More than 800 people have died from COVID-19 in Will County

South Suburban Region’s test positivity rates continues to decline

More than 800 Will County residents have died from COVID-19.

The Will County Health Department reported the grim mark this week as the official count reached 805 as of Tuesday.

The county has also recorded more than 59,000 total confirmed or probable cases of the disease throughout the pandemic.

Will County has continued to see its average rolling COVID-19 test positivity rate decline over the last several days. As of Jan. 16, the county reported an 8.2% rate, down from about 12% at the beginning of the month, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The South Suburban Region, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, had a rolling average test positivity rate of 7.5% as of Jan. 16.

The region’s hospital bed capacity has also remained above the IDPH threshold. As of Monday, the hospital intensive care unit availability was at 27% in the region, above the IDPH mark of at least 20%.

Still, the region continued to operate under the strictest measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus because it has not seen the required decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Most of the health regions in Illinois have seen relaxed mitigations over the last few days as they’ve met the requisite metrics.

On the vaccine front, more than 6,800 people have been fully vaccinated in Will County, according to the IDPH. The county health department has an online survey for residents interested in getting vaccinated to fill out.

For more information on COVID-19 in Will County, 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.