Will County’s COVID-19 positivity rate drops to under 2%

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the region have declined by about half in the last month

As the entire state reached a long-awaited full reopening Friday, Will County has continued to see declining numbers of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that as of Tuesday, the county’s rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate had declined to 1.5%. The figure represents a significant turnaround since the county saw its positivity rate spike to about 20% during the worst of the pandemic in the late fall and early winter.

The South Suburban Region, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, recorded a rolling average positivity rate of 1.6% as of Tuesday, a pandemic low according to the IDPH data.

The region has also seen substantial improvement in the number of people in the hospital due to COVID-19 over the last few weeks.

On May 13, there were 90 COVID-19 patients in the region’s hospitals, per the IDPH. As of Thursday, that number had decreased by more than half to just 42 patients.

Of course the drastically improving numbers came after vaccines became available, including to those as young as 12. As of Thursday, just over 43% of Will County’s population of over 690,000 residents have been fully vaccinated.

The Will County Health Department has been shifting its vaccination efforts away from larger clinics, which it plans to wind down in the next few weeks, to smaller events and visits to local schools and places of worship.

For more information, including where to find the nearest vaccine clinic, 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.