Six COVID-19 youth outbreaks out of five school or sports programs in McHenry County, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported on Friday.
Two of these outbreaks happened at Marlowe Middle School in Lake in the Hills. Both of these outbreak cases happened in a classroom setting, the IDPH said, with nine students in one classroom testing positive and less than five in the other.
Another Huntley District 158 school, Martin Elementary School, also in Lake in the Hills, had six students test positive, with the outbreak originating on a bus. This is Martin Elementary’s fourth COVID-19 outbreak this school year.
Martin was among the first schools in McHenry County to have an outbreak this year. The first was declared on Sept. 2 after two students on a bus tested positive on Aug. 24.
“Each situation is different,” Associate Superintendent Jessica Lombard previously told the Northwest Herald. “We take each of those very seriously and want to do what’s best for the community.”
More than 800 students attend the Lake in the Hills school, according to its website.
Chauncey Duker Elementary School had an outbreak of fewer than five cases from a classroom, its third of the school year, and Prairie Grove Elementary School this week had its second outbreak from a bus, also under five cases.
D155 Predators Hockey, a non-profit organization with teams from Crystal Lake and Cary-Grove schools, had five outbreak cases among students and staff. Students from Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake Central, and Prairie Ridge High Schools participate in Predators Hockey, with goalies on loan to Marian Central and Woodstock North High School, according to its website.
The IDPH currently defines a COVID-19 outbreak in a school as at least three connected cases. Earlier in the school year, two cases that could be linked constituted an outbreak.
The number of people hospitalized because of COVID-19 across both McHenry and Lake counties stayed stagnant for one day after steadily rising for the past couple of weeks, state data showed.
The average number of people hospitalized because of COVID-19 was 98 on Thursday, the IDPH reported Thursday.
In McHenry County alone, 4.5% of medical and surgical beds and 29.4% 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 for six of the past 10 days in the county.
Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 rose Wednesday to 1,759, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized Wednesday, 350 patients were in the ICU and 152 were on ventilators.
The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high. The incidence rate — measured as the number of new cases over seven days — went up to 268.43 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Sunday, the last day for which data is available.
The incidence rate has been skyrocketing since it was at 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 Department of Health.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 crossed over to what the CDC considers a moderate one, a more severe categorization, according to local health department data.
McHenry County’s positivity rate, measured by a seven-day rolling average, was 5.1% as of Tuesday, according to data from the McHenry County health department. It’s been creeping upward the past few days since dropping to 2.5% in late October.
The county had been within the low transmission range of zero percent to 4.9% since early September. It is now under what is considered a “moderate” transmission rate.
Region 9, which is made up of Lake and McHenry counties, saw its positivity rate remain at 3.8% Tuesday, according to the IDPH.
An additional 1,516 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Thursday, bringing the total number administered locally to 400,412, the IDPH reported Friday. The state reported 35,559 booster shots had been administered in McHenry County.
A total of 179,400 county residents, or an estimated 58.14% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.
Statewide, 16,691,850 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.
Across Illinois, 77.4% of those age 12 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 70.9% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Friday. Those rates are 78.9% and 72.4% for people 18 and older and 92.7% and 85.5% for those 65 and older, respectively.
The IDPH reported 5,720 total new cases of COVID-19 Friday. Another 37 deaths also were logged Friday, bringing the totals to 1,763,866 cases, 26,227 confirmed deaths and 2,930 probable deaths.
An additional 200 COVID-19 cases in the county were reported Friday by the McHenry County health department, bringing the total to 37,544 cases in McHenry County, including 338 deaths and 32 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed. Two new deaths were reported Friday.
Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 75,726 cases and 1,108 deaths in Lake County on Friday and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported a total of 71,555 cases and 957 deaths on Friday.
Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,788 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) follows with 4,266 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) 4,070; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,454; Huntley (60142) 2,840; Algonquin (60102) 2,706; Cary (60013) 2,578; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,549; Harvard (60033) 1,923; Marengo (60152) 1,539; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,274; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,265; Spring Grove (60081) 958; Island Lake (60042) 516; Fox River Grove (60021) 501; Richmond (60071) 433; Hebron (60034) 230; Barrington (60010) 197; Union (60180) 175; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 108.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct the total number of COVID-19 cases in McHenry County. The two additional deaths were also reported Friday. A previous version of this article had the wrong day.