McHenry County COVID-19 transmission rate continues to decline

McHenry County reported 36 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday

McHenry County’s transmission rate of COVID-19 continues to decline toward lower levels, county health department data shows.

The county’s incidence rate fell sharply last week but 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 107.24 per 100,000 residents Thursday, the most recent day for which data is available, according to the McHenry County health department’s school metrics dashboard on Tuesday. That was down from more than 145 cases reported 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 dropped to 3% on Saturday, 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, was 2.3% on Saturday, according to the IDPH.

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 Monday, the same since Friday. The region saw the number of patients hospitalized decrease or remain stable all 10 of the past 10 days.

In McHenry County alone, 4.4% of medical and surgical beds and 22.5% 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 rose Monday to 1,426, 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 Monday, 332 patients were in the ICU and 173 were on ventilators.

Monday saw 591 doses of vaccine administered to McHenry County residents, bringing the total number of doses administered in McHenry County to 360,955, the IDPH reported.

A total of 176,094 county residents, or an estimated 57.07% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 15,099,528 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 81% of those age 12 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 63.4% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Tuesday. 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 2,071 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Another 21 deaths also were logged Tuesday, bringing the totals to 1,673,346 cases, 25,491 confirmed deaths and 2,801 probable deaths.

The McHenry County Department of Health reported 36 new cases and zero new deaths Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 34,674, including 309 deaths and 32 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but could not be confirmed.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 71,996 cases and 1,084 deaths as of Tuesday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported a total of 68,144 cases and 868 deaths as of Tuesday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,326 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) followed with 3,964 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) 3,735; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,189; Huntley (60142) 2,615; Algonquin (60102) 2,505; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,385; Cary (60013) 2,382; Harvard (60033) 1,795; Marengo (60152) 1,411; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,183; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,147; Spring Grove (60081) 894; Island Lake (60042) 495; Fox River Grove (60021) 451; Richmond (60071) 392; Hebron (60034) 214; Barrington (60010) 182; Union (60180) 159; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 90.

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.