New COVID-19 Restrictions Warned For IL Region 6, 2,273 New Cases

ILLINOIS — A day after announcing new restrictions for Region 1 in northwestern Illinois, state health officials warned on Wednesday that new restrictions could be coming for Region 6 too, despite a low positivity rate. Meanwhile, Illinois reported 2,273 new cases of the coronavirus and 35 additional deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, bringing the statewide totals to 293,274 confirmed infections and 8,672 known deaths. Another 2,489 probable cases and 244 probable deaths are not included in the official totals.

The latest deaths include:

  • Bureau County: 1 female 80s

  • Carroll County: 1 male 70s

  • Champaign County: 1 female 80s

  • Cook County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 100+

  • DeKalb County: 1 male 90s

  • DuPage County: 1 female 80s

  • Effingham County: 1 female 70s

  • Fayette County: 1 female 70s, 2 females 80

  • Greene County: 2 females 70s

  • Grundy County: 1 male 80s

  • Jackson County: 1 female 60s

  • Jersey County: 2 female 90s

  • Lake County: 1 male 70s

  • Lawrence County: 1 male 70s

  • Macon County: 1 female 80s

  • Madison County: 2 males 80s

  • Peoria County: 1 male 80s

  • St. Clair County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s

  • Tazewell County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s

  • Will County: 1 female 70s, 2 males 70s

  • Williamson County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 70s

  • Woodford County: 1 male 80s

New measures to curb the spread of the virus will go into effect Saturday in Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties after the region surged past an 8 percent positivity rate for three days in a row. But, restrictions could also be coming for Region 6, despite only a 2 percent positivity rate. Officials say repeated tests of staff and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is driving down positivity rates across the region, and without the repeated tests, the region is actually closer to 7.2 percent positivity.

“Therefore, in addition to providing data for Region 6, IDPH is now presenting data for Region 6 without Champaign County,” a news release said. “However, Champaign County will still be required to implement mitigation efforts if regional metrics are tripped in Region 6.”

Health officials encouraged local leaders to begin taking action now to reduce the test positivity rate, including enforcing mask orders and encouraging social distancing.

Once new restrictions are imposed upon a region, that region’s positivity rate must fall below 6.5 percent for three days in a row before they will be lifted, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

See how your region is doing here.

Statewide, hospitalizations rose more than 6 percent on Wednesday. As of Tuesday night, 1,632 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, including 378 in intensive care and 152 on ventilators, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The statewide positivity rate — a rolling, seven-day average — fell a tenth of a percentage point to 3.6 percent. In the past 24 hours, labs in Illinois have processed 58,546 coronavirus tests, for a total of more than 5.6 million since the pandemic began.

According to Johns Hopkins University, a positivity rate of less than 5 percent is a good measure of whether enough tests are being conducted, and state officials have said a rate higher than 8 percent will trigger new restrictions in a given region.

The United States now has more than 7.2 million confirmed coronavirus infections, and at least 206,615 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Based on the latest predictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 214,000 to 226,000 Americans could be dead from the disease by Oct. 17.

Globally, more than 33.7 million people have been infected and more than 1 million are known to have died.

Illinois Patch Local Business Information Center

As local and state economies slowly emerge from pandemic lockdowns, it’s often hard for customers to know the conditions under which local businesses are open. The business center contains easily accessible and up-to-date information about scores of local businesses, including everything from operating hours to the availability of by-appointment services, quick website links and other contact information. It’s free to use and free for businesses to join.

Here’s what’s happening with the coronavirus in Illinois:

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Illinois Coronavirus Helpline:

Illinois officials say a state helpline has been set up to provide emotional support and quick answers to questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Illinoisans can test “TALK” to 55-2020 (or “HABLAR” for Spanish), and within 24 hours they will receive a call from a counselor. Residents can also text keywords such as “UNEMPLOYMENT,” “FOOD” or “SHELTER,” to the same number to receive additional information about those topics.

Coronavirus by the numbers:

Illinois:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 293,274

  • Deaths: 8,672

  • People tested: 5,624,822

  • Recovered: Illinois does not provide exact numbers of recovered cases, but says the recovery rate is 96 percent.

Nationwide:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 7,216,828

  • Deaths: 206,615

  • People tested:103,155,189

  • Recovered: 2,813,305

Global:

  • Total number of coronavirus cases: 33,793,391

  • Deaths: 1,010,288

  • People tested: No data available

  • Recovered: 23,449,249

Sources: Johns Hopkins University and IDPH

Tips from the CDC on dealing with coronavirus:

While the best way to prevent illness is to avoid virus exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends taking these actions to prevent the spread of viruses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

What to do if you’re sick:

Call head if you’re planning to visit your doctor:

  • If you have a medical appointment, call the health care provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Stay home unless you must see a doctor:

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.

  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.

  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home:

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just as you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.

  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a face mask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Avoid sharing personal household items:

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.

  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Masks:

  • CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

  • Face mask instructions — sew- and no-sew masks

To donate personal protective equipment (PPE), email PPE.donations@illinois.gov. For health questions about COVID-19, call the state coronavirus hotline at 800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

This article originally appeared on the Across Illinois Patch

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