Northwest part of state might be headed for COVID-19 restrictions

By Sarah Mansur Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – The northwest region of Illinois could be two days away from triggering increased mitigations from the state to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday, Sept. 28 announced the rate of positive test results had reached 8 percent in Region 1, which extends from DeKalb and Boone counties west to the Iowa border, on Sept. 25, the most recent day those statistics are recorded.

A region that has three consecutive days of positivity rates above 8 percent is subject to increased mitigations that include limited capacity indoors and restrictions for restaurants and bars.

Region 4 in the Metro East area already has increased restrictions. Its daily test positivity rate increased for the first time in 10 days, to 7.1 percent. A region must have a positivity rate below 6.5 percent for a 14-day period to have increased restrictions lifted. The IDPH placed additional restrictions on bars, restaurants and social gatherings in Region 4 on Aug. 18.

Region 7, which includes Kankakee and Will counties, got out from under increased restrictions 10 days ago.

Statewide, the test positivity seven-day rolling average is now at 3.7 percent, an increase of one-tenth of a percentage point since Friday, Sept. 25. Total cases of COVID-19 reported in Illinois reached 289,639 the IDPH reported Monday.

From Saturday, Sept. 26 through Monday, Sept. 28, the state averaged 1,918 new cases and 52,394 test results daily. There were 1,709 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours Monday, and 13 additional virus-related deaths. There now have been 8,614 Illinoisans killed by COVID-19.

The IDPH reported 52 deaths from Saturday to Monday, bringing the total death count in the state to 8,614 people. With 41,142 tests reported in the previous hours, the test positivity rate statewide was 4.15 percent in the previous 24 hours, the IDPH said. That’s a full percentage point higher than the rate reported Sunday, Sept. 27.

Other regions ranged from 2.2 percent in Region 6, which includes eastern Illinois, to 6 percent in Region 6, which spans parts of southern Illinois.

As of Sunday night, 1,491 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 346 patients were in the intensive care unit and 135 patients were using ventilators.

The total number of tests to date is more than 5.2 million.