ICU capacity across McHenry, Lake counties remains low as total COVID-19 hospitalizations fall

More than a week under 20% mark for available ICU space in Lake, McHenry counties as of Sunday while transmission remains ‘high’

Another 142 new COVID-19 cases were reported by the McHenry County Department of Health since Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 32,952, including 301 deaths and 30 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed.

No additional deaths were reported Monday, 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 155.99 per 100,000 residents as of Wednesday, 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 3.6% as of Friday, the 16th day it has been within the low transmission range of zero 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 3.2% as of Friday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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

Sunday marked the eighth consecutive day the region has seen ICU availability below the 20% mark, which the state had used as a trigger point for adding restrictions on gatherings and business activity. The region had fallen below that threshold for the first time over the course of the pandemic in mid-August before climbing to 22% earlier this month and then dropping below the threshold again Sept. 12.

The total number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 across McHenry and Lake counties fell Sunday to 107. 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, 29.3% of ICU beds and 8.1% of medical and surgical beds remained available, according to the McHenry County health department. Hospitalizations also have decreased eight out of the past 10 days in McHenry County, according to county data.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 rose to 1,905 on Sunday after falling the preceding five days, according to IDPH. Of those, 463 were in ICUs and 265 were on ventilators.

Meanwhile, an additional 1,275 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents since Friday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 344,856, the IDPH reported Monday.

A total of 170,256 county residents, or an estimated 55.18%% of its population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all the doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 14,340,302 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 78.9% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 61.5% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Monday. Those rates are 80.4% and 63.1% for people 18 and older and 94.6% and 77.7% for those 65 and older.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 8,415 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Another 93 deaths also were logged since Friday, bringing the totals to 1,598,757 cases, 24,639 confirmed deaths and 2,636 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 5,057 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,772 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) 3,508; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,045; Huntley (60142) 2,470; Algonquin (60102) 2,427; Cary (60013) 2,304; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,234; Harvard (60033) 1,702; Marengo (60152) 1,346; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,137; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,080; Spring Grove (60081) 840; Island Lake (60042) 478; Fox River Grove (60021) 431; Richmond (60071) 368; Hebron (60034) 209; Barrington (60010) 173; Union (60180) 147; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 82.

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry covers local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.