COVID-19 case rate in McHenry County climbs to more than 10 times level considered ‘high’ transmission by CDC

Another 742 cases were reported Wednesday as total current COVID-19 hospitalizations in Lake, McHenry counties approach 400, IDPH reports

The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high Wednesday, the McHenry County Department of Health said as the rate of new cases continued to rise.

The McHenry County health department reported 742 new cases Wednesday, bringing the total to 54,991, including 370 deaths and 36 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed.

The test positivity rate for the county, as measured by a seven-day rolling average, was 21.2% on Sunday, down for the fourth day in a row 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 Sunday to 18%, down from a record rate of more than 19% last week.

McHenry County’s incidence rate hit a peak of 1,055.2 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Friday, the last day for which data was reported, according to the McHenry County health department.

That’s the highest the county has seen over the previous 250 days, the time period published by the county, and more than 10 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 stayed at 15% Wednesday, marking the 14th 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 399 Tuesday to set a record-high for hospitalized patients, state data shows.

In McHenry County alone, 3.2% of medical and surgical hospital beds remain available on average, according to the seven-day rolling mean reported Wednesday by the McHenry County health department. An average of 11.6% of ICU beds were available.

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

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 decreased Tuesday to 7,219, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized, 1,131 patients were in the ICU and 650 were on ventilators.

An additional 1,261 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Tuesday, according to the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 475,124. The state reported that 84,834 booster shots were administered in McHenry County.

A total of 191,258 county residents, or an estimated 61.98% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 19,779,403 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 78.1% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 69% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Wednesday. Those rates are 82.4% and 73.4% for those age 12 and older, 84% and 74.8% for people 18 and older, and 95% and 86.9% for those 65 and older, respectively.

Statewide, the IDPH on Wednesday tallied 34,573 total new cases of COVID-19. Another 145 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 2,522,953 cases, 28,804 confirmed deaths and 3,383 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 99,123 cases and 1,176 deaths through Tuesday. To the south, Kane County’s health department reported 99,224 cases and 970 deaths as of Wednesday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 8,690 confirmed, according to county data. McHenry (60050) follows with 6,192.

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) 6,081 cases; Lake in the Hills (60156) 4,906; Huntley (60142) 4,172; Cary (60013) 4,137; Algonquin (60102) 3,847; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 3,642; Harvard (60033) 2,572; Marengo (60152) 2,164; Wonder Lake (60097) 2,014; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,912; Spring Grove (60081) 1,260; Fox River Grove (60021) 778; Island Lake (60042) 762; Richmond (60071) 586; Hebron (60034) 314; Barrington (60010) 261; Union (60180) 226; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 154.