McHenry County positivity rate drops below 3% for first time in three months

McHenry County reported 177 new cases over the long weekend

McHenry County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate dropped below 3% late last week for the first time since mid-July, according to data from the McHenry County Department of Health.

The county’s test positivity rate remained at 2.9% as of Saturday, according to the health department. The county has been within the low transmission range of zero percent to 4.9% for more than a month.

The county’s positivity rate – measured by a seven-day rolling average with a three-day lag – had been hovering at and slightly above 3% for more than a week, state data shows. Friday was the first day it had been below 3% since July 15.

However, the county’s incidence rate remained well above the threshold that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers to mark a “high” transmission of COVID-19.

The number of new cases over the previous seven days was 129.99 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’s health department.

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 2.3% as of Saturday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties dropped to 21% Monday, the IDPH reported.

The two-county region fell below the 20% threshold, which has been used as a trigger point for implementing more strict health mitigations on regions, twice this summer, something that hadn’t occurred during either last year’s fall peak or the more recent spring surge.

The number of people hospitalized in both counties was 92 on Monday, the same as the day before, the IDPH reported Tuesday. The region saw the number of patients hospitalized decrease or remain stable nine of the past 10 days.

In McHenry County alone, 5.2% of medical and surgical beds and 26.8% of intensive care unit beds were available, according to the McHenry County health department. 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 Monday to 1,646 but remained lower than the more than 1,800 seen at the end of September, according to the IDPH. Of those, 394 were in the ICU and 213 were on ventilators.

The number of McHenry County residents getting COVID-19 vaccines dropped over the weekend, with the seven-day rolling average of administered doses falling to 517 Monday, from 758 Friday, the highest it had been since Aug. 18, state data showed Tuesday.

An additional 1,822 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents since Friday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 357,017, the IDPH reported.

A total of 175,027 county residents, or an estimated 56.72% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 14,893,187 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 80.7% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 63.2% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Tuesday. Those rates are 82.3% and 64.8% for people 18 and older and 96.5% and 78.8% for those 65 and older.

The IDPH reported 7,862 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide since Friday. Another 64 deaths also were logged since Friday, bringing the totals to 1,657,970 cases, 25,288 confirmed deaths and 2,753 probable deaths.

An additional 177 COVID-19 cases were reported since Friday by the McHenry County health department, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 34,296, including 308 deaths and 32 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed. No additional deaths were reported Tuesday.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported 71,450 cases and 1,075 deaths Tuesday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported 67,141 case and 865 deaths Friday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,249 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,925 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) 3,695; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,143; Huntley (60142) 2,581; Algonquin (60102) 2,491; Cary (60013) 2,364; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,362; Harvard (60033) 1,779; Marengo (60152) 1,398; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,174; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,136; Spring Grove (60081) 887; Island Lake (60042) 490; Fox River Grove (60021) 442; Richmond (60071) 387; Hebron (60034) 213; Barrington (60010) 179; Union (60180) 155; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 87.

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.