Kane, Lake counties now at 'substantial' COVID-19 risk, rounding out surge in all suburbs

  • Grayslake resident Brian Smith receives a COVID-19 vaccination in February during a Jewel-Osco clinic held at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan.

      Grayslake resident Brian Smith receives a COVID-19 vaccination in February during a Jewel-Osco clinic held at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Updated 8/1/2021 8:13 AM

Kane and Lake counties on Saturday joined the rest of the suburbs and Chicago in having a "substantial" risk of COVID-19 transmission, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Counties experience the "substantial" level of the CDC's risk ratings when 50 to 99 new cases per 100,000 residents are logged over a week's time.


Kane County's new-case rate has grown to 53.91 per 100,000 residents, a 67% jump in a week, according to CDC data. The county logged 287 new cases in the last seven days, with a positive-test rate of 4.88%. No deaths have been recorded.

"We were aware of the possibility that we would tip the metric and find ourselves at the substantial level since our neighboring counties' level of transmission were at the substantial level," Kane County Health Department Interim Executive Director Kathy Fosser said in a statement.

Lake County's new-case rate grew to 55.56 per 100,000 residents, a 61% jump in the past week. The county logged 387 new cases, with a positivity rate of 3.61%. No deaths were recorded in Lake County, either.

Lake's number of new hospital admissions has jumped 125% in a week, to 27, the CDC data says. Kane's hospital admissions have jumped only 37.5%, to 22.

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Testing has increased in both counties by about 10%.

The CDC now advises anyone in counties experiencing substantial or high COVID-19 exposure risk to wear masks in public indoor settings. Counties don't get to the high-risk level until new cases reach 100 per 100,000 residents.

"We strongly recommend that everyone follow CDC recommendations and take necessary precautions to stay protected against COVID-19 and its variants," said Dr. Sana Ahmed, of the Lake County Health Department. "A combination of vaccinations and prevention strategies is our best chance to end the COVID-19 pandemic."

Cook, DuPage, McHenry and Will counties all reached the substantial-risk level earlier in the week. Cook on Saturday was tallying 56.75 new cases per 100,000 with a 2.93% positivity rate. McHenry was at 75.38 per 100,000, with a 6.41% positivity rate.

DuPage was logging 70.86 per 100,000 and a 4.19% positive rate. Will was up to 89.03 per 100,000 in new cases and a 4.77% positivity rate.

More than 746,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Lake County residents, and over 51% are fully vaccinated, the county's health department said Saturday. Additionally, 85% of Lake County residents 65 and above have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 80% are fully vaccinated.  

"Vaccination is our best path to ending the COVID-19 pandemic; however, until we reach a higher vaccination rate, we must also follow necessary mitigation practices," said Mark Pfister, executive director at Lake's health department. "Wearing a mask while in public indoor settings will help keep you and those you love safe." 

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