SPRINGFIELD – Twenty-eight Illinois counties are at a warning level for COVID-19 spread as of Friday, Oct. 2 the same day the rolling seven-day average positivity rate in the state decreased to 3.4 percent.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced another 47 virus-related deaths — the highest number since June 24, when there were 63 casualties.
The positivity rate in Region 1, located in northwest Illinois from Winnebago County to the western state line, jumped a half point to 8.7 percent, according to the latest figures. Region 4, which includes the Metro East area on the Missouri border, saw the positivity rate remain level at 7.5 percent.
Both regions are under increased mitigations that include the closure of bars and restaurants to indoor services and must decrease their positivity rates to 6.5 percent or lower for three days in order to see those mitigations lifted.
The region with the lowest positivity rate is east-central Illinois’ Region 6 at 2 percent, but the state is now calculating that number without using Champaign County statistics that are affected by a massive saliva testing program at the University of Illinois. Without those numbers, the region actually has a 7.2 percent positivity rate and is approaching the 8 percent threshold that would lead to increased mitigations.
Other regions ranged from 4.6 percent to 5.7 percent.
Statewide, the positivity rate was driven downward after IDPH reported 2,206 more confirmed cases of the virus among 72,691 test results reported over the previous 24 hours. That made for a one-day positivity rate of 3 percent.
The additional deaths occurred in people aged in their 40s through their 90s. The state has now reported 297,646 confirmed cases, including 8,743 deaths, among more than 5.7 million test results reported since the pandemic began.
The 28 counties at a warning level for COVID-19 spread include Bond, Boone, Brown, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, DeKalb, DeWitt, Fayette, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Massac, Monroe, Morgan, Pulaski, Putnam, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Wabash, Washington and Winnebago.
A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase, including number of deaths, new cases per 100,000, weekly test positivity and others.
IDPH said the spread in the counties related to university and college parties, college sports teams, large gatherings and events, bars and clubs, weddings and funerals, family gatherings, long-term care facilities, correctional centers, schools, and cases among the community at large, especially people in their 20s.
Statewide hospitalizations remained on a relative uptrend as of the end of the day Thursday, Oct. 1 with 1,678 people reported hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 373 were in intensive care unit beds and 162 were on ventilators. The numbers were all slightly above their pandemic highs.