Stabilized COVID-19 Statistic Doesn't Mean We're Improving, Hendrickson Cautions

Jul 31, 2020

Peoria County has dropped out of the state's list of "coronavirus warning level" counties. But Peoria City/County Health Department Monica Hendrickson said that's not necessarily good news.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) classified Peoria, LaSalle, Adams, and Randolph counties as the state's four warning areas, based on two or more COVID-19 risk factors exceeding the state's targeted level.

On Friday, the state declared 11 counties to be at a "warning level," but Peoria County dropped off the list.

Hendrickson said the situation is stable, but not improving--and she warned new positive case counts in the county are still rapidly climbing.

"Peoria County should still be doubling down on preventative measures such as wearing our masks, maintaining social distance, and washing our hands frequently," she said, echoing remarks made Thursday by state and local officials at a press conference warning the region is just days away from potential new restrictions if positivity and hospitalization rates don't begin to reverse course.

Peoria County is still reporting 107 new cases per 100,000 people, well above the state's 50 per 100,000 person target level. However, emergency department admissions of patients displaying COVID-like symptoms stabilized over the past week of reporting, technically moving the county back down to a "blue," or stable, classification.

The county level COVID-19 risk metrics lag a week. This week's warning levels were set based on numbers reported between July 19-25.

On Friday, Peoria County reported 1,250 confirmed COVID-19 cases, or an increase of 74 from Thursday. Tazewell County reported 335 cases, or a day-to-day increase of 13. Woodford County reports 89 cases, or an increase of three cases. Forty-two people with COVID-19 in the Tri-County area have died since the pandemic began.

All three counties saw their largest single-day spikes in new confirmed cases this week since reporting first began in March.

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