Livingston County on State Warning List Due to Increase in COVID-19

Livingston County on State Warning List Due to Increase in COVID-19

On Thursday, November 5, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) included Livingston County its list of Illinois counties considered to be at a warning level for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A county enters a warning level when there is an increase in two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19. Those metrics include: new cases per 100,000 people, number of deaths, weekly test positivity rate, ICU availability, weekly emergency department visits and hospital admissions, tests performed and clusters of cases. These metrics are intended to be used as guidance for local leaders, businesses, and the public to make informed decisions regarding safety.

“The warning level status does not cause IDPH to impose additional restrictions on the county, said Jackie Dever, Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) Administrator. “It does indicate though that we need more individuals taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We cannot become complacent.”

Livingston County has had several outbreaks among congregate living facilities that have contributed to the spike in positive cases in the county, as well as large social gatherings and celebrations being the source of several outbreaks.

“It is imperative that everyone, in particular staff and visitors of congregate living facilities, be mindful of their actions and take the precautions necessary to protect themselves and those around them, including correctly wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and avoiding gatherings of people,” said Dever. 

Individuals who travel to hot spots in the country, those areas where higher rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases are reported, are strongly encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 5-7 days after returning from their trip or sooner if experiencing symptoms. People can track confirmed COVID-19 cases in Illinois by county and zip code by visiting IDPH’s COVID-19 statistics site: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid19-statistics, and may also track confirmed cases nationwide by using CDC’s COVID-19 tracker tool: https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases. Drive-thru COVID-19 testing is available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the parking lot of OSF Saint James – John W. Albrecht Medical Center, located along Illinois Route 116 just west of Interstate 55. All testing is at no charge to the client. Insurance is not required to be tested; however, if you have insurance, please bring your card to your testing appointment. Persons with an appointment will receive priority service as daily testing capacity is limited. Call the LCHD at (815) 844-7174 ext. 210 or ext. 216 to schedule an appointment. For those Livingston County residents who test positive for COVID-19, the LCHD will reach out to them individually and all of their close contacts (anyone the confirmed case has been within 6 feet of for at least 10-15 minutes in the 48 prior to either experiencing symptoms or receiving testing) within 24 hours of receiving notification.

The health and safety of Livingston County residents remains the highest priority for Livingston County health officials. All partners and organizations involved in the COVID-19 response remain fully prepared to respond to COVID-19 cases. Public health, hospital systems, and first responders maintain highly trained infection control teams, specialized equipment, and protocols consistent with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You can track metrics for Livingston County by visiting IDPH’s County Level COVID-19 Metrics page.

IDPH Metric Definitions

  • 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 t he 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 performed . 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.

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