The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported Friday 13 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), include Iroquois County.
Iroquois County was issued a warning after it tripped three metrics used by IDPH, including cases per capita, Test Positivity, and tests preformed.
Iroquois entered the warning for cases after 163 new cases were reported from July 26th to August 1st in Iroquois. On Thursday, County officials reported six new cases, ranging from men and women in their 20s to 60s. A warning for cases is only triggered after 50 people per 100,000 test positive for the virus. Test Positivity rates in Iroquois County increased to 8.7 percent, above the targeted 8%, with Tests Performed in the County for the week at nearly 600 (597 tests preformed).
In all, 256 cases have been reported in Iroquois County to date. Over 6,300 tests have been performed in the County to date as of Thursday afternoon.
In Grundy County, 92 cases were reported for the week with over 1,500 tests preformed for the same period, which tripped warning indicators.
Neighboring Kankakee County also triggered a warning per capita with 78 cases reported for the period. Winnebago County was the only other northern county in Illinois that tripped metrics set forth by IDPH.
A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase. Others reporting at a warning level now include Cass, Coles, Jackson, Monroe, Perry, Saline, St. Clair, Tazewell, Union, Williamson, Winnebago.
IDPH reports each of the 13 counties saw cases or outbreaks associated with businesses, long-term care facilities, large social gatherings, and out of state travel. There have been several instances of multiple cases among family members in the same, large household. Students returning to universities and colleges are also driving the recent increase in cases in several communities. Many students are not wearing face coverings or social distancing and are gathering in large groups and at bars.
In Iroquois, Gilman Health Care Center lead all long-term care facilities with 72 cases reported and five deaths at the Center. Ascension Presence Merkle Knipprath is now reporting 51 cases and four deaths, with Prairieview Lutheran Homes reporting three cases and zero deaths.
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. Other warning factors are triggered after increased deaths, weekly positivity rates rise along with other indicators.