Five more McHenry County schools report COVID-19 outbreaks, IDPH says

Five more McHenry County schools reported COVID-19 outbreaks Friday, bringing the total to 12.

Schools with new outbreaks are Woodstock School District 200′s Greenwood Elementary School, Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Johnsburg High School, Marengo High School and St. John the Baptist School in Johnsburg.

All of these new outbreaks had fewer than five positive COVID-19 cases, and most tied the outbreak to the classroom. Johnsburg High School was the only exception, as the outbreak was connected to sports.

The other McHenry County schools that have reported outbreaks are Chauncey H. Duker School and Edgebrook Elementary School in McHenry, Algonquin’s Conley Elementary School, Spring Grove Elementary School and Martin Elementary School in Lake in the Hills. Hannah Beardsley Middle School in Crystal Lake has reported two outbreaks.

In neighboring Kane County, Algonquin-based Community Unit School District 300 saw COVID-19 outbreaks at Gary D. Wright Elementary School with fewer than five cases, Hampshire High School with 11 to 16 cases and Sleepy Hollow Elementary School with five to 10 cases, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

Across McHenry County, another 92 new COVID-19 cases were reported Friday by the McHenry County Department of Health, bringing the total number of cases to 32,810, including 301 deaths and 30 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed.

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

The county remained in the “high” transmission category because of the county’s incidence rate – the number of new cases in the past seven days per 100,000 residents – which was 152.09 per 100,000 residents as of Sunday, the most recent day for which data is available, according to the McHenry County health department’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 Tuesday, the 13th day it has been within the low transmission range of zero percent to 4.9%, according to the McHenry County health department. 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 county health department.

Region 9, which is made up of Lake and McHenry counties, had a positivity rate of 4% as of Tuesday, according to the IDPH.

Intensive care unit availability across the two counties went up slightly to 18% on Thursday, according to state data.

The region had fallen below the 20% mark – which the state had used as a trigger point for adding restrictions on gatherings 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 Thursday to 133. The region saw the number of patients hospitalized decrease or remain stable seven out of the past 10 days, according to the IDPH.

In McHenry County alone, 32.3% of ICU beds and 4% of medical and surgical beds remained available, according to the McHenry County health department. Hospitalizations also have decreased or remained stable seven out of the past 10 days in McHenry County, according to county data.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 fell to 2,082 on Thursday, according to the IDPH. Of those, 502 were in ICUs and 275 were on ventilators.

Meanwhile, an additional 361 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents Thursday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 343,581, the IDPH reported.

A total of 169,572 county residents, or an estimated 54.95% of its population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all the doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 14,284,288 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 78.6% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 61.2% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Friday. Those rates are 80.1% and 62.8% for people 18 and older and 94.4% and 77.6% for those 65 and older.

The IDPH also reported 3,601 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide Friday. Another 54 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 1,590,342 cases, 24,546 confirmed deaths and 2,629 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported 68,868 cases and 1,057 deaths through Thursday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported 65,229 cases and 842 deaths Friday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,023 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,761 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) 3,488; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,035; Huntley (60142) 2,459; Algonquin (60102) 2,419; Cary (60013) 2,299; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,221; Harvard (60033) 1,698; Marengo (60152) 1,343; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,132; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,074; Spring Grove (60081) 837; Island Lake (60042) 477; Fox River Grove (60021) 431; Richmond (60071) 367; Hebron (60034) 206; Barrington (60010) 173; Union (60180) 147; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 78.

Cassie Buchman

Cassie Buchman

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