No new outbreaks reported at McHenry County schools, IDPH report shows

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

No new outbreaks were reported this week at McHenry County schools, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Friday.

Eight outbreaks in the area remain active, according to the IDPH. To be considered an outbreak, at least three cases must be identified where those involved may have a shared exposure at the school or youth-related organization, such as the same classroom, team or school bus.

They include one at Crystal Lake Central High School with seven cases among staff and students, one at Alexander Leigh Center for Autism in McHenry with six cases among staff and students, one at Conley Elementary School in Algonquin with 15 cases among students, Edgebrook Elementary School in McHenry with five cases among staff and students, Valley View Elementary School in McHenry with six cases among staff and students, and three outbreaks at Woods Creek Elementary School in Crystal Lake.

Woods Creek Elementary School’s outbreaks include one with five cases among staff and students, another with fewer than five cases among staff and students and a third with fewer than five cases among just students, according to IDPH.

The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high Thursday, the McHenry County Department of Health reported.

The McHenry County health department reported 271 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday but no additional deaths. That brings the total to 69,740, including 377 deaths and 36 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed.

The county has recorded two COVID-19 deaths so far in 2022.

The test positivity rate for the county, as measured by a seven-day rolling average, remained artificially high Tuesday, increasing to 37.1%, according to the IDPH.

A backlog of data from a single lab provided to the IDPH Friday and Saturday contained cases dating back to Dec. 23, IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Monday. The issue was with the data being uploaded to IDPH, which means patients should have received their results within the typical turnaround, Arnold said Wednesday.

Of the 10,933 tests reported for Friday, 56.7% were positive, state data shows. That’s compared with Tuesday when 1,961 tests were recorded, 17% of which were positive.

The region including both Lake and McHenry counties saw its test positivity rate remained Tuesday to 20.8%.

McHenry County’s incidence rate fell for the eighth day in a row, hitting 1,102 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents as of Sunday, the last day for which data was reported, according to the McHenry County health department.

That is below the peak on Jan. 13, which was the highest the county had seen over the previous 250 days, the time period published by the county, but remains about 11 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 would need to be below 10%, according to the McHenry County health department. Both metrics then would need to stay below those levels for a week.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in McHenry and Lake counties decreased to 295 Thursday after a high for the pandemic of 407 on Jan. 15, the IDPH reported.

Hospitalizations, measured by a seven-day rolling average, have decreased 12 straight days in the two-county region, state data shows. It had been increasing every day since Dec. 26 before Jan. 14.

Hospital intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties increased to 17% as of Thursday. It has been below the 20% threshold previously used by the state as a trigger point for imposing stricter COVID-19 health mitigations since Dec. 28.

In McHenry County alone, 5.3% of medical and surgical hospital beds remain available on average, according to the seven-day rolling mean reported Friday by the McHenry County health department. An average of 19% of ICU beds were available.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19-like illness decreased seven of the past 10 days in the county as of Friday.

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 decreased Thursday to 4,533, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized, 800 patients were in the ICU and 460 were on ventilators.

An additional 679 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered to McHenry County residents Thursday, according to the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 490,933. The state reported that 94,793 booster shots were administered in McHenry County.

A total of 193,871 county residents, or an estimated 62.83% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 20,423,100 vaccines have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 79.9% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 70.1% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Friday. Those rates are 84.1% and 74.3% for those age 12 and older, 85.6% and 75.6% for people 18 and older, and 95% and 87.2% for those 65 and older, respectively.

Statewide, the IDPH tallied 15,453 total new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Another 121 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 2,897,174 cases, 30,688 confirmed deaths and 3,751 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 113,310 cases and 1,214 deaths through Monday. To the south, Kane County’s health department reported 117,561 cases and 1,022 deaths as of Friday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 11,337 confirmed, according to county data. McHenry (60050) follows with 7,928.

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) 7,257 cases; Lake in the Hills (60156) 6,649; Huntley (60142) 5,506; Cary (60013) 5,316; Algonquin (60102) 4,908; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 4,349; Harvard (60033) 3,463; Marengo (60152) 2,553; Wonder Lake (60097) 2,488; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 2,425; Spring Grove (60081) 1,402; Fox River Grove (60021) 1,065; Island Lake (60042) 902; Richmond (60071) 657; Hebron (60034) 389; Barrington (60010) 287; Union (60180) 265; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 175.