Illinois COVID-19 case positivity rate climbs above 3% once again

  • The state's seven-day case positivity rate is back over 3% for the first time since mid-September, according to newly released Illinois Department of Public Health figures.

      The state's seven-day case positivity rate is back over 3% for the first time since mid-September, according to newly released Illinois Department of Public Health figures. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, March 5

 
 
Updated 11/19/2021 6:13 AM

Illinois' seven-day COVID-19 case positivity rate is once again over 3%, according to Illinois Department of Public Health figures.

The rate has been below that marker since mid-September, IDPH records show.

 

Case positivity is the percentage of test results that show a new infection. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.

The metric is used by public health officials to determine what mitigations are needed to slow the spread of infection.

The state's seven-day case positivity rate has been climbing for several weeks after dipping to 1.8% as recently as Oct. 29.

"It appears that a lot of what is driving the increase is people moving inside," said IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold. "That's why it is important for as many people as possible to be vaccinated; to offer greater protection to everyone."

Since IDPH began providing data for daily testing and new cases on March 16, 2020, the state's seven-day case positivity rate has been below 3% just 32.6% of the time.

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At this time last year, the state's seven-day case positivity rate was at 11.9% and the state was also averaging nearly 12,000 new cases diagnosed each day.

In the suburbs, the seven-day case positivity rates in DuPage, Kane, McHenry and Will counties are all above the statewide level, topping out at 4.8% in McHenry County. The rate is below 3% in both suburban Cook County and Lake County, IDPH records show.

Illinois also set a daily testing record today with 181,622 test results returned. The previous single-day testing record was set Sept. 30 with 180,411.

The spike in testing doesn't come as a surprise to health officials.

"When we see an increase in cases, we often see more people being testing," Arnold said. "All close contacts of cases should seek testing. More people are also testing due to vaccinate or testing requirements, and people are testing in advance of holiday travel."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

State health officials today also reported 1,669 COVID-19 patients were being treated in hospitals across Illinois, up 60 patients from the prior day and the most hospitalized since early October.

Of those hospitalized, 329 were in intensive care, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

IDPH officials also reported 30 more COVID-19 deaths along with 5,644 new cases.

That brings the state's death toll from the virus to 26,190, while 1,758,146 infections have been reported since the outset of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, IDPH officials also reported another 68,534 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered statewide.

Vaccine providers have now administered 16,621,901 doses to Illinois residents and workers, 1,453,673 of which are booster doses, IDPH figures show.

According to IDPH records, 57.4% of the state's 12.7 million residents are now fully vaccinated.

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