CHICAGO — As COVID-19 testing continues to expand in Illinois, positivity rates in a region including many counties on its southern tip are approaching levels where additional coronavirus mitigation measures could be put in place.
Officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,742 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional coronavirus-related deaths in the state Monday.
Additionally, the statewide COVID-19 test positivity rate from October 5-11 came in at 4.3 percent, rising slightly for the sixth day in a row as it approaches levels last seen in early September.
With over 47,579 new tests performed over the past 24 hours, the state’s 7-day testing average continues to climb, data compiled by WGN shows, reaching more than than 61,000 as of Monday.
The 4.3 percent positivity rate reported Monday is the highest in the state since September 3, when the state was likely averaging closer to 52,000 tests a day, although a reporting error makes direct comparisons difficult.
The 7-day average of cases continues to rise as well, coming in at more than 2,600 as of Monday, while the state is averaging about 27 reported coronavirus-related deaths a day. This average has been dropping slowly since Thursday, when it reached the highest level (about 31) since late June.
While the 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rates in most regions of the Restore Illinois plan have been stable or declining for weeks, a few have been rising in recent days.
The Southern Region has seen rising 7-day positivity rates over the past eight days, increasing from 5.8 percent on October 2 to 7.5 percent on October 9, approaching the state’s 8 percent limit where added restrictions would be put in place.
This comes as the 7-day testing average in the region has risen slightly from 1,271 tests a day on October 5 to 1,415 a day on October 9, according to state data.
Additional coronavirus mitigation measures remain in place in the North Region, where the positivity rate rose over the past five days to 9.7 percent as of Friday.
State health officials said 26 Illinois counties reached at least one of the state’s coronavirus warning levels as of Thursday, based on factors including the positivity rate, number of new cases and number of tests being performed there.