How border states' high COVID-19 positivity rates might affect Illinois

  • Cars wait to pull into tents so the occupants can be tested for COVID-19 at the DuPage County testing site at the county fairgrounds in Wheaton.

      Cars wait to pull into tents so the occupants can be tested for COVID-19 at the DuPage County testing site at the county fairgrounds in Wheaton. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, June 16, 2020

 
 
Updated 8/31/2020 7:37 PM

Only 18 states have a lower two-week average COVID-19 positivity rate than Illinois, but few appear to be at a greater risk of seeing that rate increase.

According to the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center website, Illinois' two-week average positivity rate is 4.3%. All five states that border Illinois have higher average positivity rates -- in the case of Iowa, more than four times higher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Kentucky has the lowest average rate of any of Illinois' border states at 6.8%. Indiana's two-week average rate is 8.4%. Wisconsin's rate is double Illinois' at 8.6%. Missouri's average positivity rate over the past two weeks is reported at 14.4%. And Iowa's is highest at 18.4%.

Illinois Department of Public Health officials have warned against traveling to all of the bordering states. Health officials have also blamed the higher risk of contracting the virus in bordering states as the reason for a recent uptick in cases in Illinois.

Map outline: Creative Commons/Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Map outline: Creative Commons/Share Alike 3.0 Unported -

Michigan and Ohio, with two-week average positivity rates of 2.7% and 3.5% respectively, are the only other Midwestern states below 5%, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

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Most of the East Coast states are reporting positivity rates well below 5% over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, Illinois health officials Monday announced seven more Illinois residents have died from COVID-19 and another 1,668 new cases of the disease have been diagnosed.

The brings the state's death toll to 8,026, while 235,023 have been infected since the outbreak began.

Illinois has conducted 4,064,161 tests for the disease. The results of 47,379 of those tests were announced Monday. Illinois is averaging 47,076 tests a day over the past two weeks, according to state public health data.

Johns Hopkins researchers are reporting only Alaska, Connecticut Montana, New York and Rhode Island are testing more per capita than Illinois.

Currently, Illinois is conducting 3.5 new tests every day for every 1,000 residents, according to the Johns Hopkins testing tracker website. Illinois' five border states are all testing at 2.1 tests for every 1,000 residents or fewer.

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