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According to the Illinois Department of Public Health's county level COVID-19 risk metrics, McHenry County saw a decrease in COVID-19 cases and positivity rate for the past week reported.

McHenry County had a 6.8% positivity rate for the week of Sept. 6 to 12, down from a 7.7% positivity rate for the week of Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, and 56 new cases per 100,000 people, down from 81 new cases per 100,000 people.

The first week that the state released risk metrics by county (the week of June 14-20), McHenry County had 21 new cases per 100,000 people and a 4.3% positivity rate.

Any county with 50 or more cases per 100,000 people is showing signs of increased COVID-19 risk, according to the state's metrics. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase. The seven-day positivity rate metric indicates a warning if it rises above 8%.

According to the IDPH's county COVID-19 risk metrics, there was one death related to COVID-19 in McHenry County. A total of 3,508 tests were performed, down from 5,479 the previous week. The county saw a slight decrease in hospital admissions, from 15 to 14.

The state also measures the number of emergency department visits for COVID-19-like illness per county. That metric down in McHenry County, from 2.6% to 2.1%. Visits are counted if a patient presents with a fever and either a cough, difficulty breathing or is given a diagnosis of COVID-19.

Neighboring Lake County had 83 cases per 100,000 people, a 6.1% positivity rate, eight deaths and 10,930 tests performed. For the week of Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, Lake County reported 96 cases per 100,000 people, a 5.4% positivity rate, 10 deaths and 13,475 tests performed.

On Friday, the IDPH reported that 24 counties were considered to be at a warning level for a COVID-19 outbreak.

"Although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with university and college parties, as well as college sports teams, large gatherings and events, bars and clubs, weddings and funerals, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, manufacturing plants, schools and cases among the community at large," according to a news release from the IDPH. "General transmission of the virus in the community is also increasing.

"Public health officials are observing people not social distancing, gathering in large groups and not using face coverings. Some communities lack access to convenient testing before people become symptomatic. In some counties, local law enforcement and states’ attorneys are not enforcing important mitigation measures like social distancing and the wearing of face coverings. Additionally, some people refuse to participate in contact tracing and are not providing information on close contacts or answering the phone."

The complete county level COVID-19 risk metrics can be found at www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.

For more local news, visit Northwest Herald at https://www.nwherald.com.

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