OAK FOREST, IL — October is officially behind us, but COVID-19, not so much. The pandemic has been upon us for over seven months and cases continue to rise here in Illinois.
Indoor dining at restaurants in nearly every region in Illinois was put on pause last week, as state public health officials announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Indoor service at bars and restaurants in suburban Cook County are now off-limits, all outdoor eating or drinking has to stop by 11 p.m. and gatherings are limited to a maximum of 25 people.
This action marks the first time the additional mitigation measures are applied to suburban Cook County. Similar restrictions are already in place in Regions 7 and 8, including DuPage, Kane, Kankakee and Will counties.
Johns Hopkins University and Medicine reports there have been a total of 46,509,232 COVID-19 cases around the world— as of Nov. 1. Over nine-million of those cases are here in the United States.
As of Oct. 30, Cook County has had a total of 76,070 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health. Cook has also reported 2,062 deaths since the start of the pandemic, and a 9.2 percent test positivity rate in the last week.
Here in Oak Forest, the public health department reported 52 new cases in the past week. Oak Forest has had a 1.92 percent increase in confirmed cases in the past 14 days, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the city has had 760 confirmed cases, the health department reports.
Hospitalizations and Equipment
Across suburban Cook County, the positivity rate and the rate of hospital admissions has been rising sharply. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that there are 3,294 people across Illinois in the hospital for COVID-19 or are under investigation. About 14 percent of hospital beds are being occupied by these patients and 692 of these patients are in the ICU, as of Oct. 31.
Illinois occupies a total of 5,702 ventilators and the IDPH reports 21 percent of COVID patients in hospitals are on ventilators. IDPH said 77 percent of the state’s ventilators are available.
Cases By Race/Ethnicity
In suburban Cook, the public health department reports case rates per 100,000 people to mostly affect the Hispanic/Latino community. Based off a group of 100,000 people, 3,994 of those individuals are Hispanic/Latino.
In addition, 2,603 of these individuals are Black, 1,382 are Asian and 1,405 are white, the department reports.
Hospitalization rates per ethnicity fluctuates. Per 100,000 people, 673 hospitalized patients are Black, according to the health department. Additionally, 397 patients are Hispanic/Latino, 272 are Asian and 241 are white, the department reports.
Cases By Age
The department reports a surge in COVID patients among people in their 20s. Based off a group of 100,000 people infected with the virus, 5,102 are in their 20s, according to the health department.
Just after the 20s age group, the 80s age group have a total of 4,131 affected out of 100,000, according to the health department. Additionally, those in their 30s have 4,181, those in their 40s have 3,788, individuals in their 50s have 3,665, those in their 60s have 3,955 and those in their 70s have 3,466.
For individuals under age 20, out of 100,000 people, 1,388 are affected, according to the health department.
Although people in their 20s have the highest case rate, they are among the lowest age group hospitalized by the virus. Per every 100,000 people, 142 in their 20s are hospitalized from COVID-19. This differs from those in their 80s, who have the largest hospitalization rate at 1,685 per every 100,000 people, according to the health department.
Rates of other age groups in the hospital with COVID-19, per every 100,000, include 31 people under age 20, 208 in their 30s, 279 in their 40s, 418 in their 50s, 786 in their 60s and 1,170 in their 70s, according to the health department.
In suburban Cook, the IDPH reported their first “Risk Level Warning” at schools within the county. As a whole, there has been a 9.2 percent test positivity rate in the last week in suburban schools, according to the health department.
In a group of 100,000 people, the weekly case rate reported by the health department is 227 individuals under age 20. To compare metrics, in April, there were 12 youth cases of COVID-19, according to the department. On Oct. 24, there were a reported total of 798 youth cases, and a 24 percent positivity increase among those under age 20, the department reports.
In the southwestern park of Cook County, the health department reports a 46 percent increase in youth positivity rates. The department reports there have been 131 youth COVID cases in the past week here in southwest Cook County.
The Cook County Department of Public Health updates metrics every Wednesday and refers to data from the previous week. The IDPH updates metrics on Fridays. The department said all rates are calculated with populations from the 2010 United States Census.