SPRINGFIELD – Illinois laboratories processed more than 40,000 COVID-19 tests for the fourth time this month Thursday.
The total of 44,330 specimens now brings the number of cases in Illinois to 2,432,523. Of the tests processed Wednesday, 1,532 were positive.
There were 19 additional coronavirus-related deaths reported by state officials Thursday, including a two Winnebago County women, one in her 60s and one in her 90s.
Cook County accounted for 13 of the state’s new fatalities. Deaths reported there include a woman in her 60s, three women in their70s, a man in his 70s, four women in their 80s, and four women in their 90s. New deaths were also reported in DuPage County. (three females, 90s, one female; 100+).
Since the coronavirus outbreak was deemed a pandemic in March, there have been 168,457 positive and presumptive cases, of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 7,385 deaths. Cases have been reported in all 102 counties in.
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate based of total tests from July 17 to July 23 is 3.4%.
As of Thursday night, 1,471 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 325 patients were in the ICU and 115 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH is now reporting both confirmed and probable cases and deaths.
The last time Illinois topped 40,000 daily tests was July 18, when labs processes 46,009 specimens, the highest number to date. The state also reported 43,692 tests on July 17 and 43,006 July 16.
Meanwhile, four Illinois counties have reached what the IDPH has designated as “warning levels” two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase were reached.
Counties currently reported at that warning level are Adams, LaSalle, Peoria, and Randolph. Officials say the counties saw outbreaks associated with businesses with “risky” behavior. Following is an overview of what experts say is likely causing increase in cases in the four counties.
Adams County: Larger social events, health care exposure, travel to hotspots including those in neighboring Missouri and Iowa, places of worship, and youth sports.
LaSalle County: Large family and social gatherings, increase in cases among people younger than 29, younger people visiting bars and attending larger social events, and inconsistencies with masking requirements.
Peoria County: Increases in cases among people younger than 29, large gatherings including Fourth of July parties, and people traveling to Florida, Iowa, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Randolph County: Congregate settings, numerous bars not complying with distancing and masking, a large party with more than 200 people, and among households.
IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if 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 50 or more new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
Number of deaths: This metric indicates a warning when the number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
Weekly test positivity: This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
ICU availability: If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
Weekly emergency room visits: This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase 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.
Testing performance: This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
Clusters: This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.
Metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do. Metrics are updated weekly, from Saturday to Saturday of the prior seven-day period.