Suburban COVID-19 case positivity rates rapidly decline

Almost as rapidly as they climbed, suburban seven-day COVID-19 case positivity rates are falling.

The combined seven-day case positivity rate for suburban Cook County along with DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties is currently at 11.2%, its lowest point in nearly a month. It peaked at 17.7% Jan. 7 and has declined every day since, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records.

Case positivity is the percentage of tests that result in the diagnosis of a new infection. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures. Public health officials use the rate to track the level of infection within a certain population.

In suburban Cook County, the seven-day case positivity rate is now below 10% - at 9.2% - for the first time since Christmas, IDPH figures show.

IDPH records also show DuPage County's seven-day case positivity rate is now at 11.9%. It's at 11.6% in Lake County, 13.6% in Will County and 14.2% in Kane County, where it had climbed to the highest level among suburban counties during this most recent surge to 22.7%.

McHenr> County is currently the highest seven-day case positivity rate in the suburbs at 16.7%. That means 16.7% of the nearly 4,000 COVID-19 test results returned each day over the past week yield a new case for a resident there.

Statewide, the seven-day case positivity rate is now at 11.2% after peaking at 15.2% Jan. 7, IDPH records show.

IDPH officials are also reporting a continued decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Figures released Thursday show 6,258 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals throughout Illinois, down 15.2% from the peak of 7,380 patients exactly one week ago.

Of those hospitalized, 1,033 are in intensive care. That's 12.2% fewer than a week ago.

One area not seeing a decline yet is the death toll. Because deaths are a lagging metric, the death toll from the most recent spike in hospitalizations isn't expected to peak for several more days.

Thursday, IDPH officials reported 198 more COVID-19 deaths, the most in a single day since early December 2020.

The state's death toll from the virus is now at 29,078, IDPH record show.

The state reported 23,246 new cases, bringing the total number of cases diagnosed in Illinois since the outset of the pandemic to 2,732,720.

Additionally, IDPH officials are reporting another 49,352 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have made it into the arms of Illinois residents and workers.

That brings the total number of vaccine doses administered in Illinois to 20,159,853.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 65.5% of the state's 12.7 million residents are now fully vaccinated. And of those fully vaccinated, 44.5% have received a booster.

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