11 Illinois Counties at Warning Level for Coronavirus Disease — Kane Off Target in 1 of 8 Categories

11 Illinois Counties at Warning Level for Coronavirus Disease — Kane Off Target in 1 of 8 Categories

The Illinois Department of Public Health today reported 11 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease.  A county enters a warning level when it experiences an increase in two or more COVID-19 risk indicators from the state’s COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigation plan.

Eleven counties are currently at a warning level – Cass, Gallatin, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Perry, Randolph, Saline, Sangamon, St. Clair, and White.

These counties saw outbreaks associated with business operations and activities posing higher risk for disease spread, including school graduation ceremonies, a rise in cases among late teens and 20s, parties and social gatherings, people going to bars, long-term care outbreaks, clusters of cases associated with restaurants and churches, and big sports events including soccer, golf, and softball tournaments.

Residents of many communities are not wearing face coverings that have been proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Public health officials are finding that most contacts to cases are testing positive as well.

Several counties are taking swift action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow the spread of the virus.

Examples include the mayor of Springfield requiring bar employees to wear masks or be subject to fines, Perry County hospitals and nursing homes temporarily suspending visitors, and the state’s attorney in Jackson County allowing the local food ordinance to be used to enforce COVID-19 guidance at restaurants and bars.

IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.

  • New cases per 100,000 people.  If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
  • Number of deaths.  This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
  • Weekly test positivity.  This metric indicates a warning when the seven-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
  • ICU availability.  If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
  • Weekly emergency department visits.   This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
  • Weekly hospital admissions.  A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
  • Tests performed.  This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
  • Clusters. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

These metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do.  The metrics are updated weekly, with data from the Sunday-Saturday of the prior week.

A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.

Kane County Warned in 1 of 8 Categories

Kane County has been warned in one of the eight categories the state uses to determine warning signs of increased activity.

As you can see by the graphic at right, the category is New Cases Per 100,000. The county is at 66 per 100K for Week 30, which ran from July 19 to July 25.

The threshold is 50 cases per 100,000.

Here’s how Kane fairs in the state’s eight categories:

  • New cases per 100,000 people.  WARNING — We are at 66.
  • Number of deaths.  TARGET — Deaths were at four for Week 30 and were decreasing.
  • Weekly test positivity.  TARGET — Kane County was at 5.8% for Week 30. That’s higher than it had been and closer to the 8% threshold than we would like.
  • Tests performed.  TARGET — Kane County conducted 7,404 tests. “This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.”
  • Weekly emergency department visits.   TARGET — Kane is a 15.8%. To hit the warning, the county must record 20% for two consecutive weeks.
  • Weekly hospital admissions. TARGET — Kane is at 157, which apparently means that numbers are “decreasing or stable.”
  • Clusters. NO TARGET — Kane is at 2.9%. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and has no specific target.
  • ICU availability.  TARGET — According to the graphic, 36% of Kane County’s ICU beds are available. The ratio has to be less than 20% to trigger a warning.

SOURCE: State of Illinois news release and website