Will County's COVID-19 death toll eclipses 500

The COVID-19 death toll in Will County has reached more than 500.

The Will County Health Department announced the grim marker Tuesday as the total deaths reached 507.

Steve Brandy, a spokesman for the health department, noted that the virus has disproportionately impacted seniors in the county.

More than 70% of those who have died in Will County after contracting the virus were in their 70s or older, according to health department data.

More than 11,000 Illinoisans and 259,000 Americans have died after contracting the virus.

Will County's rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate hit a high of 20.2% on Nov. 16.

Since then, it's ticked down somewhat to 18.7% as of last Saturday, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data.

The South Suburban Region, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, had an average rolling test positivity rate at 18.5% as of Saturday.

Even though these numbers appear to be going down, Brandy said he hopes the state won't see a reversal of that trend after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hospital utilization in the region continues to be a point of concern. As of Monday, there were only 34 available intensive care unit beds out of 162 in the region, according to the IDPH.

The IDPH and the Will County Health Department are providing free testing for COVID-19 to the public.

The county health department offers regular testing each week in Romeoville and University Park.

For more information on COVID-19 resources and testing, visit willcountyhealth.org.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.