Will-Kankakee Coronavirus Positivity Rate Reaches 10.5 Percent

Jonah Meadows
·8 min read

JOLIET, IL — Coronavirus positivity rates and the number of new hospitalizations of people with symptoms of COVID-19 rose sharply across nearly every region of Illinois during the final week in October. All but one of the state's 11 mitigation regions now have restrictions on indoor service at bars and restaurants and gatherings of more than 25 people.

In Region 7 — Will and Kankakee counties — indoor dining was again halted after the region's seven-day rolling average positivity rate remained above 8 percent for three days last week.

For the week ending Tuesday, the percentage of specimens tested that came back positive for the virus rose by 1.3 percentage points to 10.5 percent in the two-county region — a new record for the region since state public health officials began reporting the data in June. The next day, the seven-day rolling average rose again to 10.8 percent, setting another record.

New hospitalizations in the south suburban region also rose during the week, according to the rounded seven-day rolling average of daily hospital admissions of patients with what state public health officials classify as "COVID-like illnesses," or CLI.

The rate has more than tripled since the start of October. As of Tuesday, an average of 21 people were newly hospitalized with symptoms of the virus every day, up from 16 a week earlier.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the state needs everyone to do their part to change the trend.

"We are on the precipice of the entire state entering into mitigation," Ezike said Friday, announcing the new mitigation measures for Region 6 in East Central Illinois.

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Restrictions were added to 10 of Illinois' 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions in October after coronavirus metrics triggered fail-safe measures established over the summer by state public health officials. (Illinois Department of Public Health)
Restrictions were added to 10 of Illinois' 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions in October after coronavirus metrics triggered fail-safe measures established over the summer by state public health officials. (Illinois Department of Public Health)

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"These last few regions have seen rapid increases in test positivity, one right after another, because of increasing disease spread throughout our communities," Ezike said. "We need all people to adhere to both the community mitigation measures and well as personal and family measures so we can swiftly turn our entire state around."

As of Friday, there were 49 counties across the state, including several in the Chicago area, that are considered to be at the "orange" warning level, which means two or more countywide risk indicators suggest a heightened risk of the virus.

They include: Adams, Alexander, Bond, Boone, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Effingham, Ford, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Henderson, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lee, Macon, Marion, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Rock Island, Saline, Sangamon, Shelby, Stephenson, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson and Winnebago counties.

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On Friday, public health officials announced 6,943 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, setting a new record. Thirty-six more people died with the virus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

State public health officials compiled results from more than 95,000 specimens during the 24 hours ending Friday, an additional 12,000 compared to a week earlier.

Beginning Thursday, the state public health department began releasing both statewide test positivity — the number of positive tests over total tests — as well as statewide case positivity, which is the number of total confirmed cases over tests conducted. For the week of Oct. 23 to Oct. 29, the seven-day average case positivity was 7.3 percent and the test positivity was 8.5 percent.

As of Thursday night, there were 3,092 people in Illinois reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19 — nearly 600 more than seven days earlier, up by more than 1,000 compared to two weeks earlier.

Of those hospitalized, there were 673 people in the state's intensive care units, up by 162 in the past week. The number of people in ICUs in Illinois with COVID-19 is up by over 68 percent over the prior two weeks, according to the department.

There were also 91 more people on ventilators than a week earlier, as the number of patients requiring the invasive intervention stood at 288 heading into Friday.

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Data through Tuesday was released Friday. Find the latest metrics from all regions below:

Region 1 (Rockford EMS region)

  • 13.2 percent positivity on Oct. 27 — up from 11.7 percent from a week earlier. The nine-county northwest Illinois region continues to set state records for its positivity rate. It was the first in the state to see a second tier of mitigation measures.

  • 14 new daily hospital admission of patients with coronavirus symptoms, up from 13 a week earlier

  • 33 percent of surgical beds and 36 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 36 percent of surgical beds and 41 percent of ICU beds a week earlier

Region 2 (Peoria EMS region)

  • 8.5 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27, up by 1.5 percentage points from a week earlier

  • 18 new daily hospital admissions of people with COVID-19 symptoms, three more than the prior week and up by 50 percent since the start of October.

