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Four counties at COVID-19 warning level

UNDATED (WREX) — Four Illinois counties are at what the state calls a warning level for novel coronavirus disease. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 cases increase, according to officials.

These counties saw outbreaks associated with business and risky behavior, including:

Adams County:  larger social events, health care exposure, travel to hotspots including those in neighboring Missouri and Iowa, places of worship, and youth sports.

LaSalle County: large family and social gatherings, increase in cases among people younger than 29 years, younger people visiting bars and attending larger social events, and inconsistencies with masking requirements.

Peoria County: increases in cases among people younger than 29 years, large gatherings including 4th of July parties, and people traveling to Florida, Iowa, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Randolph County: congregate settings, numerous bars not complying with distancing and masking, a large party with more than 200 people, and among households.

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.

• New cases per 100,000 people.  If there are 50 or more new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
• Number of deaths.  This metric indicates a warning when the 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 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

Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga is the content manager at 13 WREX. She joined the team in 2015 as the 5, 6 and 10PM news producer after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She was 13 WREX’s assignment editor from 2017 to 2018.

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