SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria County is one of 17 counties in Illinois considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported Friday.
The county’s test positivity percentage is 5.8%, indicating a moderate community spread of the virus, but cases per 100,000 people have reached 172 cases per 100,000, indicating a substantial spread. The number of COVID-related deaths in the county is increasing by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
Peoria City/County Health Department Communications Manager Diana Scott attributed the change in metrics to an ongoing outbreak related to Bradley University and cases at long term care facilities. She said for the prior two weeks, the county reported one and three new COVID-19 positive deaths.
A county reaches the warning level when at least two of the following metrics triggers a warning:
- New cases per 100,000 people — If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
- Number of deaths — This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
- Weekly test positivity — This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
- ICU availability — If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
- Weekly emergency department visits — This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
- Weekly hospital admissions — A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
- Tests perform — This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
- Clusters — This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.
Health officials said some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with:
- College parties
- Large gatherings
- Bars and Clubs
- Long-term care facilities and other congregate settings
- Travel to neighboring states
- Spread among members of the same household who are not isolating at home
Counties currently reported at the warning level include:
- Peoria Company Ready to Give Cross Country Runners Closure with Championship Races
- District 87 announced the passing of retired swim coach
- Art Inc. host Dia De Los Muertos fundraising event
- One Dead after go-cart semi accident
- Peoria’s CJ Elger Makes it To World Series