BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Department of Public Health has raised the coronavirus risk level of Boone County to an “orange” level, which indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk.
According to the Boone County Health Department:
Eight different indicators are used to determine a county’s designation. If two or more indicators are going in the wrong direction, the county is designated as orange. An increase in case rates, test positivity rate and number of tests performed are driving the move to the ‘orange’ designation for Boone County:
• Boone County is currently at 69 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. The target established by the state is 50 cases per 100,000 people.
• Our test positivity rate is 8.1% for Boone County for last week – up from 6.1% the week before. The target is less than or equal to 8%.
• Our tests performed number is 579. The target is triggered to warning status if the positivity is over 8%.
Twenty-nine counties are currently reported at a warning level – Boone, Bureau, Clinton, Coles, Cumberland, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Greene, Henry, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Lake, Lawrence, Madison, McLean, Monroe, Pulaski, Randolph, Rock Island, Shelby, Stark, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Warren, Williamson, Will.
IDPH says although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with college parties, weddings, large gatherings, bars and clubs, long-term care facilities and other congregate settings, travel to neighboring states, and spread among members of the same household who are not isolating at home. Cases connected to schools are beginning to be reported. General transmission of the virus in the community is also increasing.
“Regrettably, we are trending in the wrong direction,” said Amanda Mehl, Public Health Administrator. “Boone County’s designation as orange is an important reminder to every one of us in the community to do our part by following public health guidance that includes wearing a face covering, maintaining 6 ft. social distance, washing hands frequently, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home when you are ill. Your decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities you choose to do, does makes a significant difference in mitigating or accelerating th spread of COVID-19 in our community.”
IDPH and the BCHD are sponsoring a free temporary drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing site at the Boone County Administrative Campus parking lot at 1212 Logan Avenue, in Belvidere, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8th, Wednesday, September 9th, Saturday, September 12th, and Sunday, September 13th.
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