* Press release…
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 2,273 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 35 additional confirmed deaths.
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
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 293,274 cases, including 8,672 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from September 23 – September 29 is 3.6%. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 58,546 specimens for a total of 5,624,822. As of last night, 1,632 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 378 patients were in the ICU and 152 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
IDPH has been closely monitoring the Region 6 data. As has been noted, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is performing repeated saliva testing for staff and students. This is resulting in a tremendous number of tests, which can average up to 20% of all tests done in the state during some weeks. Because of this high volume, the positivity rate for Region 6 could be overshadowed by what is happening at UIUC. Therefore, in addition to providing data for Region 6, IDPH is now presenting data for Region 6 without Champaign County. However, Champaign County will still be required to implement mitigation efforts if regional metrics are tripped in Region 6.
In doing this, IDPH has found that Region 6, with Champaign County included, is seeing a 2.0% 7-day rolling test positivity average. Without Champaign County, Region 6 is seeing a 7.2%, which puts the region at risk for needing to implement additional mitigation measures, including no indoor bar service or dinning at restaurants, and limiting the size of event gatherings. IDPH is encouraging local leaders and communities in Region 6 to begin taking action now to reduce the test positivity rate, which includes making sure people are wearing masks in public, maintaining social distance, and not gathering in large groups.
Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH is now reporting separately both confirmed and probable cases and deaths on its website. Reporting probable cases will help show the potential burden of COVID-19 illness and efficacy of population-based non-pharmaceutical interventions. IDPH will update these data once a week.
*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered. For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Press release…
As we head into the holiday season, starting with Halloween, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is issuing guidance to help people celebrate safely as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidelines include following the 3 W’s – Wash your hands. Watch your distance. Wear your mask.
“One of the hallmarks of holidays and celebrations is gathering with friends, family and loved ones,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We are still in a pandemic, and unfortunately, this year, that means the safest way to celebrate is to stay home and plan virtual gatherings. That said, IDPH recognizes that some who will choose to gather together anyway, and instead of denying that reality, we are issuing guidance and recommendations for safer ways to celebrate together in person. Remember, we know what our best tools are: wearing our masks, keeping our distance, limiting event sizes, washing your hands, and looking out for public health and each other.”
If you think you could have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, do not participate in any in-person Halloween activities.
- Anyone participating in trick-or-treating, including those passing out candy, should maintain 6-feet of social distance and wear proper face coverings.
- Consider leaving individually wrapped candy (spaced apart) on a table in driveways or in front of walkways, sidewalks, or any outdoor space where 6-feet of distance can be maintained.
- A Halloween costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Ensure that breathing is not impaired if a cloth mask is worn under a costume mask. If so, discard the costume mask.
- Trick-or-treat in groups with household members only.
- Candy collected during trick-or-treating should not be eaten until after handwashing.
An alternative to traditional trick-or-treating is to set up in a large parking lot or other outdoor setting with tables with individually wrapped candy (spaced apart) where participants with a parent/guardian can parade past while still keeping 6-feet of distance and wearing a face covering. It’s suggested to offer reserved time slots to limit everyone showing up at once.
- Halloween haunted houses currently are not allowed in Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines.
- Consider open-air, one-way haunted forests or haunted walks where 6-feet of distance can be maintained and face coverings are used.
Adult costume parties, social gatherings, Halloween parties at bars
- Gatherings of more than 50 people or 50% or more of a building’s maximum occupancy are prohibited. (Lower limits may apply for regions in additional mitigation.)
- The more time you spend at a gathering, the closer the contact, the more people, the higher your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Follow small social gathering safety tips from IDPH.
Pumpkin patches and orchards
- Cloth face coverings and social distancing should be enforced.
- Use hand sanitizer before handling pumpkins, apples, and other produce.
- Hayrides should not exceed 50% capacity with parties spaced at least six feet apart.
- Wear face coverings at all times when around people not from your household.
After participating in any of the above activities, if you think that you may have been exposed during your celebration, take extra precautions for 14 days after the event to help protect others. You should:
• Stay home as much as possible.
• Avoid being around people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
• Consider getting tested for COVID-19.
…Adding… The revelation that the state is not using UIUC data has been brought up in comments. In addition to what was mentioned above, there’s also this…
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s saliva-based COVID-19 test has never operated under emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, despite prior claims that it did, an FDA spokesperson tells Illinois Newsroom. […]
But in response to questions from Illinois Newsroom about the EUA status of U of I’s saliva test, an FDA spokesperson said in an email: “The University of Illinois is not authorized under an umbrella EUA, and they have not had an EUA.”
In an emailed statement, Robin Kaler, a spokesperson for the U of I’s Urbana campus, says faculty and staff relied on an Aug. 5 email from the FDA stating that the campus could perform a “bridging study” — comparing the efficacy of its own saliva test to one that has been authorized by the FDA.
Kaler says the university compared its saliva test to one created at Yale University, which received emergency use authorization from the FDA on Aug. 15. After the bridging study was completed, the university’s regulatory and compliance consultant advised faculty and administrators that they could claim that the university’s COVID-19 test was operating under the umbrella of the test created by Yale University.
Kaler says the FDA reached out to the U of I via phone this month and asked the university to discontinue using the terms “bridging study” and “umbrella.” At that point, the university updated its language to remove references to its test operating under the umbrella of an FDA EUA test.