Risk of COVID-19 transmissions in Cook, McHenry counties inches down
The risk of transmitting COVID-19 has dipped a notch in Cook and McHenry counties, Illinois Department of Public Health data showed Wednesday.
Both counties dropped from "high" community transmission rates to "substantial" transmission status, meaning both hit between 50 and 99 new cases of COVID-19 per capita in the last seven days.
"We've seen several public health recommendations being followed more closely recently, so not surprisingly, many COVID-19 measures have improved," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, Cook County Department of Public Health senior medical officer.
"Not only has the delta variant seemingly peaked (in Cook), we have seen an increase in vaccination rates, more residents are regularly wearing masks, and testing has increased with schools opening and more events requiring negative results to enter. If we continue to do all the small things well, a big improvement will surely follow."
Only five of 102 counties in Illinois sit at "substantial" levels. The rest of the state, including DuPage, Lake, Kane and Will counties, remains at a "high" transmission rate, or 100 or more cases per 100,000 people, the IDPH reported.
Cook registered a transmission rate of nearly 97.8 new cases per 100,000 residents and McHenry was at 97.8.
Kane County had the third lowest level with 115.3 new cases per capita. DuPage County reached 121.5 new cases. Lake County was at 123.3, and Will hit 127.7.
Nationwide, 48 states are listed as having "high" community transmissions with just Connecticut and New Hampshire at "substantial" rates, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
As of Wednesday, new cases of COVID-19 reached 3,961 with 62 more deaths from the respiratory disease, the most since Feb. 19, when 63 fatalities were recorded.
Since the pandemic began, 24,194 Illinoisans have died and the largest age group affected is people 80 and older with 11,172 succumbing to the virus.
Individuals in their 70s comprise the second most deaths with 5,999 recorded.
On Tuesday, 12,823 more COVID-19 shots were administered, the Illinois Department of Public Health said.
The seven-day average is 21,251.
The federal government has delivered 16,580,195 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December and 14,099,513 shots have been administered.
So far, 6,814,917 people have been fully vaccinated or nearly 53.5% of Illinois' 12.7 million population. Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. require two doses several weeks apart.
Illinois hospitals were treating 2,327 COVID-19 patients Tuesday night.
The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 4.5% based on a seven-day average.
Total cases statewide stand at 1,554,336.
Labs processed 68,659 virus tests in the last 24 hours.