McHenry, Lake counties’ hospital ICU capacity declining among record high positive COVID-19 tests

Statewide, 19,313,238 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

The number of COVID-19 cases detected in McHenry County continues to climb, leading to higher numbers of hospitalizations, state and local data shows.

McHenry County’s incidence rate hit a new peak of 775.07 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Wednesday, 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, and more than seven times the threshold set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to indicate a high level of transmission within a community.

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 Department of Health.

Both the CDC 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.

Friday, the last day of 2021, saw the year’s highest COVID-19 positivity rate as reported based on a seven-day rolling average in McHenry County at 18.1%, state data shows.

The region including both Lake and McHenry counties also saw its average highest positivity rate of 2021 on Friday at 16.2%. A rate as high or higher than that in this area has only been recorded on four days amid the pandemic, from Nov. 11, 2020, to Nov. 14, 2020, according to the state’s data.

Hospital intensive care unit availability remained on the decline in McHenry and Lake counties Sunday after the region set pandemic-era records for positive COVID-19 tests last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

The two-county region’s ICU capacity decreased to 15% Sunday, marking its fifth straight day below the 20% threshold previously used by the state as a trigger point for implementing stricter health mitigations.

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

Overall, the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased seven of the past 10 days in the two-county region, rising to 284 on Sunday, a level not seen since Dec. 24, 2020, state data shows.

In McHenry County alone, 4.2% of medical and surgical hospital beds remain available on average, according to the seven-day rolling mean reported Monday by the McHenry County Department of Health. An average of 19.9% of ICU beds were available.

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

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 jumped Sunday to 6,294, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized Sunday, 1,086 patients were in the ICU and 652 were on ventilators.

An additional 3,589 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents since Thursday’s update, according to the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 463,438. The state reported that 77,145 booster shots were administered in McHenry County.

A total of 189,487 county residents, or an estimated 61.41% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 19,313,238 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 76.5% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 68% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Monday. Those rates are 81.1% and 72.8% for those age 12 and older, 82.7% and 74.2% for people 18 and older, and 95% and 86.6% for those 65 and older, respectively.

Statewide, the IDPH on Monday tallied 89,195 total new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday’s reporting. Another 177 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 2,238,743 cases, 27,998 confirmed deaths and 3,214 probable deaths.

The McHenry County health department reported an additional 1,561 new COVID-19 cases Monday.

That brings the total to 48,502 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 Monday.

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 86,102 cases and 948 deaths as of Thursday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 7,535 confirmed, according to county data. McHenry (60050) follows with 5,450.

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) 5,391 cases; Lake in the Hills (60156) 4,331; Huntley (60142) 3,647; Cary (60013) 3,443; Algonquin (60102) 3,412; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 3,266; Harvard (60033) 2,412; Marengo (60152) 1,979; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,786; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,634; Spring Grove (60081) 1,146; Island Lake (60042) 685; Fox River Grove (60021) 675; Richmond (60071) 549; Hebron (60034) 289; Barrington (60010) 250; Union (60180) 216; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 143.