More than 60 Illinois counties are at elevated COVID-19 community levels, according to the latest update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal agency rated 51 counties at a medium level and 12 counties at a high level.
Medium level counties include St. Clair, Monroe, Clinton, Washington, Marion and others. Randolph County is at a high COVID-19 community level, along with Pike, Williamson, Johnson and others.
The spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses has increased across Illinois, the state’s public health department reports. Along with increased case rates, intensive care unit availability has dropped.
Authorities encourage residents to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu, as well as testing for COVID-19 before attending gatherings.
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.
The federal agency advises people in high community level areas to wear a mask indoors and on public transportation, and people at a higher risk of severe illness should consider precautions in medium level areas.
Increase in COVID-19 cases in St. Clair County, statewide
St. Clair County moved from a low level to medium level county in Thursday’s CDC update, along with several other counties.
“As we enter December and the weather continues to get colder, Illinois is beginning to see an anticipated increase in COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses such as the flu,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra wrote in a Dec. 2 statement. “Please continue to take all preventative measure(s) to protect yourself, your family, and friends, especially very young children and individuals over 65 who are most vulnerable to severe outcomes.
“These effective strategies include COVID-19 testing, especially if visiting someone at risk for severe disease; enhanced ventilation; good hand hygiene; staying home if sick; and getting up to date with both the COVID-19 bivalent booster and the flu shot,” Dr. Vohra concluded.
IDPH officials reported 20,495 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 57 deaths from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2.
The statewide daily case rate has increased from 14.7 to 23 per 100,000 residents and intensive care unit bed availability has dropped from 20% down to 12%. The seven-day rolling hospital admissions number is at 145, up from 113.
St. Clair County’s daily case rate has increased from 13 to 18.8 per 100,000 individuals, and ICU bed availability has dropped to 16%. The seven-day rolling number of hospital admissions is three, and IDPH reported three deaths in the county.
The CDC reports St. Clair County’s weekly case rate is 117.06 per 100,000 people, up from 83.95 the previous week. There were 10.4 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 individuals, and 4.3% of the county’s staffed inpatient beds are in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19.
Test positivity is at 7.64% in St. Clair County as of Nov. 28, according to the CDC. The rate of tests performed has increased by 10.67%, using data current through Nov. 24.
You can find COVID-19 testing and vaccination information online in St. Clair County.
Note: Some CDC data, such as test positivity rates, the number of tests performed and total case rate, update on different days. IDPH data and CDC data may not update at the same time, so metrics may vary across agencies.