After stabilizing for a few weeks, the positivity test rate for COVID-19 infections in Illinois is on the rise again. It was 3.3% last Sunday, 3.4% Monday and Tuesday, 3.5% Wednesday, 3.7% Thursday, 3.8% Friday, 4% Saturday and 4.2% Sunday.
But is this the start of a second wave of infection?
“The problem with positive cases is… there is a problem with reporting,” said Dr Michael Cailas, of the UIC School of Public Health. “A few weeks ago there was an incredible spike in the progression of the epidemic, and that was mainly due to this problem. ”
Cailas, an expert in data analysis, believes the program can be twofold: a delay in reporting coupled with a real increase due to lack of information when it comes to reporting outbreaks in the community at large, in particularly in the workplace.
“If they know that next door there are four or five positive cases and they can know these people personally or face to face, the whole story changes,” he said. “People are more likely to take the necessary preventive measures. ”
And while Illinois continues to report a lower positivity rate than its neighbors, it has seen one of the largest proportional increases in the region.
Within the state itself, region one, which lies along the Wisconsin border, has the highest seven-day positivity rate at 9.7%, while the largest increase goes to region five in the southeastern part of the state.
Locally, Region Eight, which includes Kane and DuPage counties, has also seen a significant increase over the past week.
Public health officials last week blamed the current surge in part on “companies blatantly ignoring mitigation measures, people not social distancing, congregating in large groups and not using face cover ”.
As of Friday, 26 counties remain at alert level. And while the positivity rate and cases statewide have increased, Regions 10 and 11 – which encompass Chicago and Cook County as a whole – remain reasonably stable.
Monday’s deaths include:
-Clay County: 1 woman from the 80s, 1 woman aged 100 and over
-Cook County: 1 woman 50 years old, 2 men 60 years old, 1 woman 70 years old
-Douglas County: 1 man from the 80s
-County of Fayette: 1 man from the 70s
-County of Monroe: 1 woman from the 80s
– Peoria County: 1 male from the 1970s
-Richland County: 1 man from the 80s
– Rock Island County: 1 woman from the 1960s
-Will County: 1 man from the 70s,
Meanwhile, two housing officers from Western Illinois University have been recognized by an international organization for their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Jessica Butcher and Bridget McCormick were honored with the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International’s “Heroes Program”.
They were among the 27 campus professionals from across the country who were honored. The program recognizes the leadership of campus professionals during times of significant challenge.
Butcher, assistant director of residency life, has redesigned the training of complex directors, complex assistant directors and resident assistants for the fall semester, according to the university. She often wears personal protective equipment for the admission and transportation of students who must go into quarantine and isolation after exposure to the highly contagious coronavirus.
McCormick is Director of Home Administration. She worked on readjusting hundreds of room assignments for the fall semester, with students choosing to attend the class in person or online. She also takes care of COVID-19 case management and room assignments for students who test positive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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