SPRINGFIELD — On the same day as Illinois hit a record high of new coronavirus infections, 11 counties were put under warning level for infections.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Friday reported 1,941 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state, including 21 additional confirmed deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 178,837 cases, including 7,495 deaths, with cases in every county.
Eleven counties are currently at a warning level – Cass, Gallatin, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Perry, Randolph, Saline, Sangamon, St. Clair, and White. Jo Daviess County is in the northwest corner of the state, Cass and Sangamon counties are in central Illinois, and the rest of the counties are all in southern Illinois.
IDPH said the counties saw recent outbreaks associated with business operations and activities posing higher risk for disease spread, including school graduation ceremonies, a rise in cases among late teens and 20s, parties and social gatherings, people going to bars, long-term care outbreaks, clusters of cases associated with restaurants and churches, and big sports events including soccer, golf, and softball tournaments.
A county goes into the warning level if has two of the following signs:
- New cases per 100,000 people. If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
- Number of deaths. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly 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.
IDPH said several counties are taking action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus.