Southern Seven Health Department (S7HD) reports the Illinois Department of Public Health announced on July 23rd that Union, Johnson, and Pulaski Counties will move into an Orange Warning Level on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) risk metrics. Massac County was moved to the Orange Warning Level last week and remains there. The amount of New Cases Per 100,000 people, Test Positivity Percentage metrics, and falling ICU bed availability at area hospitals are causing the elevated risk levels. According to Illinois Department of Public Health, an orange designation indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the community. Residents are asked to remain vigilant to slow spread of the virus.
A warning for New Case Rate indicates the rate is greater than 50 cases per 100,000 people. A warning for Test Positivity indicates that the percentage was above 8% from the previous 7 day period. A warning for ICU Availability shows the number of ICU beds has dropped below a 20% availability threshold.
New Cases per 100,000 People Rate is a unit of measure calculated as a rate to compare the number of cases in large and small counties. The rate is calculated by dividing the county case count for 7 days by county population x 100,000. This describes the potential number of people who are currently ill and may be infectious in the county.
Union County had 273 potential new cases (based on 46 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 5.3% out of 850 tests. ICU availability was 17.7%
Johnson County had 128 potential new cases (based on 16 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 4.0% out of 325 tests. ICU availability was 17.7%
Pulaski County had 201 potential new cases (based on 11 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 9.8% out of 132 tests. ICU availability was 17.7%
Massac County had 78 potential new cases (based on 11 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 6.2% out of 129 tests. ICU availability was 17.7%
Eight different indicators are used to determine a county’s designation. A county is considered at the orange ‘Warning’ level when at least two of the main indicators are going in the wrong direction. Individuals, families, and community groups should use this information to help inform their choices about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do. To view the IDPH county-level risk map, visit the County Level Covid-19 Risk Metrics website.
“The number of people contracting COVID-19 is still on the rise and now we are beginning to see the impacts in our area hospitals,” said Nathan Ryder, Outreach Coordinator for Southern Seven’s Contact Tracing Team. “More people are getting sick with COVID and requiring hospitalization throughout the Southern Seven but it doesn’t have to be this way.”
S7HD has been urging southern Illinoisans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, especially with the rapid spread of the Delta variant impacting neighboring states. The COVID vaccines are proving to be effective in preventing people from becoming severely ill or requiring hospitalization. It’s also recommended to continue following the COVID-19 mitigation procedures we’re all familiar with to help prevent the spread of COVID-19: wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and keep your distance especially in crowded situations or indoor environments.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced last month that southern Illinois’ Region 5, where all seven of our counties are located, moved to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois COVID-19 mitigation plan. This move fully reopened businesses across the state without restrictions. More information on Illinois’ Phase 5 Reopening Plans can be found here: http://dph.illinois.gov/restore
S7HD continues to work with businesses and many other facets of the community to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. For the latest information on COVID-19 cases in the region or to find out how to get vaccinated against COVID-19, please visit: https://www.southern7.org
OR call their office at: (618) 634-2297