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 againafter 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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“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