Contact Tracers ask ‘Pick up the Phone’ in Illinois as Region 7 hits record, 11.4% Sunday


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MANTENO – Sunday once again saw new records in the State of Illinois as the statewide rolling seven-day positivity rate reached 8.0% for the first time since the Department of Public Health (IDPH) began tracking the data.

The agency announced Sunday afternoon 6,980 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 35 deaths.  Among today’s newly reported deaths included three residents of Will County.

Earlier this week, Kankakee County Health Department Administrator John Bevis warned residents last week not to chase additional testing to prove a ‘false positive’ after getting a positive COVID testing result.

“If you’ve tested positive, and you’re in isolation and or quarantine, you are to be in that isolation or quarantine for the set number of days. If you were positive here, and then you test negative in two days, but you still had five days to go, that’s not your get out of jail card.” Bevis stressed during last week’s County Board meeting. “A number of individuals, agencies, and companies are doing that, and it’s wrong. Because that’s then putting people that are potentially still transmission-able out back into the public.”

Bevis added the tests are designed to prevent organizations from shutting their doors entirely.

“I believe this was designed to help these situations where you have the courthouse, for example, a school, an assembly line, where you have somebody who tests positive and you can take some precautions, as oppose to four days later you find out you have to close the plant,” Bevis warned, explaining the standard quarantine efforts used globally for months to combat the virus to local County Board members.

Region 7’s seven-day positivity continued to climb and set new records Sunday.  The seven-day rolling positivity rating now sits at 11.4%. It’s the 25th straight day of increases in positivity within the region. As of Friday, 82% of COVID cases reported in October remained active in Kankakee County.

The Kankakee County Health Department is asking residents to work with their staff as they continue to contact trace across the area. “The Contact Tracing call is a 312 area code. It just is, we can’t do anything about that. Statewide, it’s the same number. It’s 312-777-1999. It should come across as “COVID CONTACT TRACING”,” Bevis explained during the meeting.

Local hospitals have already begun to restrict visitors once again for the first time since restrictions were lifted. Morris Hospital was the first of local area hospitals to report new restrictions for visitors that went into effect on October 31st.

Last week, County Health reported an average of nearly six residents admitted to area hospitals per day in Kankakee for COVID-19. Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner reported the COVID death tolls had risen to 79 Sunday during a weekend update, with five of the deaths during the month of October.  “The youngest decedent was 48 years old and the oldest was 97 years old.” The coroner said in Sunday’s report. 

On the testing front, this past Thursday, 939 tests were processed in Kankakee County resulting in 101 confirmed cases for a seven-day rolling average of 8.9%, a new record for the County.  In Will County, 3,263  tests were processed the same day with 447 confirmed cases for a 12% weekly rolling average. 

Since March, 417,280 cases and 9,792 deaths have been announced in Illinois.



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