From the McHenry County Health Department:
Lake and McHenry Counties United Against Resurgence of COVID-19
North Suburban Region sees 8 days of testing positivity rate increases
Lake and McHenry County officials are working together to slow the recent resurgence of COVID-19.
The two counties make up the North Suburban Region identified under a plan recently rolled out by the State of Illinois.
Under the plan, the region is positioned to respond with appropriate interventions as current state metrics indicate an increase of COVID-19 positive cases.
Any region that sustains an 8% positivity rate for three consecutive days or sees an increase in positivity rates and simultaneous decrease in hospital capacity will need to implement additional community mitigation interventions, according to the state’s plan.
Interventions in the region will be chosen from a tiered ‘menu’ of options based on the severity and potential cause of the resurgence.
“This new tiered approach is a win for both counties. We have better control and greater flexibility over what happens in McHenry and Lake County,” said McHenry County Administrator Pete Austin.
“We have successfully kept our cases and deaths from COVID-19 low in our region over the past month and are united in our efforts to keep this virus at bay.”
“Under this new model, we are working across county lines in collaboration with the state, allowing our public health experts to guide decisions,” said Gary Gibson, Lake County Administrator.
“Our goal is to keep our communities moving forward. If we continue seeing a resurgence, however, we will act quickly to save lives.”
While the state metrics show the North Suburban Region metrics currently meet state targets, health department leaders are concerned about the recent spike in cases and are proactively evaluating future interventions.
“As of July 24, the North Suburban testing positivity rate is 4.7%, and this has increased every day for the last 8 days,” said Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister. “We must all do our part to prevent new infections to keep our positivity rate from continuing to climb.”
Data-informed mitigation measures in the region could include restricting the size of social gatherings, reducing capacity at businesses, or scaling back operations in industries that pose a higher risk of transmission, such as indoor dining, bars, salons or personal care services.
“Our success relies heavily on our residents adhering to the simple public health guidelines that we know are effective in slowing this virus,” said McHenry County Department of Health Administrator Melissa Adamson.
“Our region cannot accomplish this goal without public support, and we will be successful if we commit to the basics – wearing masks, washing our hands, and watching our distance from others.”
Public health administrators Adamson and Pfister both stress the importance of wearing a mask or face covering to help keep our residents safe and our counties open.
To view the North Suburban Region metrics on the Illinois Department of Public Health website, visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics and select Region 9. Metrics are updated daily, including testing positivity rates, hospital admissions, and hospital capacity.