Intensive care unit availability hits 20% in Lake, McHenry counties after 3+ weeks below benchmark

An additional 354 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents, a number that has been on a recent upward trend, IDPH data shows

More McHenry County residents are getting COVID-19 vaccines, with the seven-day rolling average of administered doses rising to 653, the highest its been in a month, state data shows.

An additional 354 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents Tuesday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 353,595, the IDPH reported Wednesday.

A total of 173,622 county residents, or an estimated 56.27% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all the doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 14,742,283 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 80.3% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 62.8% are fully vaccinated, IDPH reported Wednesday. Those rates are 81.8% and 64.4% for people 18 and older and 96% and 78.5% for those 65 and older.

Across McHenry County, an additional 85 COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday by the McHenry County Department of Health, bringing the total number of cases to 33,968, including 308 deaths and 32 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed.

Though the number of COVID-19 deaths the McHenry County Department of Health reported jumped on Wednesday, these are not “new” COVID-19 deaths. The department is currently reviewing historical death data, it said on its COVID-19 dashboard, and is reporting additional COVID-19 deaths – five confirmed and one probable – that “occurred over the last few months.”

The county’s incidence rate remained high with Wednesday’s reporting, keeping the statistic above the threshold that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers to mark “high” transmission of COVID-19.

The number of new cases in the past seven days was 142.34 per 100,000 residents as of Friday, 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’s health department.

McHenry County’s test positivity rose to 3.1% as of Sunday, the 32nd straight day it has been within the low transmission range of zero percent to 4.9%, according to the McHenry County health department. The county’s positivity rate has not been below 3% since July 15, according to IDPH. 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 2.5% as of Sunday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties rose to 20% Tuesday, after being below the state’s 20% benchmark for 23 straight days. That run marked the second time this summer that the two-county region had been below the threshold.

The number of people hospitalized in both counties was 92 on Tuesday, down from 93 the day before, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Wednesday. The region saw the number of patients hospitalized decrease or remain stable eight of the past 10 days.

In McHenry County alone, 6.1% of medical and surgical beds and 19.5% of intensive care unit beds were available, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. Hospitalizations have decreased or remained stable eight out of the past 10 days in McHenry County.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 went up Tuesday to 1,747, but remained lower than the more than 1,800 seen at the end of September, according to the IDPH. Of those, 425 were in ICUs and 223 were on ventilators.

The IDPH reported 2,932 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide Wednesday. Another 54 deaths also were logged Wednesday, bringing the totals to 1,643,993 cases, 25,153 confirmed deaths and 2,725 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported 70,891 cases and 1,074 deaths through Tuesday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported 67,056 cases and 865 deaths Wednesday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,213 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,893 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) 3,657; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,117; Huntley (60142) 2,544; Algonquin (60102) 2,467; Cary (60013) 2,351; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,326; Harvard (60033) 1,764; Marengo (60152) 1,382; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,168; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,129; Spring Grove (60081) 869; Island Lake (60042) 482; Fox River Grove (60021) 441; Richmond (60071) 379; Hebron (60034) 212; Barrington (60010) 178; Union (60180) 151; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 87.

Emily Coleman

Emily K. Coleman

Originally from the northwest suburbs, Emily K. Coleman is the editor for the Northwest Herald. She spent about seven years prior to that with Shaw Media, first covering the town of Dixon for Sauk Valley Media and then various communities within McHenry County from 2012 to 2016.