The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 2,264 new coronavirus cases and 25 virus-related deaths in a 24-hour period since Thursday, bringing statewide totals to 202,691 cases and 7,721 deaths.
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate remains at 4.1%, but officials said 14 counties are considered to be at a warning level for the virus, including Clinton, Kane and Will counties. A county enters a warning level when it experiences an increase in at least two COVID-19 risk indicators from the state’s resurgence mitigation plan, according to IDPH.
Health officials say these 14 counties saw outbreaks associated with weddings, businesses, birthday parties, long-term care facilities, bars, sports camps and spread among members of the same household.
People in some communities are not wearing masks or aren’t wearing them correctly, according to IDPH. Masks must cover both the mouth and nose.
Health officials also announced Friday that the state’s Metro East region (which includes Clinton County) is close to hitting resurgence metrics. The Metro East region has seen increasing positivity rates, and as of Tuesday had an 8.2% seven-day positivity rate, according to the latest IDPH data available. The state will implement mitigation measures if a region experiences three consecutive days with an 8% positivity rate.
Earlier this week, IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike expressed concern about rising case numbers, positivity rates and virus-related hospitalizations. “My concern is growing each day about the direction our numbers are going,” she said Wednesday.
And Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned Wednesday that if things don’t change, stricter measures could be enacted. “We don’t want to go back to where we’re shutting things down,” he said. “But the truth is, we will inevitably get there if we keep moving in the wrong direction.”