4 counties at ‘warning level;’ 1,532 new cases of coronavirus reported in Illinois

Coronavirus
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Health officials announced 1,532 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois Friday, including 19 deaths.

Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a total of 168,457 cases since the pandemic began. This included 7,385 deaths.

In the past 24 hours, labs have reported 44,330 specimens for a total of 2,432,523.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 17 –July 23 is 3.4%. 

Public health officials also reported on Friday that four counties in Illinois are considered to be at a “warning level – Adams, LaSalle, Peoria, and Randolph. 

According to the Dept of Public health, these counties saw outbreaks associated with business and risky behavior, including:

Adams County:  larger social events, health care exposure, travel to hotspots including those in neighboring Missouri and Iowa, places of worship, and youth sports.

LaSalle County: large family and social gatherings, increase in cases among people younger than 29 years, younger people visiting bars and attending larger social events, and inconsistencies with masking requirements.

Peoria County: increases in cases among people younger than 29 years, large gatherings including 4th of July parties, and people traveling to Florida, Iowa, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Randolph County: congregate settings, numerous bars not complying with distancing and masking, a large party with more than 200 people, and among households.   

IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.

• New cases per 100,000 people.  If there are 50 or more new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
• Number of deaths.  This metric indicates a warning when the number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Weekly test positivity.  This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
• ICU availability.  If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
• Weekly emergency department visits.   This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Weekly hospital admissions.  A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Tests perform.  This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
• Clusters. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics

As of Thursday night, 1,471 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 325 patients were in the ICU and 115 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

Also Friday, new restrictions take effect for many businesses in the city of Chicago including bars, restaurants and gyms.

  • Bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption without a Retail Food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors.
  • Restaurants that serve alcohol will be allowed to continue to operate as long as they abide by ongoing COVID-19 guidance and existing regulations.
  • Establishments without food may still provide outdoor service as they did under phase three.
  • Maximum party size and table occupancy at restaurants, bars, taverns and breweries will be reduced to six people.
  • Indoor fitness class size will be reduced to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Personal services requiring the removal of face coverings will no longer be permitted (shaves, facials, etc.).
  • Residential property managers will be asked to limit guest entry to five per unit to avoid indoor gatherings and parties.

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