Northwest Illinois reaches COVID-19 positivity rate limit as state reports 1,709 new cases, 13 deaths

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — The COVID-19 test positivity rate in the region including Rockford and several northwest Illinois counties has reached the state’s 8 percent limit, data released Monday shows, meaning new mitigation measures could be put in place there if the trend continues.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate in the “North Region” established in the state’s “Restore Illinois” plan came in at 8 percent as of Friday after rising for eight of the past 10 days.

Governor JB Pritzker warned last week the state would impose new coronavirus restrictions in the region if the positivity rate there passes 8 percent for three consecutive days, as it has in two other regions in the past. The “North Region” includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.

Statewide, the IDPH reported 1,709 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed over the past day Monday. The state’s positivity rate from September 21-27 came in at 3.7 percent, near the level it has been at since early September.

With 41,142 tests reported over the past 24 hours, data compiled by WGN shows the 7-day testing average is around 54,000 as of Monday, near the level it has been at since September 19.

Positivity rates in most regions across Illinois have been stable or declining in recent weeks, including in the Metro East region outside St. Louis, where additional mitigation measures remain in place. The 7-day positivity has since declined below the state’s 8 percent limit, and came in at 7.1 percent as of September 25.

Every county in the North Region saw their 7-day average positivity rates rise from September 15-25, state data shows, with rates at or above the 8 percent limit in reported in Boone (10.7 percent), Jo Daviess (9.1 percent), Lee (9.9 percent) and Winnebago (8.7 percent) counties on Friday.

Winnebago County where Rockford is located reported the highest number of daily tests among those counties by far, with 1,383 tests reported on September 25 compared to less than 200 for the other counties.

Data measured from September 13-19 found both Boone and Winnebago counties reached at least one of the state’s COVID-19 “warning” levels based on their positivity rates and number of cases per 100,000 residents.

Hospital resources and coronavirus hospitalizations in all regions remain within the state’s guidelines, however, with 1,491 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, including 346 in intensive care and 135 on ventilators.

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