McHenry County positivity rate tops 9% for first time since April

McHenry County reported 187 new cases Wednesday

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses

McHenry County’s COVID-19 positivity rate has reached the highest level since April 13, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data.

McHenry County’s positivity rate was 9.2% as of Sunday, the last date the McHenry County Department of Public Health has data for.

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. The threshold at which the Centers for Disease Control classifies transmission risk as “substantial” based on a positivity rate is 8%.

Region 9, which is made up of Lake and McHenry counties, saw its positivity rate rise to 7.2% Sunday, 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 Wednesday due to the county’s high incidence rate, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.

The incidence rate was 294.75 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Friday, the last day for which data is available, according to the county’s dashboard. The incidence rate has fallen each of the last two days after skyrocketing from about 130 in late October.

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 144 Tuesday, according to IDPH. It’s the most people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the two-county region since Feb. 8, according to state data.

COVID-19 hospitalizations rose each of the last ten days, state data shows.

Intensive care unit availability across the two counties remained at 21%, the sixth straight day above the 20% threshold, according to IDPH.

In McHenry County alone, 4.6% of medical and surgical beds and 19% 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 Tuesday to 2,458, IDPH reported, up from fewer than 2,000 seen last Thursday. Of those hospitalized Monday, 470 patients were in the ICU and 211 were on ventilators.

An additional 1,601 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Tuesday, bringing the total number administered locally to 417,013, IDPH reported. The state reported 46,070 booster shots had been administered in McHenry County.

A total of 181,869 county residents, or an estimated 58.94% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 17,357,231 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 73.8% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 and 65.6% are fully vaccinated, IDPH reported Wednesday. Those rates are 79.1% and 71.9% for those age 12 and older, 80.7% and 73.4% for people 18 and older, and 94.5% and 86.5% for those 65 and older, respectively.

The Illinois Department of Public Health tallied 6,119 total new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Another 45 deaths also were logged Wednesday, bringing the totals to 1,815,994 cases, 26,459 confirmed deaths and 2,973 probable deaths.

The McHenry County Department of Health reported an additional 187 COVID-19 cases Wednesday. That brings the total to 39,299 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 Wednesday.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 77,959 cases and 1,116 deaths on Wednesday, and to the south, Kane County’s health department reported 73,698 cases and 901 deaths.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 6,083 confirmed, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) follows with 4,525 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) 4,284; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,570; Huntley (60142) 2,954; Algonquin (60102) 2,796; Cary (60013) 2,685; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,654; Harvard (60033) 1,994; Marengo (60152) 1,653; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,347; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,322; Spring Grove (60081) 995; Island Lake (60042) 531; Fox River Grove (60021) 531; Richmond (60071) 462; Hebron (60034) 237; Barrington (60010) 206; Union (60180) 185; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 109.