  • 35 percent of surgical beds and 38 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 38 percent of surgical beds and 41 percent of ICU beds the prior week

Region 3 (Springfield EMS region)

  • 9.3 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27, up from 7.2 percentage points a week earlier

  • 11 new daily hospital admissions, down by one from a week earlier

  • 31 percent of surgical beds and 25 percent of ICU beds are available, the same average availability for ICU beds and one point more surgical beds.

Region 4 (Edwardsville EMS region)

  • 8.7 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27, up from 8.1 percent a week earlier. Re-imposed restrictions on gatherings and indoor dining took effect Wednesday.

  • Five new daily hospital admissions with COVID-19 symptoms, the same as the prior week

  • 28 percent of surgical beds and 45 percent of ICU beds are available, 3 points fewer surgical beds and 6 points fewer ICU beds, on average, compared to a week earlier

Region 5 (Marion EMS region)

  • 9.7 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27, up from 8.7 percent from a week earlier. Last week, the rising rate triggered additional restrictions on the region.

  • 10 new daily hospital admissions with CLI in the region, on average, up from eight a week earlier

  • 46 percent of surgical beds and 51 percent of ICU beds are available, on average, compared to 44 percent of surgical beds and 57 percent of ICU beds

Region 6 (Champaign EMS region)

  • 8.6 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27, when the University of Illinois' comprehensive saliva testing program is excluded, up by 1.3 percentage points from a week earlier

  • 20 new daily hospital admissions with coronavirus symptoms, up from 19 the prior week

  • 33 percent of surgical beds and 40 percent of ICU beds are available, compared to 28 percent of surgical beds and 39 percent of ICU beds a week earlier

Region 7 (Will, Kankakee counties)

  • 10.5 percent percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27 — up from 9.2 percent the prior week and 6.8 percent two weeks earlier

  • 21 people a day were being admitted to the region's hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, on average, up from 16 a week earlier

  • 23 percent of surgical beds and 27 percent of ICU beds are available at hospitals in the region, compared to 24 percent of surgical beds and 25 percent of ICU beds a week earlier

Region 8 (Kane, DuPage counties)

  • 9.8 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27, up from 9.4 percent a week earlier. New restrictions went into effect last week in the region.

  • 36 people a day were being hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms in the region, on average, doubling in the prior two weeks

  • 22 percent of surgical beds and 37 percent of ICU beds remain available, compared to 25 percent of surgical beds and 41 percent of ICU beds a week earlier

Region 9 (Lake, McHenry counties)

  • 9.1 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27, up from 7.7 percent the prior week. The region's positivity rate has risen in eight out of the past 10 days.

  • 19 new hospital admissions with coronavirus systems every day, on average — up from 12 a week earlier and tripling since the start of October.

  • 33 percent of surgical beds and 47 percent of ICU beds were available, the same amount of ICU beds and one point fewer available surgical beds, on average

Region 10 (Suburban Cook County)

  • 8.6 percent coronavirus positivity rate on Oct. 27, up from 7.3 percent a week earlier,

  • 59 people a day, on average, were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, up from 42 a week earlier. The rounded seven-day rolling average has risen on nine of the past 10 days.

  • 22 percent of surgical beds and 28 percent of ICU beds were available in the region's hospitals, compared to 23 percent of surgical beds and 29 percent of ICU beds a week earlier

Region 11 (Chicago)

  • 8.4 percent positivity rate on Oct. 27, up from 7 percent a week earlier

  • 51 people a day, on average, were admitted to hospitals in the city with coronavirus symptoms, up from 36 the prior week

  • 22 percent of surgical beds were available and 29 percent of ICU beds remained available, the same three-day rolling average of surgical beds and 2 points fewer ICU beds than a week earlier

This article originally appeared on the Joliet Patch