COVID-19 Update: Region 5 of Illinois climbs to 8 percent positivity rate

By Danny Connolly, Staff Reporter

Region 5 of Illinois, which includes Jackson County, reached a COVID-19 test positivity rate of 8% on Oct. 10. 

Once a region in Illinois has three consecutive days above 8%, the Illinois Department of Public Health will implement more measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including closing indoor dining at bars and restaurants and limiting the capacity at gatherings. 

In order for a region to have these measures lifted, they must spend three days with the positivity rate below 6.5% before the restrictions will be lifted. 

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IDPH calculates the positivity rate from the rolling average of positivity rates from the region’s past seven days.

According to Bart Hagston, the public health administrator for Jackson County Health Department, Jackson County has a lower  transmission rate than some of the other counties in the region, but says residents still need to be aware of the risk of COVID-19.  

“That makes it even more important that people are taking all of the available precautions, that people are getting tested if they have any COVID symptoms or if they have been in contact with anybody who has COVID-19,” Hagston said.

IDPH has previously imposed restrictions on both Region 1 of northwestern Illinois and Region 4 of the Metro East for going over 8% positivity. 

While the positivity rate for Region 5 on Oct. 11 fell to 7.7%, this is the sixth day in a row for Region 5 with a positivity rate above 7%. 

“I think people in Jackson County have done a fairly good job taking precautions. With every subsequent month that we’re dealing with this pandemic, I think there’s some level of fatigue with the public in dealing with all this, which is totally understandable. But we can’t let that fatigue impact our behaviors,” Hagston said.

Jackson County Health Department reported 20 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

The cases included one under ten, one pre-teen, two teens, eight in their 20s, two in their 30s, five in their 40s and one in their 50s.

Staff reporter Danny Connolly can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DConnollyTV.

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