South suburban region hits Illinois’ threshold for new coronavirus restrictions

National News

CHICAGO — A region including two south suburban counties reached the threshold for new coronavirus mitigation measures to be put in place Monday, data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows.

According to the IDPH, the 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate in the South Suburban Region which includes Kankakee and Will counties reached 8 percent on August 29 and remained above that level for a third day on August 21 with a rate of 8.3 percent.

The state’s “Restore Illinois” plan mandates any region which exceeds 8 percent positivity rate for three consecutive days to be subject to additional mitigation measures meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Governor JB Pritzker and health officials implemented new restrictions in the Metro East region outside St. Louis, including limits on group sizes, room capacities and bar and restaurant hours, on August 18 after it passed the same threshold. The positivity rate remained above that level as of Friday, coming in at 9.4 percent.

Health officials said on Friday 20 counties in Illinois surpassed at least one of their coronavirus “warning” levels. Based on data from August 9-15, they exceeded at least one of the state limits including test positivity rates, new cases or deaths.

Will County reached state “warning” levels with 92 cases per 100,000 residents and seven deaths during that period. It should be noted the county-level data used for these measurements lags behind the reported regional data by six days.

Across Illinois, the IDPH reported 1,612 new cases of COVID-19 and 8 coronavirus-related deaths were confirmed over the past day Monday. Officials estimate 95 percent of confirmed cases have recovered.

The statewide positivity rate from August 17-23 remained at 4.2 percent, and has been around four percent since late July. The 7-day testing average rose from around 37,000 daily tests at the end of July to 48,000 daily tests as of Monday.

Both coronavirus hospitalizations and hospital resources remain within the state’s guidelines, with 1,529 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday night, including 334 in intensive care and 141 on ventilators.

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