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MORRIS – After spending a week not on the Illinois Department of Public Health's list of counties at a warning status for COVID-19, Grundy County returned to warning status this week. Grundy is one of 30 counties in Illinois that is listed at warning status for its COVID-19 activity.
"We have returned to 'orange' because of an increase in the number of new cases (143 per 100,000) and the positivity rate (9.3%)," Grundy County Board of Health Administrator Michelle Pruim said in a news release. The term "orange" is in reference to the colors used to denote counties in warning status on the IDPH's map.
The IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining whether a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.
• New cases per 100,000 people: If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning. In the past week, Grundy County saw 143 new cases per 100,000 people.
• Number of deaths: This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks. Grundy County had zero deaths for the ninth consecutive week.
• Weekly test positivity: This metric indicates a warning when the seven-day test positivity rate rises above 8%. In the past week, Grundy County's test positivity was 9.3%, up from 8% the previous week.
• Tests performed: This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county. In the past week, Grundy County performed 707 tests, up from 514 the previous week.
• Weekly emergency department visits: This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of emergency department visits for COVID-19-like illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Weekly hospital admissions: A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks. In the past week, Grundy County had fewer than five hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness for the eighth consecutive week.
• Clusters: This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increases in cases. For the fourth consecutive week, none of the cases in Grundy County were associated with clusters.
• ICU availability: If fewer than 20% of intensive care unit beds are available in the region, a warning is triggered. In the previous week, Grundy County had 41.6% of its intensive care units available, up from 28.9% the previous week.
Residents may consult the IDPH website for regional- and county-specific data to monitor trends.
The North-Central region, which includes Grundy County, has a current positivity rate of 7%. If the region reaches 8% for three consecutive days, additional restrictions will be imposed upon the region. The IDPH relies on both positive and negative testing data to determine the next steps of action. Per the IDPH, all residents are encouraged to be tested if they are experiencing symptoms or have been in close contact with a positive person.
Testing is available throughout the county, and protocol at each location is subject to change based on availability of resources.