Coronavirus

McHenry County adds new death to COVID-19 toll as hospitalizations tied to virus continue falling across state

County reports 167 new cases since Friday

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 symptoms in Lake and McHenry counties have fallen by almost 40% since mid-September, hitting 86 patients as of Sunday, as a similar decrease occurred statewide.

Intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties remained at 20% Monday after dipping to 19% over the weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

Twice this summer, the ICU care availability in the two-county region fell 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 86 Sunday, the same as on Friday. The region saw the number of patients hospitalized decrease or remain stable all 10 of the past 10 days.

In McHenry County alone, 3.7% of medical and surgical beds and 22.1% of intensive care unit beds were available, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. 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 hit Sunday to 1,419, an increase over the day before but a nearly 40% decrease from the state’s Sept. 9 peak of 2,346 hospitalizations, according to the IDPH. Of those hospitalized on Sunday, 338 patients were in the ICU and 168 were on ventilators, both down from Friday’s reporting.

Meanwhile, the McHenry County Department of Health reported one new death due to COVID-19 on Monday and an additional 167 new cases detected since Friday, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 34,638, including 309 deaths and 32 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed.

The county’s incidence rate fell sharply last week but still remained 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 hit to 110.17 per 100,000 residents Wednesday, the most recent day for which data is available, according to the McHenry County health department’s school metrics dashboard. That was down from more than 145 cases reported two weeks before on Oct. 4.

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 up to 3.1% on Friday, 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 rise slightly to 2.4% Friday, according to the IDPH.

Friday saw 813 doses of vaccine administered to McHenry County residents, the most since Oct. 6 when 932 shots were given, and the seven-day rolling average of daily vaccinations rose slightly to 538 after more than 800 additional shots were given between Saturday and Sunday.

Vaccinations over the weekend brought the total number of doses administered in McHenry County to 360,364, the IDPH reported.

A total of 175,967 county residents, or an estimated 57.03% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.