Will-Kankakee Coronavirus Positivity Rate Reaches 10.5 Percent

JOLIET, IL — Coronavirus positivity rates and the number of new hospitalizations of people with symptoms of COVID-19 rose sharply across nearly every region of Illinois during the final week in October. All but one of the state’s 11 mitigation regions now have restrictions on indoor service at bars and restaurants and gatherings of more than 25 people.

In Region 7 — Will and Kankakee counties — indoor dining was again halted after the region’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate remained above 8 percent for three days last week.

For the week ending Tuesday, the percentage of specimens tested that came back positive for the virus rose by 1.3 percentage points to 10.5 percent in the two-county region — a new record for the region since state public health officials began reporting the data in June. The next day, the seven-day rolling average rose again to 10.8 percent, setting another record.

New hospitalizations in the south suburban region also rose during the week, according to the rounded seven-day rolling average of daily hospital admissions of patients with what state public health officials classify as “COVID-like illnesses,” or CLI.

The rate has more than tripled since the start of October. As of Tuesday, an average of 21 people were newly hospitalized with symptoms of the virus every day, up from 16 a week earlier.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the state needs everyone to do their part to change the trend.

“We are on the precipice of the entire state entering into mitigation,” Ezike said Friday, announcing the new mitigation measures for Region 6 in East Central Illinois.

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Restrictions were added to 10 of Illinois' 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions in October after coronavirus metrics triggered fail-safe measures established over the summer by state public health officials. (Illinois Department of Public Health)
Restrictions were added to 10 of Illinois’ 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions in October after coronavirus metrics triggered fail-safe measures established over the summer by state public health officials. (Illinois Department of Public Health)

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“These last few regions have seen rapid increases in test positivity, one right after another, because of increasing disease spread throughout our communities,” Ezike said. “We need all people to adhere to both the community mitigation measures and well as personal and family measures so we can swiftly turn our entire state around.”

As of Friday, there were 49 counties across the state, including several in the Chicago area, that are considered to be at the “orange” warning level, which means two or more countywide risk indicators suggest a heightened risk of the virus.

They include: Adams, Alexander, Bond, Boone, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Effingham, Ford, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Henderson, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lee, Macon, Marion, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Shelby, Stephenson, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson and Winnebago counties.

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On Friday, public health officials announced 6,943 new confirmed cases

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Will-Kankakee Could See Mitigations Again As Positivity Spikes

WILL COUNTY, IL — As coronavirus numbers in the state continue to move in the wrong direction, the Will-Kankakee region could also once again see new restrictions. As of Saturday, Region 7 is showing a spike in positivity rate and hospitalization, with a decrease in the availability of medical/surgical and ICU beds.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health website, the region has a positivity rate of 7.3 percent, which is a significant increase from Thursday’s 6.6 percent. The region is also seeing 8 consecutive days of positivity increase, putting it in the warning level for this metric.

Region 7 is also at a warning level for the increase in hospitalization and as of Saturday, the numbers have increased for 7 consecutive days. There are currently 25 percent medical and 26 percent surgical beds available. This has decreased as well and will reach warning levels if the numbers fall below 20 percent.

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.

Five weeks after being dropped from the IDPH’s list of state counties at the warning level, and four weeks after additional mitigations were dropped for Region 7, Will County again finds itself listed as one of Illinois’ “warning level” counties.

Will County Health Department Executive Director Sue Olenek said in a release the top priority right now is for Will County residents to follow all COVID-19 precautions, with the immediate goal being no return of additional restrictions.

Counties appear on the IDPH Warning Level list when they have hit two of a variety of factors showing signs of increased Coronavirus activity. One is a rate of new COVID-19 cases that is over 50 per 100,000 residents. For Will County, the week of Oct. 4-10 showed 133 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents (the previous week’s level was 87). The second factor Will County hit was a substantial increase in the amount of COVID-19 deaths, a release from the health department states.

Will County had 13 deaths for the week of Oct. 4-10, after a very slow period of COVID-19 deaths in late September.

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This article originally appeared on the Plainfield Patch

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