McHenry County saw 18 COVID-19 in December, health department reports

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Lake, McHenry counties hit 393, IDPH reports

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

Eighteen people died from COVID-19 last month in McHenry County, county health department data shows.

Due to a backlog of data, the McHenry County Department of Health had not updated its death toll since Dec. 17, according to department spokeswoman and Northwest Herald coverage.

On Tuesday, the department added 17 new deaths where COVID-19 was the confirmed cause and another death where it was the probable cause, bringing the total to 370 confirmed deaths and 36 probable ones.

The county also reported 540 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the total to 54,249.

The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high Tuesday even as the positivity rate dropped slightly for the third day in a row.

The test positivity rate for the county, as measured by a seven-day rolling average, was 21.5% on Saturday, down a percentage point since it reached the highest it had ever been during the pandemic on Jan. 5, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The region including both Lake and McHenry counties saw its test positivity rate drop Saturday to 18.2%, down from a record rate of more than 19% last week.

McHenry County’s incidence rate hit a peak of 963.88 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Thursday, the last day for which data was reported, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.

That’s the highest the county has seen over the previous 250 days, the time period published by the county, and more than nine 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 the positivity rate below 10%, according to the McHenry County health department. Both metrics would then need to stay below those levels for a week.

Hospital intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties dropped to 15% Monday, marking the 13th straight day below the 20% threshold previously used by the state as a trigger point for imposing stricter health mitigations.

Overall, the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased every day since Dec. 26 in the two-county region, reaching 393 Monday to set a record-high for hospitalized patients, state data shows.

In McHenry County alone, 3.6% of medical and surgical hospital beds remain available on average, according to the seven-day rolling mean reported Tuesday by the McHenry County Department of Health. An average of 10.8% of ICU beds were available.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19-like illness have increased six of the past 10 days in the county as of Tuesday.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 increased Monday to 7,353, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized, 1,152 patients were in the ICU and 664 were on ventilators.

An additional 898 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Monday, according to the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 473,863. The state reported that 84,110 booster shots were administered in McHenry County.

A total of 191,067 county residents, or an estimated 61.92% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 19,722,607 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 78% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 68.9% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Tuesday. Those rates are 82.4% and 73.4% for those age 12 and older, 83.9% and 74.8% for people 18 and older, and 95% and 86.9% for those 65 and older, respectively.

Statewide, the IDPH on Tuesday tallied 28,110 total new cases of COVID-19. Another 92 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 2,488,380 cases, 28,660 confirmed deaths and 3,368 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 98,042 cases and 1,173 deaths through Monday. To the south, Kane County’s health department reported 97,129 cases and 968 deaths as of Tuesday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 8,551 confirmed, according to county data. McHenry (60050) follows with 6,108.

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) 5,999 cases; Lake in the Hills (60156) 4,835; Huntley (60142) 4,122; Cary (60013) 4,026; Algonquin (60102) 3,811; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 3,611; Harvard (60033) 2,544; Marengo (60152) 2,144; Wonder Lake (60097) 1,988; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,880; Spring Grove (60081) 1,254; Fox River Grove (60021) 765; Island Lake (60042) 760; Richmond (60071) 583; Hebron (60034) 309; Barrington (60010) 260; Union (60180) 226; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 153.