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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