Maryland.

“I don’t anticipate going back to some of the measures we took before,” he said.

In March, hoping to stop the spread of the virus, Hogan issued a stay-at-home order that prohibited residents from leaving their houses unless they worked at an essential job or were buying groceries or medicine. Six weeks later, he began lifting some of those restrictions.

His gradual reopening of the state did not sit well with many members of the state’s Republican Party, some of whom wanted it to occur more quickly. ReOpen Maryland held rallies across the state and in Annapolis demanding an end to coronavirus-
related restrictions.

A poll conducted by Gonzales Research & Media Strategies, released Tuesday, shows more than a quarter of Republicans say the governor has done a fair or poor job handling the crisis, while 66 percent think he has handled it well. Meanwhile, 82 percent of Democrats give Hogan high marks for his handling of the virus.

Hogan said the state is “ready” for another wave.

“We do anticipate it getting worse in the fall, having a hospital surge, which is why we built 6,000 new hospital beds,” Hogan said of preparations taken earlier this year.

He said Marylanders should also brace themselves for the effect a second wave could have on the state’s economy as people become less comfortable with going to large gatherings and entertainment venues and eating inside restaurants.

The Gonzales poll found that 41 percent of Marylanders feel comfortable returning to their regular routine, while 57 percent say they do not feel comfortable resuming their pre-pandemic lives.

“Maryland has been one of the few that has kind of avoided [a big uptick in metrics] so far, but we don’t have any magic wall that’s going to keep the virus out of our state,” Hogan said.

The 897 new cases reported Tuesday in Maryland were the most in a single day since 922 cases were reported Aug. 9, while hospitalizations and test positivity rates have also ticked upward. The state also reported nine new fatalities.

The greater Washington region Tuesday recorded 2,125 new cases and 30 additional deaths. Virginia added 1,134 cases and 19 deaths, while D.C. added 94 cases and two deaths.

Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.

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Coronavirus Positivity Rises To 9.4 Percent In Region 8

WHEATON, IL — The coronavirus positivity rate in Region 8, made up of Kane and DuPage counties, this week reached its highest level since state public health officials began publishing the data.

In the third week of October, positivity rates continued rising across all but one of the state’s 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions. As of Friday, four of the regions are subject to state-ordered mitigation measures restricting indoor dining and other activities, including DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties.

In Region 8 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mitigation plan, the positivity rate reached 9.4 percent Tuesday, the most recent day where the seven-day rolling average is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The two-county region had seen nine days of increases in the previous 10.

The average number of new daily hospitalizations in the region also continued to rise. The rounded, rolling seven-day average of admissions to hospitals with “COVID-like illnesses,” or CLI, rose to 23 people a day Tuesday, up from 18 a week earlier — and twice the region’s hospitalization rate from a month earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of counties considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19, meaning two or more county-level risk indicators show an increasing risk of the virus’ spread.

Half Illinois counties are now at the “orange” warning level: Adams, Bond, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Edwards, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Henderson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Macon, Macoupin, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rock Island, Saline, Shelby, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson and Winnebago.

RELATED: Coronavirus Mitigations In Region 8 Start Friday

(Illinois Department of Public Health)
(Illinois Department of Public Health)

Public health officials said some businesses continue to disregard social distancing and face covering requirements, noting in a statement that “mayors, local law enforcement, state’s attorneys, and other community leaders can be influential in ensuring citizens and businesses follow best practices.”

On Friday, the state public health agency reported and 3,874 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 31 deaths.

As of Thursday night, there were 2,498 people in Illinois reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19, up by 482 from a week earlier and 38 percent more people than were hospitalized with the virus two weeks ago.

Of those currently in the state’s hospitals, there were 511 patients in intensive care units, 111 more people in the ICU than a week earlier. There were 197 COVID-19 patients on ventilators, 46 more than a week earlier.

Less than 83,000 tests were reported in the previous 24 hours. The statewide preliminary seven-day average positivity rate, as a percentage of total tests, is 5.6 percent for the week ending Thursday, up by 0.5 percentage points from a week earlier.

Illinois Coronavirus Update Oct. 23: More Than Half Of Illinois Counties Now At ‘Warning Level’ — Don’t miss updates about precautions in the Chicago area as they are announced — Sign up for Patch news alerts and

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‘Troubling’ COVID-19 Trends Push Region 9 Closer To Restrictions

MCHENRY AND LAKE COUNTIES, IL — A spike in coronavirus cases and hospital admissions could mean Lake and McHenry counties could see an end to indoor dining or restrictions placed on sports activities as early as next week, health officials said Friday. Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry counties, is teetering on the edge of the state’s thresholds that could trigger additional mitigations — all set up as a way to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

McHenry County, in particular, has seen a steep spike in cases with the coronavirus positivity rate jumping nearly two percentage points in just one week. As of Oct. 14, the 7-day rolling average for COVID-19 positivity rate is 8.9 percent in McHenry County and 5.9 percent in Lake County, according to Illinois Department of Public Health stats.

Region 9 is currently at a 6.8 percent positivity rate — up from 5.6 percent a week ago.

Also on Friday, the state set a record for new coronavirus cases for a second day in a row totaling 4,554 new cases. Meanwhile, hospitalizations jumped more than 14 percent since the beginning of the week. And McHenry County was added to the state’s “watch list,” due to concerning trends in COVID-19 cases.

Similar health trends are cropping across the Chicago area and state health officials are urging mayors, police, state’s attorney’s office and other community leaders to take swift action to slow the spread of the virus as people, they say, are not abiding by rules set up to keep everyone safe and healthy.

“Public health officials are observing businesses blatantly disregarding mitigation measures, people not social distancing, gathering in large groups, and not using face coverings,” according to a news release from the state health department Friday.

Meanwhile, at least one school district in Region 9, Woodstock Community District 200, has decided to delay its move to hybrid learning due to COVID-19 trends. The school district only planned switch from remote learning to its hybrid model if McHenry County was on track on four of its COVID-19 metrics.

“According to the COVID-19 metrics provided by the McHenry County Department of Health, the county does not meet the metric for weekly count or new case increase. This number has increased for the previous two weeks and in fact has increased 51% for all of McHenry County residents and increased 42% for school age children in the last week,” District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan wrote in a letter posted on the school district’s website. “These significant increases caused the metric to fall short of the goal to move to hybrid instruction.”

In addition, area business owners are starting to worry what another shutdown could mean for their bottom line.

Melissa Blach, owner of Smoothology Smoothie Cafe in Crystal Lake, says her business has been destroyed by the pandemic, according to the Northwest Herald. Another shutdown for her cafe at 67 E. Woodstock Street if more restrictions are put in place for businesses in the county.

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