CDC scores 8 Illinois counties at medium COVID community level this week, 1 at high
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rated nine Illinois counties at elevated COVID-19 community levels in the Thursday update, down from 26 elevated counties last week. One county, Clay, was at a high level.
Calhoun, Perry, Jackson, Franklin and Williamson were among the medium level counties in Illinois, and St. Louis City and county were also at a medium. St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, Clinton, Bond and Washington counties were at a low.
The CDC’s COVID-19 community levels are updated Thursdays and based on metrics from the past seven days, including new hospital admissions per 100,000 people, average percent of staffed, inpatient beds occupied by COVID patients and new cases per 100,000 people.
People in high community level areas are advised to wear a mask indoors and on public transportation, and the federal agency says people at a higher risk of severe illness should consider precautions in medium-level areas.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 8,966 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths for the week ending March 12.
IDPH officials said in a March 17 statement the department is working with the Illinois State Board of Education to distribute high efficiency particulate air purifiers to nearly 3,000 schools across the state.
“I am very pleased to be working with our partners at ISBE to help improve air quality in Illinois’ classrooms,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in the statement. “Data over these last three years have shown us the critical importance of good ventilation to keep children and adults safe from respiratory illnesses. These HEPA air purifiers are a significant investment in our children. They will keep kids healthy and in school, ensuring more opportunities for learning and success.”
COVID-19 in St. Clair County, across Illinois
St. Clair County’s weekly COVID-19 case rate dropped from 75.09 to 62.77 per 100,000 people this week. The county’s hospitalization rate increased slightly, from an average of 6.3 to 6.9 people hospitalized per 100,000 residents, according to the CDC.
The portion of staffed inpatient beds in use by COVID-19 patients increased from 3% to 3.6% this week.
Intensive care unit availability was at 16% in southwestern Illinois as of March 16, IDPH reports, while 89% of the region’s ventilators were available. Statewide, 21% of hospital beds were available.
Test positivity was at 3.61% in St. Clair County as of March 13, the CDC reports, while the rate of tests performed had dropped by 36.85% as of March 9.
As of Thursday night, IDPH reported 824 Illinois residents were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 107 patients in the ICU and 36 people on ventilators.
Information about vaccination and testing is available online in St. Clair County.
Note: Some CDC data, such as test positivity rates, the number of tests performed and weekly case rate, update on different days. IDPH data and CDC data may not update at the same time, so metrics may vary across agencies.