After more than two months of a low positivity rate, McHenry County’s positivity rate has crossed out of the “moderate” range into what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider a “substantial” level.
Local health officials last month said lots of testing – much of it driven by schools and employers – had led to McHenry County’s relatively low positivity rate despite a high incidence rate, but now the positivity rate is trending upward, reaching the “substantial” level.
McHenry County’s positivity rate was 8.9% as of Saturday, the last date the health department has data for. The threshold at which the Centers for Disease Control classifies transmission risk as “substantial” based on a positivity rate is 8%.
The county has not seen a positivity rate of this level since mid-August, state data shows.
Region 9, which is made up of Lake and McHenry counties, saw its positivity rate rise to 6.6% Saturday, according to the IDPH.
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.
The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high as of Tuesday due to the county’s high incidence rate, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.
The incidence rate was 318.15 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Thursday, the last day for which data is available, according to the county’s dashboard. That is a decrease over the day before but still above the 263.56 recorded Nov. 17.
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.
The average number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across Lake and McHenry counties rose again, reaching 141 Monday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. COVID-19 hospitalizations rose each of the last nine days.
Intensive care unit availability across the two counties remained at 21%, the fifth straight day above the 20% threshold, according to IDPH.
In McHenry County alone, 5.2% of medical and surgical beds and 21.2% 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 five of the past 10 days in the county.
Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 rose Monday to 2,379, IDPH reported, up from fewer than 2,000 seen last Thursday. Of those hospitalized Monday, 457 patients were in the ICU and 217 were on ventilators.
An additional 1,146 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Monday, bringing the total number administered locally to 415,412, IDPH reported. The state reported 45,184 booster shots had been administered in McHenry County.
A total of 181,383 county residents, or an estimated 58.78% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.
Statewide, 17,288,192 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.
Across Illinois, 73.7% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 and 65.5% are fully vaccinated, IDPH reported Tuesday. Those rates are 79% and 71.9% for those age 12 and older, 80.6% and 73.4% for people 18 and older, and 94.4% and 86.5% for those 65 and older, respectively.
As of Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health tallied 5,714 total new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Another 23 deaths also were logged Tuesday, bringing the totals to 1,809,875 cases, 26,414 confirmed deaths and 2,962 probable deaths.
The McHenry County Department of Health reported an additional 202 COVID-19 cases Tuesday. That brings the total to 39,112 cases in McHenry County, including 343 deaths and 33 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed. No additional deaths were reported Tuesday.
Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 6,046 confirmed, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) follows with 4,506 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) 4,255; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,556; Huntley (60142) 2,932; Algonquin (60102) 2,785; Cary (60013) 2,677; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,636; Harvard (60033) 1,988; Marengo (60152) 1,649; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,337; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,320; Spring Grove (60081) 992; Island Lake (60042) 529; Fox River Grove (60021) 529; Richmond (60071) 461; Hebron (60034) 237; Barrington (60010) 205; Union (60180) 184; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 109.