24 Counties At Warning Level for Coronavirus Disease
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported on September 18, 2020, that 24 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.
The 24 counties currently reported at warning level are Bond, Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Edwards, Effingham, Greene, Jasper, Jo Daviess, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Rock Island, St. Clair, Shelby, Washington, Wayne, Williamson, Wabash, and Union.
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.
Public health officials are observing people not social distancing, gathering in large groups, and not using face coverings. In some counties, local law enforcement and states’ attorneys are not enforcing important mitigation measures like social distancing and the wearing of face coverings. Additionally, some people refuse to participate in contact tracing and are not providing information on close contacts or answering the phone. Individuals are also waiting to get tested believing their symptoms are allergies or some other cause.
Several counties are taking swift action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow spread of the virus, including increasing testing opportunities, working with schools, meeting with local leaders, and educating businesses and large venues about the importance of mitigation measures.
A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.