COOK COUNTY, IL — The number of new hospitalizations of people suspected to be suffering from COVID-19 declined in the Cook County suburbs during the third week of August, even as coronavirus positivity rates in the region continued to rise.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week issued the first set of new restrictions triggered by regional coronavirus mitigation metrics and as state public health officials announced an increasing number of Illinois counties have reached a COVID-19 "warning level."
In Region 10, which is made up of all of suburban Cook County, the number of coronavirus tests that came back positive increased from 5.9 percent to 6.5 percent over the course of the week ending Tuesday, the most recent day where data is available.
During the same period, the number of people admitted to hospitals in suburban parts of the county with symptoms of the virus increased.
Suburban Cook County began the month with a 5.8 percent positivity rate, which was up from 4.5 percent on July 1. It now has the fourth-highest positivity rate of the state's 11 regions.
A rate below 5 percent indicates an adequate number of tests are being conducted, according to Johns Hopkins University. Illinois officials have set a threshold of 8 percent positivity for new regional restrictions to kick in.
That happened for the first time this week in the Metro East area after Region 4 saw its positivity rates exceed the threshold for more than three consecutive days. The new restrictions mean bars, restaurants and casinos must close by 11 p.m., no one may congregate at the bar and reservations are required, while gatherings will be capped at 25 people, among other things.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Monday there are multiple indicators that the virus is circulating more widely in the community.
"Region 4 is the first of the 11 regions to reach resurgence criteria, but we hope it will be the last," Ezike said. "By implementing additional mitigations, such as decreased indoor capacities and limiting hours, we hope to reduce the spread of the virus in the Metro East, and also help prevent an increase in cases, hospitalizations, and death in other regions of the state."
There are 20 counties considered at a warning level for coronavirus, state officials said Friday. They include Bureau, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Jefferson, Logan, Madison, Monroe, Moultrie, Randolph, St. Clair, Union, White, Will and Williamson counties.
Other than three days with average coronavirus positivity rates above 8 percent, restrictions can also be triggered by a combination of seven days out of the past 10 with increasing positivity rates — plus either a decline in hospital bed capacity below 20 percent or an increase for seven of the last 10 days in the rounded average number of new hospital admissions with "COVID like illness."
As of Thursday night, there were 1,526 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across Illinois, according to the state health department. Of those, 351 were in intensive care and 121 were on ventilators.
That is 86 fewer people than were hospitalized with the virus a week earlier, with the number of people in intensive care increasing by five and the number on ventilators decreasing by five.
In the suburban Cook County region, a daily average of 19 people were newly hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms. That is a decline of one compared to one week earlier and three people fewer, on average, that the week before that.
The region's percentage of available surgical beds and beds in intensive care units each declined by 1 percentage point during the week.
Data through Tuesday was released Friday. Find the latest metrics from all regions below:
Region 1 (Rockford EMS region)
4.5 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, up from 3.7 percent a week earlier
Four days of positivity increases and three days of declines over the past 10 days
Average of three new hospital admissions with symptoms of COVID-19, up from two last week.
42 percent of surgical beds and 54 percent of ICU beds are available, a decrease of 1 percent in ICU beds compared to the prior week.
Region 2 (Peoria EMS region)
5.8 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, up by 0.2 percentage points compared to a week earlier
Seven days of positivity increases in past 10 for the fourth week in a row
Eight people hospitalized a day, on average, down from nine a week before
36 percent of surgical beds and 41 percent of ICU beds in the region remain available, compared to 40 percent of surgical beds and and 44 percent of ICU beds the prior week
Region 3 (Springfield EMS region)
5.5 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, down from 6.1 percent a week earlier
Five days of positivity increases out of the past 10
An average of five hospital admissions in past 10 days, the same as a week earlier
34 percent of surgical beds and 43 percent of ICU beds are available in the region, a decrease in 1 percentage points in surgical beds and increase of 3 percentage points in ICU bends during the past week.
Region 4 (Edwardsville EMS region)
9.4 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, exceeding the key threshold set by the state and triggering new coronavirus restrictions in the Metro East region, and up from 8.2 percent a week earlier.
Eight days of increases in positivity rates over the past 10 days
An average of four daily hospitalizations, the same as the prior week
31 percent of surgical beds, up from 29 percent a week earlier, and 36 percent of ICU beds, down from from 42 percent, remain available at hospitals in the region.
Region 5 (Marion EMS region)
7.5 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, remaining steady from a week earlier
Four days out of the previous 10 with increases in positivity rates, three days with decreases
Two people a day hospitalized on average with symptoms of COVID-19, the same as a week earlier
47 percent of surgical beds are available, 2 percentage points fewer than a week earlier. The percentage of available ICU beds dropped 6 points for the second week in a row, falling to 52 percent.
Region 6 (Champaign EMS region)
1.9 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, down by 0.6 percentage points compared to last week
One day of positivity increases, three days of declines in past 10 days.
An average of five people a day are being hospitalized in the region, down from eight a week earlier
34 percent of surgical beds and 43 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 36 percent of surgical beds and 40 percent of ICU beds last week.
Region 7 (Will, Kankakee counties)
7.9 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, up by 1.3 percentage points over the past week and two points in the past two weeks.
Five days of increases in the regions positivity rate over the past 10 days
11 new daily hospital admissions, down from an average of 14 a week earlier.
29 percent of surgical beds and 30 percent of ICU beds are available, a decrease of 2 percentage points in ICU beds compared to the prior week.
Region 8 (Kane, DuPage counties)
5.2 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, up by 0.3 percentage points compared to the prior week
Four days of increasing positivity over the past 10.
An average of 12 new hospital admissions a day, up from 10 the previous week
28 percent of surgical beds and 41 percent of ICU beds remain available, both are down 2 percentage points compared to a week earlier
Region 9 (Lake, McHenry counties)
5.7 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, the same as a week prior
Three days out of the past 10 have seen increasing positivity rates
An average of eight people were hospitalized a day, up from seven a week earlier
37 percent of surgical beds and 53 percent of ICU beds are available at hospitals in the region, a 1 point increase in available surgical beds.
Region 10 (Suburban Cook County)
6.5 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, an increase of 0.6 percentage points compared to a week earlier
Five days out of the past 10 have had increasing positivity rates
There were an average of 19 new hospitalizations a day, down from 20 a week earlier and 22 the week before that.
27 percent of surgical beds and 33 percent of ICU beds are available, a decrease of 1 percentage point in both
Region 11 (Chicago)
5.2 percent positivity rate on Aug. 18, up by 0.1 percentage points over the past week
Four days out of last 10 with increasing positivity
20 people hospitalized a day, on average, up from 18 a week earlier
26 percent of surgical beds and 41 percent of ICU beds are available, an increase of 1 percentage point in available ICU beds over the past week.
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