Three more schools report outbreaks: IDPH

McHenry County reports 63 new COVID-19 cases, no additional deaths

Three more McHenry County schools have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Friday.

The new outbreaks are at Algonquin’s Mackeban Elementary School, Woods Creek Elementary School in Crystal Lake and Marengo Community High School. All of these outbreaks involved fewer than five positive COVID-19 cases. While Marengo High School’s originated from a sports activity, outbreaks at Woods Creek and Mackeban came from the classroom, the IDPH said.

Intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties has remained at 20%, the IDPH also reported.

Twice this summer, the ICU care availability had fallen below 20%, a threshold previously used by the state during the COVID-19 pandemic as a trigger point for implementing more strict health mitigations on regions, something that hadn’t occurred during either last year’s fall peak of coronavirus cases or the more recent spring surge.

The number of people hospitalized in both counties was 87 on Thursday, one fewer than the day before, the IDPH reported. The region saw the number of patients hospitalized decrease or remain stable eight of the past 10 days.

In McHenry County alone, 3.5% of medical and surgical beds and 24.2% 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 fell Wednesday to 1,550, according to the IDPH. Of those, 341 patients were in the ICU and 172 were on ventilators.

Meanwhile, the McHenry County health department reported an additional 63 COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 34,471, including 308 deaths and 32 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed. No additional deaths were reported Friday.

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 fell to 130.32 per 100,000 residents Sunday, 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 COVID-19 test positivity rate went down slightly to 2.8% on Tuesday, according to the McHenry County health department. The county has been within the low transmission range of zero percent to 4.9% for more than a month.

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, saw its positivity rate stay at 2.4% as of Tuesday, according to the IDPH.

An additional 480 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to McHenry County residents Wednesday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 358,699, the IDPH reported.

A total of 175,497 residents, or an estimated 56.87% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 14,994,065 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 80.9% of those age 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and 63.4% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Friday. Those rates are 82.5% and 65% for people 18 and older and 96.8% and 78.9% for those 65 and older.

The IDPH reported 2,413 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 statewide Friday. Another 30 deaths also were logged Thursday, bringing the totals to 1,665,777 cases, 25,407 confirmed deaths and 2,790 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported there have been a total of 71,718 cases and 1,078 deaths as of Friday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported there have been 67,757 cases and 866 deaths as of Thursday, the last date for which data is available.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,280 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,949 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) 3,715; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,166; Huntley (60142) 2,598; Algonquin (60102) 2,498; Cary (60013) 2,373; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,371; Harvard (60033) 1,789; Marengo (60152) 1,402; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,179; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,141; Spring Grove (60081) 887; Island Lake (60042) 492; Fox River Grove (60021) 447; Richmond (60071) 388; Hebron (60034) 213; Barrington (60010) 182; Union (60180) 157; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 87.

Cassie Buchman

Cassie Buchman

I cover Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Cary, Fox River Grove, Prairie Grove and Oakwood Hills for the Northwest Herald.