Half Of All Illinois Counties Now At COVID-19 Warning Level

Oct 23, 2020

Credit IDPH

The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday announced 51 counties are considered to be at a warning level for spread of the coronavirus disease.

A county enters the warning level when two or more risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

Those at a warning level are Adams, Bond, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Edwards, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Henderson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Macon, Macoupin, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rock Island, Saline, Shelby, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week said a surge in cases is happening in all areas of Illinois.  He warned a wave of COVID-19 could be coming that will surpass what the state experienced in the spring. 

Four regions of Illinois have additional mitigations in place, which include a ban on indoor dining and bar service. Those are Region 1 in northwest Illinois, Region 5 in southern Illinois, Regions 7 in Will and Kankakee counties and Region 8 in DuPage and Kane counties. Gov. Pritzker has raised the possibility of fines and license revocations for establishments that fail to follow the rules. 

IDPH said reasons for counties to reach a warning level varies, but some common factors are associated with gatherings in people’s homes, weddings and funerals, bars and clubs, university and college parties as well as college sports teams, family gatherings, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, schools, and cases among the community at large, especially people in their 20s. 

The risk indicators that can trigger a warning include:

 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.