Will County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate ticks down under 6%

Eight schools in Will County see COVID-19 outbreaks, IDPH reports

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The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Will County appears to have slowed in the last week, per the latest public health data.

The county’s rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate fell below 6% as of Tuesday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Will County’s positivity rate rose to above 7% last month as the highly contagious delta variant spread throughout the country.

“That was getting a little scary, I have to tell you,” Sue Olenek, the director of the Will County Health Department said during a Will County Board committee meeting on Wednesday when discussing the local positivity rate.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Will and Kankakee counties have also appeared to stall in recent weeks, per the IDPH data.

After nearly quadrupling within about a month, the number of patients being hospitalized for COVID-19 in the region has remained at a little under 100 over the past two weeks.

Vaccination data was skewed this past week due to COVID-19 vaccine provider in Will County removing all previously reported vaccines administered and re-entering the data for quality assurance purposes.

Still, with the adjustment, 53% of all of Will County’s nearly 700,000 residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. That rate is on pace with the state as a whole.

The IDPH has also been reporting outbreaks in schools across the state, including four in schools in Will County this past week.

Beecher Junior High, Caretta Scott King Elementary in University Park, Cherry Hill School in New Lenox and Mokena Elementary School all saw outbreaks among students and staff members of fewer than five cases in the classroom.

Last week, Nelson Ridge School in New Lenox and Reed-Custer Elementary School in Braidwood saw an outbreak of fewer than five cases among students and staff.

Many school districts have been self-reporting the number of cases among its students and staff, as well as how many have been put in quarantine due to exposure.

For more information, visit willcountyhealth.org.

Alex Ortiz

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.