Four counties at warning level for COVID-19


ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Officials said four Illinois counties are at a warning level for COVID-19.

“A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase,” said Illinois Department of Public Health officials in a news release. On Friday, they identified Adams, LaSalle, Peoria and Randolph counties as those at a warning level. This came after officials said the counties saw outbreaks “associated with business and risky behavior.

In Adams County, officials said there were larger social events, health care exposure, travel to hotspots including in Missouri and Iowa, places of worships and youth sports.

Officials said there were large family and social gatherings in LaSalle County. There was also an increase in cases among people under 29 years old; younger people visiting bars and going to larger social events and inconsistent mask requirements.

In Peoria County, there was an increase in virus cases among people under 29 years old. There were also large gatherings including 4th of July parties and people traveling to states like Florida, Iowa, Texas and Wisconsin.

Health officials said in Randolph County, numerous bars did not comply with social distancing and mask-wearing. They said there was also a large party with more than 200 people.

There are several indicators IDPH uses to determine if a county is experiencing “stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increase COVID-19 risk in the county.” A warning is triggered when the following happens:

  • If there are 50 or more cases per 100,000 people in the county
  • When the number of deaths increases more than 20 percent for two consecutive weeks.
  • When 7-day test positive rates rise above 8 percent.
  • If there are less than 20 percent of intensive care units available in the region.
  • When the weekly percent of COVID-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20 percent for two consecutive weeks.
  • When, for two consecutive weeks, the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-like-illness increases by more than 20 percent.

Additionally, IDPH uses tests performed as a metric to give context and figure out if more testing is needed in the county. They also look at the number of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks. They use those to understand large increases in cases.

IDPH officials said these metrics are intended to be used for awareness in communities and help them make decisions about personal/family gatherings as well as different activities. “The metrics are updated weekly, from the Sunday-Saturday of the prior week.”

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