The Illinois Department of Public Health today (Friday, Oct. 2, 2020) reported 28 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease. There were 17 counties on the warning list last week.
A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.
The 28 counties at a warning level are Bond, Boone, Brown, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, DeKalb, DeWitt, Fayette, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Massac, Monroe, Morgan, Pulaski, Putnam, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Wabash, Washington, and Winnebago.
The nearest county to Kane on the warning list is DeKalb, which joined the list this week. According to the County Level COVID-19 Risk Metrics page of the IDPH website, DeKalb exceeds the state benchmarks in two categories: New Cases Per 100,000 and Emergency Department Visits For COVID-19-like Illness.
DeKalb is at 133 new cases per 100,000 population and 4.1% of emergency department visits. Data is from Week 39, the period of Sept. 20 through Sept. 26, 2020.
Kane County is at the warning level for having 89 new cases per 100,000 population.
Several counties are taking swift action to help slow spread of the virus, including increasing testing opportunities, stressing the importance of testing to providers, hiring additional contact tracers, working with schools, meeting with local leaders, educating businesses and large venues about the importance of mitigation measures, and distributing donated masks.
COVID-19 County Metrics
- 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 7-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, 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.
SOURCE: IDPH news release
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