October 20, 2020
DeWitt Co Moves to the Warning Level for Coronavirus Disease
DeWitt Co has moved to the Warning Level for the first time in the IDPH measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, three measures of the 8 are higher than in weeks past as case numbers have spiked in the past week: the weekly incidence rate (going from 101 per 100,000 people to 108 per 100,000 people), the test positivity rate (going from 5.2% to 8.6%), and the number of tests performed (dropping from 308 to 244 tests processed this week).
"I was hopeful we could manage our way through this pandemic without appearing on the warning list, but that isn't the case here," said David Remmert, Public Health Administrator for the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department. Specifically one of the factors noted by staff for the increase in cases were gatherings around the Labor Day weekend. "I also think part of the reason is that we simply don't see DeWitt County populations going in for testing as we do in other counties. For example, in Piatt Co, almost 3 times as many tests were performed," said Remmert.
To mitigate the spike in cases, the Health Department is encouraging mask wearing, maintaining social distances, and refraining from hosting/attending indoor events and parties. The Health Department has also ramped up its ability to provide contact tracing. "We have notified all food services to encourage them to implement stricter protocols among staff and patrons at restaurants and bars, and we've hired 3 additional staff this week to keep up with our efforts at contact tracing. This is a best-practice method of reducing the spread of infection" Remmert said. Contact tracing is a process of contacting cases and contacts of cases to prevent further spread of the disease. In addition, Remmert said it was important during this heightened period of incidence that vulnerable populations, those with health issues and other co-morbidities, stay home as much as possible.
"Now is the time for both of our counties to double down in their personal efforts to stop the spread of this disease", Remmert said, "look, this is a highly contagious disease and while you may not necessarily have anything more than mild symptoms, you are capable of transmitting it to others. I worry about the spread to vulnerable populations."
24 Illinois Counties at Warning Level for Coronavirus Disease
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 24 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.
Twenty-four counties are currently reported at a warning level – Bond, Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Edwards, Effingham, Greene, Jasper, Jo Daviess, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Rock Island, St. Clair, Shelby, Washington, Wayne, Williamson, Wabash, and Union.
Although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with university and college parties as well as college sports teams, large gatherings and events, bars and clubs, weddings and funerals, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, manufacturing plants, schools, and cases among the community at large. General transmission of the virus in the community is also increasing.
Public health officials are observing people not social distancing, gathering in large groups, and not using face coverings. Some communities lack access to convenient testing before people become symptomatic. In some counties, local law enforcement and states’ attorneys are not enforcing important mitigation measures like social distancing and the wearing of face coverings. Additionally, some people refuse to participate in contact tracing and are not providing information on close contacts or answering the phone.
Several counties are taking swift action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow spread of the virus, including increasing testing opportunities, stressing the importance of testing to providers, hiring additional contact tracers, working with schools, meeting with local leaders, and educating businesses and large venues about the importance of mitigation measures.
IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county. A county is considered at the warning level when at least two of the following metrics triggers a warning.
- • 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.
These metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do. The metrics are updated weekly, from the Sunday-Saturday of the prior week.
A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.
IDPH Update 9/18/20
Almost 62,000 tests reported in 24 hours
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 2,120 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 20 additional confirmed deaths.
- Cook County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 male 80s
- DeKalb County: 1 infant
- DuPage County: 1 male 40s
- Edgar County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s
- Franklin County: 1 male 50s
- Lake County: 1 male 80s
- McHenry County: 1 male 60s
- St. Clair County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- Tazewell County: 1 female 30s, 1 female 80s
- Will County: 1 male 70s
- Williamson County: 1 female 80s, 2 females 90s
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 270,327 cases, including 8,411 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from September 11 – September 17 is 3.6%. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 61,918 specimens for a total of 4,982,856. As of last night, 1,481 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 329 patients were in the ICU and 149 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH is now reporting separately both confirmed and probable cases and deaths on its website. Reporting probable cases will help show the potential burden of COVID-19 illness and efficacy of population-based non-pharmaceutical interventions. IDPH will update these data once a week.
*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered. Information for a death previously reported has changed, therefore, today’s numbers have been adjusted. For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.