Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports Friday 14 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including Will County.
Will is part of the newly formed Region 7, which includes Kankakee. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.
Will County tripped two metrics, including testing per capita and trips to the ER for COVID-19 like symptoms. Grundy County tripped three metrics, including testing per capita, test positivity and tests preformed metrics.
Twelve additional counties reporting at warning levels include Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Hancock, Jefferson, Kane, LaSalle, Moultrie, Perry, Union.
IDPH reports counties saw cases or outbreaks associated with weddings, businesses, birthday parties, long-term care facilities and other congregate settings, bars, sports camps, and spread among members of the same household. Public health officials cite people not wearing not wearing masks in these communities, or if they are, worn incorrectly.
“Local health departments are finding it challenging to obtain the information necessary to halt local transmission, by quickly identifying exposures from contacts of cases and businesses. Inconsistent messaging from local elected leaders are contributing to on-going transmission in some communities where there is little public concern for consequences or enforcement of social distancing, banning large gatherings, or quarantine/isolation orders.” IDPH said Friday afternoon in a statement.
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 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 perform. 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.