No new school outbreaks were reported in McHenry County: IDPH

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

No new school outbreaks were reported in McHenry County this week, Illinois Department of Public Health data shows.

The news follows the decision by several McHenry County school districts to no longer conduct contact tracing after a positive COVID-19 case is identified.

The school districts made that announcement in response to a decision by a Sangamon County judge that said the governor and the IDPH did not have the authority to require students to wear masks or be excluded when they are a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case.

Schools still are required to contact the McHenry County Department of Health when staff suspects an outbreak of COVID-19 or certain other communicable diseases, health department spokeswoman Lindsey Salvatelli said. When an outbreak is suspected, McHenry County health department staff conducts a case investigation and contact tracing in cooperation with the school.

The youth-related outbreaks in McHenry that remained active as of Friday, according to the IDPH, included one at Chauncey H. Duker School in McHenry with fewer than five cases among students, one at Oak Knoll Early Childhood Center in Cary with fewer than five cases among staff and students, one at Riverwood Elementary School in McHenry with fewer than five cases among students, and two each at Prairie Grove Elementary School and Woods Creek Elementary School in Crystal Lake.

The outbreaks at Prairie Grove Elementary, both reported Feb. 2, include six cases among students and another nine cases among staff and students, the IDPH reported. Both were tied to the classroom.

The outbreaks at Woods Creek both involve fewer than five cases, one among staff and students reported Jan. 12 and the other just among students reported Jan. 31, according to the report. Both had their sources tied to the classroom.

The McHenry County health department reported 71 additional COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total to 74,470 cases, including 446 deaths and 43 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19 but have not been confirmed. No additional deaths were reported.

The level of COVID-19 transmission in McHenry County remained high Friday because of the county’s incidence rate.

The incidence rate was 251.21 new COVID-19 cases over the last seven days per 100,000 residents as of Sunday, the last day for which data is available, according to the McHenry County health department’s school metrics dashboard.

For transmission risk to meet the less severe category “substantial,” the county would need to see the incidence rate fall below 100 new cases over seven days per 100,000 residents, according to the McHenry County health department. It then would need to stay below that for a week.

The county’s positivity rate also would need to stay below 10%, which it had been for six days in a row.

The test positivity rate for the county, as measured by a seven-day rolling average, decreased to 5.9% Tuesday, which is in the moderate range, according to the McHenry County health department.

The region including both Lake and McHenry counties saw its test positivity rate decrease to 4.7% Tuesday, according to the IDPH.

Total hospitalizations in the two-county region have dropped for 33 straight days, reaching 102 Thursday, according to the IDPH. They had been increasing every day since Dec. 26 before Jan. 14, reaching a pandemic high of 407 on Jan. 15.

Hospital intensive care unit availability across McHenry and Lake counties remained at 20% as of Thursday. Before Wednesday, it had been below the 20% threshold previously used by the state as a trigger point for imposing stricter COVID-19 health mitigations since Dec. 28, or for 51 days.

In McHenry County alone, 7.6% of medical and surgical hospital beds remain available on average, according to the seven-day rolling average the McHenry County health department reported Friday. An average of 34.8% of ICU beds were available.

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

Statewide, the number of hospitalizations tied to COVID-19 remained at 1,590 Thursday, the IDPH reported. Of those hospitalized, 303 patients were in the ICU and 132 were on ventilators.

An additional 298 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered to McHenry County residents Thursday, according to the IDPH, bringing the total number administered locally to 501,883. The state reported that 100,367 booster shots were administered in McHenry County.

A total of 197,298 residents, or an estimated 63.94% of McHenry County’s population, now are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve received all doses recommended for the vaccine they were given.

Statewide, 20,971,401 vaccine doses have been administered, according to state data.

Across Illinois, 80.6% of those age 5 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, and 71.3% are fully vaccinated, the IDPH reported Friday. Those rates are 84.5% and 75% for those age 12 and older, 85.9% and 76.3% for people 18 and older, and 95% and 87.3% for those age 65 and older, respectively.

Statewide, the IDPH tallied 3,184 total new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. Another 53 deaths also were logged, bringing the totals to 3,013,709 cases, 32,299 confirmed deaths and 4,061 probable deaths.

Neighboring Lake County’s health department reported a total of 120,664 cases and 1,296 deaths through Wednesday. To the south, Kane County’s health department reported 123,604 cases and 1,084 deaths as of Friday.

Among McHenry County ZIP codes, Crystal Lake (60014) has the highest total number of COVID-19 cases with a total of 12,130 confirmed, according to county data. McHenry (60050) follows with 8,503.

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) 7,640 cases; Lake in the Hills (60156) 7,172; Huntley (60142) 5,955; Cary (60013) 5,650; Algonquin (60102) 5,279; Johnsburg and McHenry (60051) 4,552; Harvard (60033) 3,715; Marengo (60152) 2,700; Wonder Lake (60097) 2,633; Crystal Lake, Bull Valley and Prairie Grove (60012) 2,605; Spring Grove (60081) 1,510; Fox River Grove (60021) 1,145; Island Lake (60042) 949; Richmond (60071) 707; Hebron (60034) 425; Barrington (60010) 298; Union (60180) 284; and Ringwood and Wonder Lake (60072) 189.