Sangamon County Not At Warning Level This Week, New Cases Still Rising

Aug 7, 2020

Sangamon County came off the Illinois Department of Public Health’s list of counties at a warning level due to the spread of COVID-19.

Counties reach a warning level when there’s a change in at least two indicators that shows an increased risk of the disease – including number of deaths and test positivity. Last week, data showed Sangamon County reached 70 new cases per 100,000 people the week before, exceeding the 50 new cases target, and had a rising number of emergency room visits by people with COVID-19 symptoms.

Data released Friday, which analyzes numbers from the previous week, show just one metric – new cases per 100,000 people – exceeded the target, at 113. The other six did not.

Still, Sangamon County Department of Public Health Director Gail O’Neill said this is not reason to relax precautions.

“I don't want people becoming complacent and think that this is a good sign because it's good temporarily,” O’Neill said. “We have to stay vigilant on these activities, try to get people to wear masks and avoid crowds as best we can.”

The test positivity rate rose again to 6.2%, raising concern, O’Neill said.

Friday, the county reported 27 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 1,188.

IDPH also reported more than 2,000 newly confirmed cases statewide, a threshold it hasn’t hit since May.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday new measures that would require businesses to enforce mask mandates.

O’Neill said Sangamon County residents should still be practicing social distancing and wearing masks in public.

“We know the more these positives show up that this virus is in our community, and it's rapidly spreading,” she said. “So we need people to kind of do everything they can to try to stop the spread.”