March 04, 2021

With the move of the Metro East region to Tier 2, all of the IDPH health regions are now out of Tier 3 mitigations

Suburban Cook, city of Chicago could move to Tier 1 if metrics continue to improve, remain stable, IDPH says

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,042 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 95 additional confirmed deaths Thursday.

Illinois has seen 1,093,375 total cases of the virus and 18,615 deaths where COVID-19 was confirmed. The state has conducted a total of 15,209,516 tests since the start of the pandemic.

The seven-day rolling average of Illinois’ positivity rate decreased from 5.4% to 5.0%. The state received the results of 125,831 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Thursday afternoon.

The department also began reporting deaths where the cause was likely COVID-19 but not confirmed. Those probable deaths total 1,919.

As of late Thursday, Illinois had 3,179 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, the fewest since Oct. 30. Of those, 661 were in intensive care units, the fewest since Oct. 28, and 348 were on ventilators.

To see definitions of key terms used in our COVID-19 updates, read this article titled, “Feeling lost in keeping up with the news?”

Vaccine update: As of Thursday, IDPH reported a total of 1,446,375 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 616,677 vaccines administered.

As of the time this story was published, 128,469 Illinois residents had been fully vaccinated, or 1.01%. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people.

There can be as much as a 72-hour delay in reporting from healthcare providers on vaccines administered.

In northern Illinois, here is the percentage of the population fully vaccinated by county:

  • Chicago: 1.12%
  • Suburban Cook: 1.06%
  • Lake: 0.91%
  • McHenry: 0.70%
  • DuPage: 1.58%
  • Kane: 0.88%
  • Will: 1.12%
  • Kendall: 1.16%%
  • La Salle: 0.75%
  • Grundy: 0.57%
  • DeKalb: 0.52%
  • Ogle: 0.97%
  • Lee: 0.59%
  • Whiteside: 0.71%

Regional update: The final Illinois region to remain under the state’s strictest mitigations moved to the less restrictive Tier 2, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday.

Region 4, which is located just east of St. Louis and is composed of Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington, was the last of the health regions established by IDPH to move from Tier 3, the strictest of the mitigations meant to control the spread of COVID-19.

The move to Tier 2 means indoor gaming, casinos and cultural institutions can now reopen in the region, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“With all regions of Illinois now out of Tier 3, we can now see that the entire state is headed down the right path,” IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said in a news release. “During the summer, we were on this same path. We know that we must continue to take precautions and be smart about how we relax some of the mitigation measures, which are in place to protect our health and safety.”

Suburban Cook County and the city of Chicago – also called regions 10 and 11 – are also on track to advance Saturday to Tier 1, which is even less restrictive and allows for limited indoor dining at bars and restaurants, as long as COVID-19 metrics continue to improve or remain stable.

Click here for a definition of each phase and tier, and what is open/available.

Regional data from the IDPH remains on a three-day lag.

How can a region advance a tier?

In order to move to Tier 1 mitigations, a region must meet the following metrics:

  • A test positivity rate between 6.5 and 8% for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
  • ≥20% available staffed ICU hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 7-day rolling average; AND
  • No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

In order to move to Phase 4, a region must meet the following metrics:

  • A test positivity rate less ≤6.5% for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
  • ≥20% available staffed ICU hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 7-day rolling average; AND
  • No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

The North Suburban region (McHenry and Lake counties) has seen zero days under 8% for its COVID-19 test positivity rate. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 8.0%. Currently, 25% of ICU beds are available.

The region has never fallen below the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability since tracking began June 13.

Within this region, McHenry County’s seven-day positivity rate average fell to 9.9%. Lake County, which does about two-thirds of the testing in the region, is reporting a rolling average of 7.3%.

Hospitalizations have decreased or remained stable 8 out of the past 10 days in this region.

The West Suburban region (DuPage and Kane counties) has seen two days under 8%. The region’s positivity rate remained at 7.9%. Currently, 31% of ICU beds are available.

The region has 40 consecutive days over the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability.

Within this region, Kane County’s seven-day positivity average fell to 8.7%, and DuPage County’s rose to 7.5%.

Hospitalizations have decreased six out of the past 10 days in this region.

The South Suburban region (Will and Kankakee counties) has seen zero days at or under 6.5%. The region’s positivity rate remained at 7.6%. Currently, 26% of ICU beds are available.

The region has 22 consecutive above the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability.

Hospitalizations have remained stable or decreased nine out of the past 10 days in this region.

The North region (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties) saw its positivity rate rise about the 6.5% positivity rate needed to advance to Phase 4. It had been below it for two days until it increased Friday to 6.6%. Currently, 28% of ICU beds are available.

The region has 40 consecutive days above the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability.

Within this region, DeKalb County’s positivity rate rose to 11.4%, Lee County’s rate fell to 1.1%, and Whiteside County’s rate rose to 5.8%.

Hospitalizations have decreased nine out of the past 10 days in this region.

The North-Central region (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties) has seen zero days at or under 6.5%, the threshold need to advance to Phase 4. The region’s positivity rate rose to 6.7%.

Currently, 30% of ICU beds are available.

The region has 28 consecutive days above the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability.

Hospitalizations have been stable or decreased 10 out of the past 10 days in this region.

Within this region, La Salle County’s seven-day positivity rate decreased to 6.8%.

Chicago has seen two days of positivity rates under 8%. The region’s positivity rate rose to 7.9%. Currently, 28% of ICU beds are available.

The region has 40 consecutive days over the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability.

Hospitalizations have decreased 10 out of the past 10 days in this region.

Suburban Cook County has seen two days of positivity rates under 8%. The region’s positivity rate decreased to 7.7%. Currently, 21% of ICU beds are available.

The region has 21 consecutive days under the 20% threshold for ICU bed availability.

Hospitalizations have decreased 10 out of the past 10 days in this region.

To see how other regions across the state are doing, see the full IDPH dashboard here.

Newly reported deaths include:

  • Adams County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
  • Coles County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
  • Cook County: 1 female 30s, 1 female 50s, 3 males 50s, 8 females 60s, 9 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 11 males 70s, 5 females 80s, 4 males 80s, 1 male 90s
  • DuPage County: 1 male 70s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Hancock County: 1 male 80s
  • Kane County: 1 male 60s, 2 females 80s
  • Lake County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 90s
  • Madison County: 1 female 80s
  • Marshall County: 1 female 70s
  • McHenry County: 1 female 70s
  • McLean County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
  • Montgomery County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
  • Ogle County: 1 male 60s
  • Peoria County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s
  • Piatt County: 1 male 90s
  • Randolph County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Richland County: 1 female 60s
  • Rock Island County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 90s
  • Sangamon County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
  • St. Clair County: 2 males 80s, 3 female 90s, 1 male 90s
  • Washington County: 1 male 80s
  • Will County: 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Winnebago County: 1 female 30s, 1 female 90s
  • Woodford County: 1 male 70s

Emily K. Coleman

Originally from the northwest suburbs, Emily K. Coleman is the associate editor for the Northwest Herald. She spent about seven years prior to that with Shaw Media, first covering the town of Dixon for Sauk Valley Media and then various communities within McHenry County from 2012 to 2016.