McHenry, Lake counties drop below 20% threshold for ICU availability as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach early February levels

Statewide, 17,716,018 vaccines have been administered, according to state data

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

McHenry and Lake counties fell below the 20% threshold for hospital intensive care unit capacity Friday and remained at 17% as of Sunday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Monday.

Multiple times since the summer, the two-county area fell below 20%, a threshold previously used by the state during the COVID-19 pandemic as a trigger point for implementing more strict health mitigations on regions. That didn’t occur during either last year’s fall peak of COVID-19 cases or this year’s spring surge.

The lower ICU availability comes as the seven-day average for hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in the two-county region continues to climb, with 15 straight days of increases, the IDPH reported. Total hospitalizations in the area reached 167 Sunday, the highest level since Feb. 4, according to the IDPH.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 rose Sunday to 2,842, IDPH reported, up from fewer than 2,000 as of Nov. 25. Of those hospitalized Sunday, 579 patients were in the ICU, up from 301 as of Nov. 13, and 256 were on ventilators, up from 139 also as of Nov. 13.

McHenry County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate fell nearly a full percentage point from last week’s peak of 9.4% to 8.5% as of Friday, the last date for which data is available, according to the IDPH.

The positivity rate for the region including both McHenry and Lake counties was 6.6% Friday, according to the IDPH. That’s down from levels exceeding 7% early this month and late last month.

An additional 5,029 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents since Friday’s reporting by the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 425,120, IDPH reported. The state reported 51,038 booster shots had been administered in McHenry County.

A total of 183,607 county residents, or an estimated 59.5% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 17,716,018 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 74.1% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 and 66.1% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Monday. Those rates are 79.2% and 72% for those age 12 and older, 80.8% and 73.5% for people 18 and older, and 94.2% and 86.4% for those 65 and older, respectively.

Statewide, the IDPH tallied 19,110 total new cases of COVID-19 since Friday’s report. Another 85 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 1,854,186 cases, 26,620 confirmed deaths and 2,999 probable deaths.

The McHenry County Department of Health did not update its tallies of cases and deaths Monday, nor its dashboard of other COVID-19 data due to technical difficulties, and said it should resume its reporting on Tuesday.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 79,335 cases and 1,120 deaths Monday, with three additional deaths reported since Friday. To the south, Kane County’s health department reported 75,236 cases and 906 deaths Monday, adding two new deaths to its count since Friday.