McHenry County reports 450 new COVID-19 cases, no additional deaths

Region sees highest positivity rate of 2021

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

Hospital intensive care unit capacity fell back below 20% in McHenry and Lake counties Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Thursday.

Intensive care unit availability had been improving since hitting a record low for the COVID-19 pandemic of 12% in mid-December.

ICU bed availability had been under the 20% threshold for 24 straight days before Monday. This threshold previously was used by the state as a trigger point for implementing stricter health mitigations.

Overall, the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased or remained stable six of the past 10 days in the two-county region, rising to 234 on Wednesday, state data shows. That remains below the recent peak of 240 on Dec. 17.

In McHenry County alone, 5.6% of medical and surgical hospital beds remain available on average, according to the seven-day rolling mean reported Thursday by the McHenry County Department of Health. An average of 22.7% of ICU beds were available.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19-like illness have decreased or remained stable for nine of the past 10 days in the county as of Thursday.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 jumped Wednesday to 5,689, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized Wednesday, 1,010 patients were in the ICU and 565 were on ventilators.

McHenry County’s incidence rate hit a new peak of 630.46 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Saturday, the last day for which data was reported. That’s the highest the county has seen over the past 250 days, the time period published by the county.

The incidence rate had been trending generally upward since mid-October before hitting a previous high of 539.14 on Dec. 4. It then fell to 470.89 about a week later and has been climbing upward again since then, with a spike from about 530 since Dec. 20.

For transmission risk 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 health department.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and McHenry County health department use the incidence and positivity rates to categorize the level of COVID-19 transmission in the community. When the two metrics do not fall within the same transmission risk category, the higher one is chosen, according to the McHenry County health department.

McHenry County’s COVID-19 seven-day test positivity rate climbed to its highest point so far in 2021 by hitting 13.9% Monday, the last date for which data is available, according to the IDPH. It was the highest figure for the statistic since Dec. 9, 2020.

The positivity rate for the region including both McHenry and Lake counties rose to 11.7% on Monday, which also marked a record high for 2021 and the area’s worst positivity rate since Dec. 10, 2020, according to the IDPH.

No new COVID-19 outbreaks were reported in McHenry County schools or youth organizations this week with students out of class for winter break, according to the IDPH.

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47’s Woods Creek Elementary School saw an outbreak grow from seven cases to 13 as of this week, the IDPH reported. The outbreak originally was reported Dec. 7, involves cases among staff and students and had the source tied to the classroom.

The McHenry County health department reported an additional 450 new COVID-19 cases Thursday.

That brings the total to 46,941 cases in McHenry County, including 353 deaths and 35 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed. No new deaths were reported Thursday.

An additional 1,553 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Wednesday, according to the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 459,849. The state reported that 74,849 booster shots were administered in McHenry County.

A total of 189,058 county residents, or an estimated 61.27% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 19,176,277 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 76.9% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 68.3% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Thursday. Those rates are 81.6% and 73.2% for those age 12 and older, 83.3% and 74.6% for people 18 and older, and 95% and 87% for those 65 and older, respectively.

Statewide, the IDPH tallied 30,386 total new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Another 87 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 2,149,548 cases, 27,821 confirmed deaths and 3,196 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 87,943 cases and 1,150 deaths as of Thursday. To the south, Kane County’s health department reported 84,961 cases and 945 deaths Wednesday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 7,290 confirmed, according to county data. McHenry (60050) follows with 5,253.

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: Woodstock (60098) 5,239 cases; Lake in the Hills (60156) 4,213; Huntley (60142) 3,526; Algonquin (60102) 3,297; Cary (60013) 3,275; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 3,174; Harvard (60033) 2,381; Marengo (60152) 1,936; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,706; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,577; Spring Grove (60081) 1,117; Fox River Grove (60021) 662; Island Lake (60042) 651; Richmond (60071) 536; Hebron (60034) 285; Barrington (60010) 237; Union (60180) 215; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 139.