Illinois rolls out new county level COVID-19 metrics
11 counties are now at a warning level due to high levels of COVID-19
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KWQC) - Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker introduced the “It Only Works If You Wear It” campaign today that’s meant to encourage a wider use of mask wearing amongst Illinois communities. The news comes as new positive case rates have increased over the past two weeks. Along with the campaign, Illinois is now using eight new metrics to measure COVID-19 rates at a county level.
Those metrics 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 perform. 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 a large increase in cases.
As of July 31, Jo Daviess County and 10 other counties are currently listed at a warning level. Jo Daviess is at a warning level due to new cases per 100,000 people and weekly test positivity. The concern is growing that Jo Daviess’ levels could spread to nearby counties.
“Jo Daviess was the first county but I was very up front with all of you that it could be any of our counties,” said Winnebago County Health Department Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell.
In a statement from a Jo Daviess County Health Administrator, they said “Hopefully we can turn our numbers around. We have seen a rise in social gatherings with larger groups. Jo Daviess County residents also have a lot of interaction with Dubuque and Dubuque County which has also seen a rise in numbers lately and a red warning from the White House metrics.”
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