11/13/20 – S7HD COVID-19 Risk Levels Update
(Five Counties at Orange Warning Level)
Southern Seven Health Department (S7HD) reports the Illinois Department of Public Health announced on November 13 that five of the seven counties in the southern seven region are at Orange Warning Levels on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) risk metrics: Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac and Pulaski. Hardin County is new to the orange warning level this week. 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.
All five counties showed an increase in two risk metrics, New Cases Per 100,000 and Test Positivity Percentage, from November 1 to 7, which led to an orange ‘Warning’ designation for the counties. 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.
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.
Alexander County had 462 potential new cases (based on 28 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 17.6% out of 136 tests.
Hardin County had 281 potential new cases (based on 11 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 8.6% out of 105 tests.
Johnson County had 602 potential new cases (based on 75 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 13.3% out of 458 tests.
Massac County had 384 potential new cases (based on 54 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 13.8% out of 276 tests.
Pulaski County had 567 potential new cases (based on 31 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 15.8% out of 183 tests.
“It’s unfortunate to see potential new case numbers of COVID-19 and our test positivity rate on the rise, especially as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Nathan Ryder, Contact Tracing Outreach Coordinator for S7HD. “The best tools we have to keep our friends and family happy and healthy for the holidays is to wear our masks, wash our hands frequently, and avoid gatherings. Small sacrifices now will help to ensure our loved ones can celebrate together, in the future, for many years to come.”
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 Health Department continues to work with businesses and many other facets of the community to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. These efforts have included increasing Mobile COVID-19 Testing in the region, building the Southern Seven contact tracing workforce, coordinating with law enforcement officials and county state’s attorneys to address executive order violations at businesses, and assisting schools, childcare providers, long-term care facilities, and other industries with public health education and guidance.
For the latest information on COVID-19 cases in the region, please visit https://www.southern7.org/coronavirus-covid-19.html. There you will find a link to the S7HD Facebook page, which is updated Monday through Friday with community guidance and resources, and answers to frequently asked questions. For trusted information on the COVID-19 pandemic from reputable state and federal sources, visit the State of Illinois, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.