McHenry, Lake counties record most COVID-19 hospitalizations this month

McHenry County reported 168 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday

McHenry and Lake counties reported the most number of people hospitalized from COVID-19 this month on Monday, with 100 people on average in the hospital from the virus.

Hospital intensive care unity capacity across McHenry and Lake counties dipped below the 20% threshold on Sunday for the first time since mid-October, after COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region climbed throughout the month from a low of 61 on Nov. 8 to a high of 100 on Monday, state data shows.

It remained at 19% on Monday, and hospitalizations across the two counties increased eight of the past 10 days, according to state data.

The counties have not reported more than 100 hospitalizations from COVID-19 at one time since the end of September, according to state data.

Previously in the pandemic, dips below the 20% capacity mark for ICUs within a region of the state would trigger stricter mitigations implemented in the area. Prior to this past August , the two-county region had avoided falling to that level of ICU availability.

In McHenry County alone, 5.6% of medical and surgical beds and 23.8% 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 nine of the past 10 days in the county.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 rose Monday to 1,958, IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized Monday, 365 patients were in the ICU and 154 were on ventilators.

An additional 168 cases of COVID-19 cases in McHenry County were reported Tuesday by the McHenry County health department, bringing the total to 38,130 cases in McHenry County, including 338 deaths and 33 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed.

No additional deaths were reported Tuesday.

The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.

The incidence rate – measured as the number of new cases over seven days – went up to 278.51 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Thursday, the last day for which data is available.

The incidence rate had been climbing since it was at 128.04 per 100,000 residents on Oct. 24 and is the highest level it’s been in the last 250 days of available data, according to the health department.

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 and positivity rates 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, dropped to 5.7% as of Saturday, according to data from the McHenry County health department.

The county had been within the low transmission range of zero percent to 4.9% since early September. It is now in what is considered a “moderate” transmission rate territory, but the county health department will not change its categorization from low unless it meets the moderate criteria for a seven straight days. It has been in the moderate range for five days.

Region 9, which is made up of Lake and McHenry counties, saw its positivity rate remain at 4.1% Saturday, according to the IDPH.

An additional 1,323 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Monday, bringing the total number administered locally to 407,588, IDPH reported Tuesday. The state reported 40,287 booster shots had been administered in McHenry County.

A total of 180,388 county residents, or an estimated 58.46% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 16,956,232 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 78.1% of those age 12 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 71.3% are fully vaccinated, IDPH reported Tuesday. Those rates are 79.6% and 72.8% for people 18 and older and 93.5% and 86% for those 65 and older, respectively.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday tallied 4,589 total new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Another 17 deaths also were logged Tuesday, bringing the totals to 1,779,842 cases, 26,294 confirmed deaths and 2,940 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 76,518 cases and 1,110 deaths on Tuesday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported a total of 72,076 cases and 898 deaths on Monday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 5,876 confirmed cases, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) follows with 4,345 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) 4,160; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,489; Huntley (60142) 2,881; Algonquin (60102) 2,733; Cary (60013) 2,603; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,576; Harvard (60033) 1,947; Marengo (60152) 1,585; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,297; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,288; Spring Grove (60081) 977; Island Lake (60042) 524; Fox River Grove (60021) 511; Richmond (60071) 444; Hebron (60034) 232; Barrington (60010) 200; Union (60180) 178; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 109.

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.