McHenry, Lake counties see rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations after brief decline

McHenry County reported 40 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday

Intensive care unit availability remained low across McHenry and Lake counties Tuesday as hospitalizations in the two-county region rose for the fourth consecutive day after a brief period of decline.

Intensive care unit availability in McHenry and Lake counties remained at 15% on Monday, the third day at that level. Monday marked the 16th straight day ICU capacity has been under the 20% benchmark in the two-county region.

The state has used the 20% mark 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 Monday, the number of people hospitalized in both counties was 101, up by ten since Thursday.

The region saw the number of patients hospitalized increase each of the previous four days, the IDPH reported Tuesday, after a week of straight of decreases. Last week, hospitalizations in the two-county region fell below 100 for the first time in more than four weeks.

In McHenry County alone, 4.4% of medical and surgical beds were available Monday and 22.8% of intensive care unit beds were, according to the McHenry County health department. Hospitalizations have decreased or remained stable nine out of the past 10 days in McHenry County.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 was 1,881 on Monday, down from 2,346 on Sept. 9, according to the IDPH. Of those, 455 were in ICUs and 253 were on ventilators.

Another 40 new COVID-19 cases in McHenry County were reported Tuesday by the McHenry County Department of Health, bringing the total number of cases to 33,421, including 301 deaths and 30 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed.

No additional deaths were reported Tuesday.

McHenry County’s incidence rate increased with Tuesday’s reporting, breaking an overall trend of declining transmission since Sept. 13. The rate remained above the threshold that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers to mark “high” transmission.

The number of new cases in the past seven days was 134.22 per 100,000 residents as of Thursday, 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 test positivity rate remained at 3.6% as of Saturday, the 24th 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 3.1% as of Saturday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Meanwhile, an additional 583 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents Monday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 348,735, the IDPH reported Tuesday.

A total of 172,246 county residents, or an estimated 55.82% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all the doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 14,502,329 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 79.5% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 62.2% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Tuesday. Those rates are 81.1% and 63.8% for people 18 and older and 95% and 78% for those 65 and older.

The IDPH reported 2,375 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide Tuesday. Another 33 deaths were also logged Tuesday, bringing the totals to 1,621,175 cases, 24,892 confirmed deaths and 2,676 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported 70,134 cases and 1,065 deaths through Monday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported 66,223 cases and 853 deaths on Monday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,136 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,828 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) 3,577; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,081; Huntley (60142) 2,503; Algonquin (60102) 2,445; Cary (60013) 2,327; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,284; Harvard (60033) 1,732; Marengo (60152) 1,360; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,149; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,092; Spring Grove (60081) 858; Island Lake (60042) 477; Fox River Grove (60021) 436; Richmond (60071) 370; Hebron (60034) 209; Barrington (60010) 175; Union (60180) 148; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 86.

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.