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Coronavirus

Pritzker: 'It looks like a new wave could be upon us' of COVID-19 in Illinois

Kane/DuPage and Will/Kankakee county regions might be one day away from extra mitigations

Dignity GoHealth worker Brandon Hastings uses an Abbott ID Now rapid antigen testing machine for United Airlines passengers who took tests at the SFO COVID-19 rapid testing site at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Dignity GoHealth worker Brandon Hastings uses an Abbott ID Now rapid antigen testing machine for United Airlines passengers who took tests at the SFO COVID-19 rapid testing site at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,113 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional deaths Monday.

The seven-day rolling average of Illinois’ positivity rate went up to 5.4%. The state received the results of 48,684 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours leading up to Monday afternoon.

Illinois now has seen 347,161 total cases of the virus, and 9,236 people have died. The state has conducted a total of 6,824,237 tests since the start of the pandemic.

As of late Sunday, Illinois had 2,096 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 485 were in intensive care units, and 179 were on ventilators. That is the highest number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU since June 18.

"Here in Illinois, it looks like a new wave could be upon us," Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said at a Monday news conference.

Pritzker said the state is better prepared for the pandemic than it was in March and April, but it's not helping that the state is surrounded by states with rising positivity rates.

"We can’t wall off Illinois from the surge, but we can take extra precautions, and do better than others at following the mitigations that slow the spread," Pritzker said.

Pritzker said he and IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike will resume giving daily COVID-19 in Illinois news conferences on weekdays.

Regional update: Additional restrictions can be placed on any of the state's 11 health regions if the region sustains an increase in its average positivity rate for seven days out of a 10-day period.

A region may also become more restrictive if there is a seven-day increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19-related illness or a reduction in hospital medical/surgical beds or ICU capacity below 20%. If a region reports three consecutive days with greater than an 8% average positivity rate, additional infection mitigation will be considered through a tiered system of restriction guidelines offered by the IDPH.

The North Suburban region (McHenry and Lake counties) has seen seven days of positivity increases – meeting one criteria for stricter mitigation measures – and five days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased from 7.0% to 7.3%. Currently, 38% of medical/surgical beds and 51% of ICU beds are available.

Regional data from the IDPH remains on a three-day lag and counts total positive tests rather than individuals who may test positive more than once, but within this region, McHenry County's seven-day positivity rate average climbed once again from 9.5% to 10.2%. Lake County, which completes about two-thirds of the testing in the region, saw its rolling average increase from 6.1% to 6.4%.

The West Suburban region (DuPage and Kane counties) has seen 10 days of positivity increases – meeting one criteria for stricter mitigation measures – and five days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased from 8.4% to 8.5%. Currently, 31% of medical/surgical beds and 44% of ICU beds are available.

Within this region, Kane County's rolling seven-day positivity average increased from 10.7% to 10.9%.

The Kane/DuPage region hit the state's fail-safe of 8% positive in its seven-day rolling average for the second day in a row. If the positivity rate stays above 8% on Tuesday, the region will be subject to enhanced mitigations, which have included closing indoor dining and bar service.

The South Suburban region (Will and Kankakee counties) has seen nine days of positivity increases and six days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased from 8.2% to 8.3%. Currently, 28% of the region's medical/surgical beds and 25% of ICU beds are available.

The Will/Kankakee region hit the state's fail-safe of 8% positive in its seven-day rolling average. If the positivity rate stays above 8% on Tuesday, the region will be subject to enhanced mitigations, which have included closing indoor dining and bar service. This would be the second time this region would be hit with additional mitigations.

The North region (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties) has seen eight days of positivity increases and four days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate remained flat at 11.1%, still the highest rate of any of the state's 11 regions. Currently, 39% of medical/surgical beds and 48% of ICU beds are available.

The North region (Region 1) is under additional COVID-19 mitigation measures from the IDPH as of Oct. 3. If Region 1 continues to report positivity rates above 8%, further mitigation efforts may be taken. To return to the standard Phase 4 restrictions, the region will need to maintain an average positivity rate of less than or equal to 6.5% over a 14-day period.

The region's counties that are reporting the highest positivity rates are Boone (14.2%) and Winnebago (12.3%). DeKalb County's positivity rate saw a big decrease from to 8.8% to 8.0%, while Whiteside County's increased from 10.4% to 11.0%.

"We were glad to see hospital admissions in that area stabilize after a period of growth, but are closely monitoring the situation after an uptick over the past several days," Pritzker said.

The North-Central region (Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties) has seen seven days of positivity increases – meeting one criteria for enhanced mitigations – and two days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased from 6.7% 6.9%. Currently, 39% of medical/surgical beds and 40% of ICU beds are available.

Chicago has seen eight days of positivity increases – meeting one criteria for enhanced mitigations – and five days of hospital admission increases. The region's positivity rate increased from 6.0% to 6.2%. Currently, 25% of medical/surgical beds and 32% of ICU beds are available.

Chicago officials warned Monday of “worrying trends” in increased COVID-19 cases, calling it a second wave that could trigger additional restrictions to curb the spread.

There's been a more than 50% increase of positive cases in the last two weeks to over 500 cases per day, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Commissioner Allison Arwady said it is the most cases since late May, which was the end of the coronavirus pandemic’s first wave.

There’s also been a 25% increase in hospitalizations. There are spikes across all groups of Chicagoans and parts of the city. The increase coincides with an increase statewide.

“We have to be diligent and push aside the COVID fatigue,” Lightfoot said at a news conference. “If we pretend that COVID is not the deadly virus that it is, the result, with certainty is sickness and death.”

Lightfoot is stressing the importance of masks, even in small gatherings. She said that in a gathering of 10 people there's a 14% chance that someone is infected with COVID-19.

Suburban Cook County has seen eight days of positivity increases – meeting one data point for enhanced mitigations – and four days of hospital admission increases, a decrease in both metrics. The region's positivity rate stayed flat at 6.8%. Currently, 26% of medical/surgical beds and 31% of ICU beds are available.

To see how other regions across the state are doing, see the full IDPH dashboard online.

Newly reported deaths include:

• Carroll County: 1 female 90s

• Cook County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s

• DuPage County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s

• Fayette County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s

• La Salle County: 1 female 80s

• Livingston County: 1 male 80s

• Monroe County: 1 male 80s

• Montgomery County: 1 male 80s

• Peoria County: 1 male 90s

• Wayne County: 1 male 90s

• Whiteside County: 1 female 90s

• Will County: 1 female 70s

• Williamson County: 1 male 70s

• Woodford County: 1 female 80s

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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