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Kane added to IDPH COVID-19 watch list amid resurgence of cases

Jeffers calls for increased vigilance for wearing masks, social distancing

The Kane County Health Department in Aurora.
The Kane County Health Department in Aurora.

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KANE COUNTY – The Illinois Department of Public Health added Kane County to its watch list today as its case rate for the week ending Aug. 8 is 105 per 100,000 and the goal is to be below 50 per 100,000, officials announced in a news release.

There were seven deaths reported by IDPH during that week, up from five the previous week and four the week before that. The warning level for this measure occurs when there are two consecutive weeks with more than a 20% increase.Kane County is meeting stated thresholds for other measures.

Citing this steady increase in COVID-19 numbers over the past month – and being added to the watch list – Kane County Health Department Director Barbara Jeffers urged residents to continue taking steps to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the community in a news release today.

“We are seeing too many people disregarding recommendations that is leading to COVID-19 related increased illness and subsequent death,” Jeffers stated in the release. “We are all in this together. By practicing proven measures today, we will reduce future cases, which in turn reduces disruptions in our business and school communities.”

Guidance includes wearing a face covering, maintaining six-foot social distance, washing hands frequently, avoiding large gatherings and staying home when ill.

Kane County met two of the six metrics identified by the state which triggers the warning level, but is meeting stated thresholds for other measures.

Jeffers stated in the release that IDPH adding Kane County to the watch list is a reminder for the community that the pandemic is not over yet.

The Kane County Health Department also announced additional measures to enhance their response to the pandemic.

Starting Monday, an additional 90 full-time contact tracers will be conducting investigations and tracing activities, a five-fold capacity increase.

The goal is to respond to every case within 24 hours of identification so staff can quickly provide guidance to ill and potentially exposed residents.

“It is important for residents to answer the phone and participate in the investigation process in cooperating with the investigation,” Jeffers stated in the release. “Residents are potentially saving someone’s life by stopping the spread of the virus.”

The Health Department will also be augmenting its ability to respond to resident concerns about businesses that may not be taking steps to protect customers and employees, the release stated.

Residents can report their concerns by calling 630-208-3801 or via email The Health Department is working with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and State’s Attorney’s Office to investigate and enforce violations.

The other metrics for triggering a warning are:

• If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region.

• When the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.

• When the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.

• If more testing is needed.

• The percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at

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