Intensive care unit availability in McHenry, Lake counties drops again

McHenry County reported 79 new cases Thursday

Intensive care unit availability in McHenry and Lake counties dipped again on Wednesday, marking the 11th straight day ICU capacity has been under 20% in the two-county region.

ICU capacity in the region dropped to 17% Wednesday, 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.

As of Wednesday, the number of people hospitalized in both counties was 94.

The region saw the number of patients hospitalized decrease or remain stable nine out of the past 10 days, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Thursday. The total number of people in the hospital for COVID-19 in McHenry and Lake counties fell to under 100 for the first time in more than four weeks on Tuesday.

In McHenry County alone, 7.2% of medical and surgical beds were available and 27.7% of intensive care unit beds were, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. Hospitalizations also have decreased or remained stable nine out of the past 10 days in McHenry County.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 went down slightly Wednesday to 2,008, according to the IDPH. Of those, 493 were in ICUs and 240 were on ventilators.

The McHenry County health department reported 79 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to 33,154, 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%.

Although McHenry County’s incidence rate continued to drop Thursday, marking the fifth day in a row transmission declined, it still remains well above the threshold that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers “high.”

The number of new cases in the past seven days was 135.84 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.

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 3.8% as of Monday, the 19th 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 3.5% as of Monday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Meanwhile, an additional 344 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents Tuesday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 346,087, the IDPH reported Thursday.

A total of 170,986 county residents, or an estimated 55.41%% of its population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all the doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 14,395,359 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 79.1% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 61.7% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Thursday. Those rates are 80.6% and 63.3% for people 18 and older and 94.7% and 77.8% for those 65 and older.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,505 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide on Thursday. Another 44 deaths also were logged Thursday, bringing the totals to 1,608,825 cases, 24,743 confirmed deaths and 2,655 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported 69,627 cases and 1,064 deaths through Wednesday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported 65,229 cases and 842 deaths on Friday, the last day data is available for.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,091 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,794 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) 3,545; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,064; Huntley (60142) 2,485; Algonquin (60102) 2,432; Cary (60013) 2,315; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,260; Harvard (60033) 1,712; Marengo (60152) 1,351; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,141; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,087; Spring Grove (60081) 847; Island Lake (60042) 475; Fox River Grove (60021) 431; Richmond (60071) 369; Hebron (60034) 209; Barrington (60010) 173; Union (60180) 147; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 82.

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.