McHenry County reports 97 new COVID-19 cases as transmission remains ‘high’

No additional deaths were reported Wednesday, and McHenry County’s recovery rate remains at 99%.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in McHenry County remains high even as the positivity rate fell to 4.4%, the McHenry County Department of Health reported Wednesday.

The McHenry County Department of Health on Wednesday reported another 97 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 32,651, including 301 deaths and 30 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed.

No additional deaths were reported Wednesday, and the county’s recovery rate remains at 99%.

The county remained in the “high” category due to the county’s incidence rate – the number of new cases in the past seven days per 100,000 residents – which was 148.19 per 100,000 residents as of Friday, the most recent day for which data is available, according to the McHenry County Department of Health’s school metrics dashboard.

That’s well above the threshold for designating transmission as “high” set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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 remain there for a week, according to the county health department.

McHenry County’s positivity rate was 4.4% as of Sunday, the 11th day it has been within the low transmission range of 0% to 4.9%, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. The positivity rate is measured by a seven-day rolling average with a three-day lag.

Both the CDC and McHenry County health department use the incidence rate and positivity rate to categorize COVID-19 transmission. When the two metrics do not fall within the same transmission risk category, the higher one is chosen, according to the McHenry County health department.

Region 9, which is made up of Lake and McHenry counties, had a positivity rate of 4.1% as of Sunday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Intensive care unit availability across the two counties remained at 17% Tuesday, according to state data, after being above the 20% benchmark for most of September.

The region had fallen below the 20% mark, which the state had used as trigger point for adding restrictions on gathering and business activity, for the first time over the course of the pandemic in mid-August before climbing to 22% this past week. It dropped below the threshold again Sunday.

The total number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 across McHenry and Lake counties fell Tuesday to 138 after rising each of the prior three days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In McHenry County alone, 42.4% of ICU beds and 7.4% of medical and surgical beds remained available, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. Hospitalizations have increased four out of the last 10 days in McHenry County, according to county data.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 fell to 2,229 on Tuesday, according to IDPH. Of those, 537 were in ICUs and 305 were on ventilators.

Meanwhile, an additional 405 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents Tuesday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 342,760, the IDPH reported.

A total of 169,129 county residents, or an estimated 54.81% of its population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all the doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 14,241,348 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 78.4% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 61% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Wednesday. Those rates are 80% and 62.6% for people 18 and older and 94.3% and 77.5% for those 65 and older.

The IDPH also reported 4,194 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide Wednesday. Another 44 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 1,582,392 cases, 24,451 confirmed deaths and 2,610 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported 68,672 cases and 1,056 deaths as of Tuesday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department’s dashboard had not been updated on Wednesday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 4,998 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,747 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) 3,453; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,024; Huntley (60142) 2,439; Algonquin (60102) 2,407; Cary (60013) 2,295; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,205; Harvard (60033) 1,696; Marengo (60152) 1,339; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,126; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,067; Spring Grove (60081) 832; Island Lake (60042) 476; Fox River Grove (60021) 429; Richmond (60071) 366; Hebron (60034) 206; Barrington (60010) 172; Union (60180) 148; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 72.

Cassie Buchman

Cassie Buchman

I cover Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Cary, Fox River Grove, Prairie Grove and Oakwood Hills for the Northwest Herald.