The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in McHenry and Lake counties surpassed 400 for the first time during the pandemic, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Thursday.
Hospitalizations, measured by a seven-day rolling average, have increased every day since Dec. 26 in the two-county region, reaching 403 Wednesday, state data shows.
Hospital intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties fell to 14%, marking the 15th straight day below the 20% threshold previously used by the state as a trigger point for imposing stricter health mitigations.
In McHenry County alone, 3.1% 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 12.9% of ICU beds were available.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19-like illness have increased five of the past 10 days in the county as of Thursday.
Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 increased Wednesday to 7,380, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized, 1,177 patients were in the ICU and 670 were on ventilators.
The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high Thursday, the McHenry County health department reported.
The McHenry County health department reported 444 new cases Thursday, bringing the total to 55,435, including 370 deaths and 36 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed. No new deaths were reported Thursday.
The test positivity rate for the county, as measured by a seven-day rolling average, was 21.3% on Monday, a slight increase after four days of decreases, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The region including both Lake and McHenry counties saw its test positivity rate increase Monday to 18.1%, also an increase after four days of falling.
McHenry County’s incidence rate decreased to 1,052.28 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Saturday, the last day for which data was reported, according to the McHenry County health department.
That’s a decrease since Friday’s peak, which was the highest the county had seen over the previous 250 days, the time period published by the county, but remains 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.
An additional 1,218 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to McHenry County residents Wednesday, according to the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 476,342. The state reported that 85,565 booster shots were administered in McHenry County.
A total of 191,422 county residents, or an estimated 62.04% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.
Statewide, 19,838,302 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.
Across Illinois, 78.3% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 69.1% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Thursday. Those rates are 82.6% and 73.5% for those age 12 and older, 84.2% and 74.9% for people 18 and older, and 95% and 86.9% for those 65 and older, respectively.
Statewide, the IDPH on Thursday tallied 37,048 total new cases of COVID-19. Another 142 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 2,560,001 cases, 28,946 confirmed deaths and 3,410 probable deaths.
Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 100,049 cases and 1,176 deaths through Wednesday. 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 8,776 confirmed, according to county data. McHenry (60050) follows with 6,237.
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) 6,156 cases; Lake in the Hills (60156) 4,957; Huntley (60142) 4,210; Cary (60013) 4,178; Algonquin (60102) 3,859; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 3,657; Harvard (60033) 2,594; Marengo (60152) 2,180; Wonder Lake (60097) 2,035; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 1,934; Spring Grove (60081) 1,258; Fox River Grove (60021) 781; Island Lake (60042) 763; Richmond (60071) 588; Hebron (60034) 317; Barrington (60010) 262; Union (60180) 228; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 154.