McHenry County reports 69 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

Transmission remains high even as the positivity rate has declined

McHenry County’s positivity rate, as measured by a seven-day rolling average, fell for the seventh straight day even as the number of new cases remains above the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s threshold for “high” COVID-19 transmission.

Another 69 COVID-19 cases were logged Thursday by the McHenry County Department of Health, bringing the total to 31,720 cases of COVID-19, including 301 deaths and 30 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed. No additional deaths were reported.

The county’s recovery rate remains at 99%.

The county’s incidence rate – the number of new cases in the past seven days per 100,000 residents – continues to remain well above the threshold for designating transmission as “high” set by the CDC.

It was 155.34 per 100,000 residents as of Saturday, the most recent day for which data is available, according to the McHenry County health department’s school metrics dashboard. The county also updated its data Thursday, revising several prior days’ incidence rates upward.

For spread to meet the less severe category “substantial,” the incidence rate would need to fall below 100 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents and, under the county’s methodology, stay there for seven consecutive days.

Both the CDC and McHenry County health department use the incidence rate and positivity rate to categorize COVID-19 transmission. The positivity rate is measured by a seven-day rolling average with a three-day lag.

It fell to 5.8% Monday, still within the “moderate” transmission range of 5% to 7.9%. It’s the county’s lowest positivity rate since July 27.

When the positivity rate and incidence rate do not fall within the same transmission risk category, the higher one is chosen, according to the McHenry County health department.

Meanwhile, an additional 590 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents Wednesday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 336,903, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

A total of 166,272 county residents, or an estimated 53.88% of its population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all the doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 13,978,485 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 77% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 59.8% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Thursday. Those rates are 78.6% and 61.6% for people 18 and older and 93.7% and 77% for those 65 and older.

Intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties remained at 18% Wednesday, above the pandemic-era low of 15% hit in late August, even as the total number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the region rose to 134, the highest since Feb. 10.

In McHenry County alone, 32.3% of ICU beds and 4.9% of medical and surgical beds remained available, according to the McHenry County health department.

Hospitalizations have not increased in the past 10 days in the county, compared with nine out of the past 10 across the two-county region, county and state data shows.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations statewide increased to 2,254 Wednesday after falling the day before. Of those hospitalized with COVID-19, 527 were in ICUs and 289 were on ventilators, both increases over the day before.

The IDPH also reported 4,224 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide on Thursday. Another 51 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 1,532,344 cases, 24,030 confirmed deaths and 2,542 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported 66,897 cases and 1,046 deaths through Wednesday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported 63,600 cases and 829 deaths as of Thursday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 4,858 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) follows with 3,653 cases.

The McHenry County health department reports ZIP code data only for parts within McHenry County, a department spokeswoman said. Any discrepancies between county and IDPH numbers likely are because of the data’s provisional nature and because each health department finalizes its data at different times, she said.

The following is the rest of the local breakdown of cases by ZIP code: McHenry (60050) 3,314; Lake in the Hills (60156) 2,977; Huntley (60142) 2,375; Algonquin (60102) 2,347; Cary (60013) 2,238; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,120, Harvard (60033) 1,661; Marengo (60152) 1,306; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,099; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,025; Spring Grove (60081) 808; Island Lake (60042) 451; Fox River Grove (60021) 406; Richmond (60071) 357; Hebron (60034) 196; Barrington (60010) 170; Union (60180) 145; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 70.

Ben Szalinski

Ben Szalinski

Ben reports on local news in Harvard, Marengo, Huntley and Lake in the Hills along with the McHenry County Board. He graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Reporting program in 2021. Ben is originally from Mundelein and enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with friends and family.

Emily Coleman

Emily K. Coleman

Originally from the northwest suburbs, Emily K. Coleman is the 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.