The COVID-19 test positivity rate of the McHenry and Lake county region rose quickly over the final days of last month, reaching 7.3% Monday, the last date for which data is available, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Monday’s positivity rate was a level not seen since January in the two-county area.
McHenry County’s positivity rate on its own continued to climb and was 9.3% as of Monday, a mark the county also has not seen since January, state data shows.
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%.
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 remains high due to the county’s high incidence rate, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.
The incidence rate was 293.13 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Saturday, the last day for which data is available, according to the county’s dashboard. The incidence rate fell each of the last three days after skyrocketing from about 130 in late October to nearly 360 as of last week.
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 148 Wednesday, 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 11 days, state data shows.
Intensive care unit availability across the two counties fell slightly to 20%, marking a seventh straight day at or above the 20% threshold, according to IDPH.
In McHenry County alone, 4.4% of medical and surgical beds and 16.9% of intensive care unit beds were available, both down from earlier this week, 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 2,537, IDPH reported, up from fewer than 2,000 seen last week. Of those hospitalized Monday, 505 patients were in the ICU and 214 were on ventilators.
An additional 972 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Wednesday, bringing the total number administered locally to 417,985, IDPH reported. The state reported 46,662 booster shots had been administered in McHenry County.
A total of 182,035 county residents, or an estimated 58.99%% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.
Statewide, 17,408,457 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.
Across Illinois, 73.9% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 and 65.7% are fully vaccinated, IDPH reported Thursday. Those rates are 79.2% and 72% for those age 12 and older, 80.8% and 73.5% for people 18 and older, and 94.6% and 86.6% for those 65 and older, respectively.
Statewide, the Illinois Department of Public Health tallied 11,524 total new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Another 41 deaths also were logged Thursday, bringing the totals to 1,827,518 cases, 26,499 confirmed deaths and 2,978 probable deaths.
The McHenry County Department of Health reported an additional 399 COVID-19 cases Thursday. That brings the total to 39,698 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 Thursday.
Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 6,143 confirmed, according to county data. Woodstock (60098) follows with 4,570 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) 4,329; Lake in the Hills (60156) 3,599; Huntley (60142) 2,978; Algonquin (60102) 2,810; Cary (60013) 2,719; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 2,691; Harvard (60033) 2,012; Marengo (60152) 1,673; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,363; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,350; Spring Grove (60081) 999; Island Lake (60042) 537; Fox River Grove (60021) 535; Richmond (60071) 464; Hebron (60034) 240; Barrington (60010) 206; Union (60180) 190; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 111.