Health officials announce Region 4 to return to Phase 4 of Restore Illinois
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials announced 2,818 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 additional deaths Friday.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois now stands at 313,518 with 8,945 deaths, the IDPH reported.
Twenty-six counties are currently reported at a warning level: Case, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Effingham, Fayette, Henderson, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Lee, Mason, Massac, Pulaski, Richland, Saline, Shelby, Union, Vermilion, Whiteside, Winnebago and Warren.
Counties enter warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase, according to health officials.
As of Thursday night, 1,812 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 395 patients in the ICU and 153 on ventilators.
Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 71,599 specimens for a total of 6,177,379. The seven-day positivity rate from October 2 - October 8 is 3.8%.
Residents of Illinois counties near the Wisconsin border are worried about the future with COVID-19 rates on the rise in their norther neighbor.
Positivity rates for nearby counties in Wisconsin are significantly higher than their counterparts across the border in Illinois. Walworth County, which includes Lake Geneva, is at 11.3%, Racine County is at 7.7% and Kenosha County is at 9.6%. Meanwhile in Illinois Lake and McHenry counties are just over 5%.
Lake County's public health director said while there is no current travel quarantine mandate in place, people should avoid travel to Wisconsin while their COVID-19 cases are spiking. But to residents there seems to be little difference which side of the border you're on.
Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that Region 4, the Metro East, will return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan Friday.
Region 4 includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties.
"All of this takes place in a landscape where Illinois is continuously increasing our ability to test for and monitor this virus: we are now pushing an average of nearly 60,000 tests a day - and we surpassed 6 million tests to date," Pritzker said in a statement. "There is testing available to you if you need it. If you were potentially in contact with a COVID-19 case, if you're feeling unwell, or if you just want to check in, you are able to get a test at no cost."
The region moved to stricter mitigations on August 18 after three consecutive days of a rolling positivity rate above 8%.
In September, additional mitigations were put in place after the region's 7-day positivity rate reached 9.6%.
"We are excited to see that after weeks of mitigation measures and sacrifice, Region 4 has reduced its positivity rate and can return to Phase 4," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "It takes communities working together to reduce the spread of the virus and lower the positivity rate. I want to thank Region 4 for its hard work to decrease the risk for all of Illinois."
Meanwhile, a mobile COVID-19 testing site is in McHenry County Friday.
People can get tested until 4 p.m. at the Lippold Park Golf Center parking lot, 1251 IL-176, in Crystal Lake.
At his update on Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker said Region 4, the Metro East Region, has seen its positivity rates decline to 6.3%. The region saw its seven-day positivity rate peak at more than 10% and has had mitigations in place since August.
"That's enormous progress, and if the region sustains an average below the 6.5% threshold, Region 4 could see a return to the looser mitigations enacted in most of the state as soon as Friday," Pritzker said.
Pritzker, who has been in quarantine for more than a week after an aide tested positive for COVID-19, said his health is "great" and that his two COVID-19 tests have come back negative.
Friday's announced deaths include:
-Coles County: 1 female 90s
-Cook County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 2 males 70s, 2 female 80s, 3 males 80s
-DuPage County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s
-Ford County: 1 male 90s
-Lake County: 1 female 100+
-Logan County: 1 female 50s
-Macon County: 1 male 80s
-Marion County: 1 female 90s
-Marshall County: 1 female 90s
-McLean County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s
-Monroe County: 1 female 90s
-Sangamon County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 80s
-St. Clair County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
-Tazewell County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 70s, 2 males 80s
-Warren County: 1 female 80s
-Wayne County: 1 female 70s
-Will County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 90s
-Williamson County: 1 male 70s