Will County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate ticks up to 13%

Will County has seen a slight increase in its rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate during the first week of January.

The county’s positivity rate stood at 13.2% as of Tuesday, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The county’s positivity rate hit a high of about 20% in mid-November and began to decline around the time new restrictions went into effect throughout the state. It reached a recent low of 11% around Christmas.

The South Suburban Region, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, also saw its positivity rate increase over the same period to 11.6% as of Jan. 5. It was 10% around late December.

The region’s hospital utilization remained under the IDPH threshold this week. As of Thursday, about a quarter of hospital intensive care unit beds in the region were available.

IDPH reports whether a region has at least 20% of hospital bed capacity.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week that any region which meets the threshold to move out of the most stringent mitigations to slow the spread of the virus on Jan. 15 will see those restrictions relaxed.

As of Friday, the South Suburban Region was meeting those metrics, though the test positivity rate is only one percentage point within the required mark.

The Will County Health Department is also awaiting the next batch of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines. It received about 5,000 doses of the vaccine last month and another 12,000 of the Moderna shot.

For more information related to COVID-19, visit willcountyhealth.org.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.