30 Illinois counties reach COVID-19 warning level; transmission seen in schools

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- Ten new Illinois counties are now considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19, that brings the total in the state to 30 counties.

The counties in the Metro East area include Clinton, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Perry, Randolph, and St. Clair Counties.

A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase. Here are the metrics they follow:

Here is a glance at the metrics from Aug. 16- Aug. 22 that reached a warning level for area counties:

There are a variety of ways counties are reaching the warning level. Health officials say cases connected to schools are beginning to be reported.

Health officials say COVID is also being spread by people attending weddings, large gatherings, long-term care facilities, traveling to neighboring states and bars. General transmission of the virus in the community is also increasing.

In a press release from the IDPH , officials say they are observing people not social distancing and not using face coverings. They also say local law enforcement and states’ attorneys are not enforcing those important mitigation measures.

CountyWarningsPositivity rateNew cases/100kTests
Clinton315.4%258713
Jersey312.8%330624
Randolph311.6%371882
Perry310.7%264629
Madison39.6%1714,632
St. Clair39.2%1755,036
Monroe38.4%128308
Information from IDPH

Here are the metrics the state uses to determine warning levels:

• 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.

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COVID-19 risk as determined by nonprofit Covid Act Now.

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