Region 9 Hospitalizations Rise, Coronavirus Positivity Up To 5.8%

WAUKEGAN, IL — New regional COVID-19 mitigations were lifted on one area of Illinois this week and imposed on another, as rising coronavirus positivity rates in neighboring regions risk triggering additional restrictions.

In the Lake-McHenry County region, Region 9, the coronavirus positivity rate rose by nearly a full percentage point in the week ending Tuesday, the most recent data available from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The positivity rate of 5.8 percent was the highest in the past three weeks and among the highest in the state.

During that same period, daily new hospitalizations of patients with “COVID-like illnesses,” or CLI, more than doubled, rising from a rounded rolling average of four people a day on Sept. 14 to nine people a day on Oct. 6.

In Lake County, increases in the percentage of emergency department visits of patients with coronavirus symptoms and the per capita number of new cases detected led state public health officials to declare the state at warning level — “orange” on the county-level risk metrics map.

The target for new cases per 100,000 people is less than 50, but Lake County has 90 — and the percentage of emergency room visits consisting of people with CLI increased to 4.3 percent. In McHenry County, which is not at a warning level, there were 63 new cases per 100,000 people and only 1.8 percent of ER visits were for CLI.

Only one region is currently subject to increased restrictions to limit the spread of coronavirus as part of the 11-region Restore Illinois COVID-19 resurgence plan, as of Friday. It is the third region where public health officials have tightened limits on gatherings and businesses due to high positivity rates.

In Region 1, the Rockford emergency medical services region, the seven-day rolling average coronavirus positivity rate has remained above 8 percent for more than two weeks. Three days above the threshold leads to mandatory mitigation measures. Restrictions on indoor service at bars and restaurants will be in effect in the nine-county region until its rate stays below 6.5 percent for three consecutive days.

That happened this week in Region 4, where the “tier 2” restrictions on businesses and gatherings were first imposed on Aug. 18. The Metro East region hit a high of 10.5 percent positivity in late August before coming down to 5.8 by Friday, when public health officials announced the restrictions had been lifted. Mitigations were placed on Region 7, Will and Kankakee counties, from Aug. 27 and lifted Sept. 18.

The region with the highest coronavirus positivity rate outside of the Rockford region is Region 5 in Southern Illinois. The Marion emergency medical services region saw its positivity rate spike from 5.6 percent to 7 percent this week. If the rolling average continues to rise at that rate, the region could be on pace for additional restrictions as soon as next week.

The next highest rate was in Region 6 excluding Champaign County. Public health officials have begun calculating the region’s positivity rate without counting results from the University of Illinois’ comprehensive saliva testing program. Outside of the county, the positivity rate was 6.7 percent, although it had declined by half a point from a week earlier.

The number of counties in the state at a warning level on the IDPH decreased by two over the past week. The 26 counties where two or more county-level risk indicators show an increasing COVID-19 threat are: Case, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Effingham, Fayette, Henderson, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Lee, Mason, Massac, Pulaski, Richland, Saline, Shelby, Union, Vermilion, Whiteside, Winnebago and Warren.

As of Thursday night, there were 1,812 people hospitalized in Illinois with COVID-19, 134 more than a week earlier.

Of the people in the state’s hospitals, there were 395 patients in intensive care units, up by 23 compared to a week earlier. The number of people on ventilators decreased by nine to 162.

On Friday, state public health officials reported 35 confirmed deaths and 2,818 new confirmed coronavirus cases from over 71,000 specimens reported during the past 24 hours. The preliminary statewide seven-day positivity rate was 3.8 percent of cases, out of all total tests conducted, an increase of 0.4 percent over the past week.

Illinois Coronavirus Update Oct. 10: More Than 2,000 Coronavirus Cases Reported For Second Day In A Row — Don’t miss updates about precautions in the Chicago area as they are announced — Sign up for Patch news alerts and newsletters.

Data through Tuesday was released Friday. Find the latest metrics from all regions below:

Region 1 (Rockford EMS region)

  • 8.8 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, up by 0.1 percentage points in the past week , new COVID-19 mitigation restrictions went in place in the area on Oct. 3

  • Nine daily new hospital admissions of patients with coronavirus symptoms, up from seven last week and four two weeks ago

  • 36 percent of surgical beds and 46 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 37 percent of surgical beds and 55 percent of ICU beds the week before

Region 2 (Peoria EMS region)

  • 5 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, 0.2 percentage points lower than a week earlier

  • 13 new daily hospital admissions of people with COVID-19 symptoms, two more than the prior week

  • 36 percent of surgical beds and 39 percent of ICU beds are available, 3 points fewer surgical beds and the same amount of ICU beds as last week

Region 3 (Springfield EMS region)

  • 5.2 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, down by 0.5 percentage points from a week earlier and reversing several weeks of increases

  • Six new daily hospital admissions, the same as a week earlier

  • 32 percent of surgical beds and 36 percent of ICU beds are available, the same percentage of surgical beds and 6 percentage points fewer available ICU beds than a week earlier

Region 4 (Edwardsville EMS region)

  • 5.8 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, down from 7.5 percent a week earlier. The Pritzker administration lifted additional restrictions on the region Friday

  • Four new daily hospital admissions with COVID-19 symptoms, the same number as the prior week

  • 27 percent of surgical beds and 43 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 30 percent of surgical beds and 38 percent of ICU beds a week earlier

Region 5 (Marion EMS region)

  • 7 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, up from 5.6 percent during the prior week

  • Six new daily hospital admissions with CLI in the region, on average, twice as many as a week earlier

  • 47 percent of surgical beds and 58 percent of ICU beds are available, which is 1 percentage point fewer surgical beds and 4 points fewer ICU beds than a week prior

Region 6 (Champaign EMS region)

  • 6.7 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6 when excluding Champaign County, a decline of 0.5 percentage points compared to a week earlier. When including the University of Illinois comprehensive saliva testing program, the rate is below 2 percent. Last week, public health official announced if the rest of the region reaches thresholds for additional restriction, they will also apply to Champaign County

  • 10 new daily hospital admissions with coronavirus symptoms, up from eight the prior week

  • 32 percent of surgical beds and 48 percent of ICU beds are available, an decrease of 3 percentage points in surgical beds and 7 points in ICU bed availability during the prior week

Region 7 (Will, Kankakee counties)

  • 5.5 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, unchanged from a week earlier

  • Nine people a day were being admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, up from eight last week

  • 29 percent of surgical beds and 33 percent of ICU beds are available at hospitals in the region, the same as a week earlier

Region 8 (Kane, DuPage counties)

  • 5.1 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, down by 0.4 percentage points during the prior week

  • 14 people a day, on average, were being hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms, up from 12 a week earlier

  • 28 percent of surgical beds and 45 percent of ICU beds remain available, 1 point fewer available surgical beds and 1 point more ICU bed availability than a week ago

Region 9 (Lake, McHenry counties)

  • 5.8 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, up by 0.9 percentage points from a week earlier

  • Eight new hospital admissions with coronavirus systems every day, on average, up from six a week earlier

  • 38 percent of surgical beds and 49 percent of ICU beds were available, up from 34 percent of surgical beds and 47 percent of ICU beds last week

Region 10 (Suburban Cook County)

  • 5 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 6, down by 0.2 percentage points during the prior week

  • 31 people a day, on average, were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, up from 23 a week earlier

  • 23 percent of surgical beds were available and 29 percent of ICU beds were available in the region’s hospitals, 1 percentage point fewer surgical beds and 3 points fewer ICU beds compared to a week earlier

Region 11 (Chicago)

  • 4.3 percent positivity rate on Oct. 6, down by 0.3 percentage points from a week earlier

  • 23 people a day, on average were admitted to hospitals in the city with coronavirus symptoms, down by one from the prior week

  • 23 percent of surgical beds were available and 30 percent of ICU beds remained available, compared to 24 percent of surgical beds and 34 percent of ICU beds a week earlier

This article originally appeared on the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch

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