Hospitalizations across McHenry, Lake counties continue to rise

The level reached Wednesday has not been seen since late September

The number of people hospitalized because of COVID-19 across both McHenry and Lake counties continued to rise Wednesday, state data showed.

The average number of people hospitalized because of COVID-19 across the two counties increased each of the last nine days, hitting 98 Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Thursday.

Intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties remained at 22% Wednesday, the IDPH reported.

In McHenry County alone, 4.4% of medical and surgical beds and 30.7% of intensive care unit beds were available, according to the seven-day rolling average reported by the local health department. Hospitalizations have decreased or remained stable five of the past 10 days in the county.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 rose Wednesday to 1,669, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized Wednesday, 329 patients were in the ICU and 160 were on ventilators.

The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high after the incidence rate –  measured as the number of new cases over seven days – skyrocketed to 262.26 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents from 128.04 per 100,000 residents on Oct. 24.

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 McHenry County 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.

After more than two months with a low positivity rate, McHenry County is inching closer to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a moderate one, a more severe categorization, according to local health department data.

McHenry County’s positivity rate was 4.9% as of Monday, according to data from the McHenry County Department of Health. It’s been creeping upwards the past few days since dropping to 2.5% in late October.

The county has been within the low transmission range of zero percent to 4.9% since early September.

Region 9, which is made up of Lake and McHenry counties, saw its positivity rate rise to 3.8% Monday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

An additional 1,562 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Wednesday, bringing the total number administered locally to 398,896, the IDPH reported Thursday. The state reported 34,605 booster shots had been administered in McHenry County.

A total of 179,281 county residents, or an estimated 58.1% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 16,621,901 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 78.5% of those age 12 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 71.8% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Thursday. Those rates are 80.1% and 73.4% for people 18 and older and 94.9% and 87.2% for those 65 and older, respectively.

The IDPH reported 5,644 total new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Another 30 deaths also were logged Thursday, bringing the totals to 1,758,146 cases, 26,190 confirmed deaths and 2,925 probable deaths.

An additional 172 COVID-19 cases in the county were reported Thursday by the McHenry County Department of Health, bringing the total to 37,344 cases in McHenry County, including 336 deaths and 32 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed. No new deaths were reported Thursday.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 75,428 cases and 1,107 deaths in Lake County on Thursday and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported a total of 71,151 cases and 896 deaths on Wednesday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,755 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) follows with 4,248 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) 4,051; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,430; Huntley (60142) 2,830; Algonquin (60102) 2,695; Cary (60013) 2,567; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,533; Harvard (60033) 1,912; Marengo (60152) 1,519; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,268; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,258; Spring Grove (60081) 954; Island Lake (60042) 515; Fox River Grove (60021) 500; Richmond (60071) 428; Hebron (60034) 229; Barrington (60010) 197; Union (60180) 174; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 108.

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry covers local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.