After 5 consecutive weeks of being in the Warning Level for Number of Cases per Population, today Madison County entered the Orange Warning Level for County-based metrics by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Nineteen additional counties are currently reported at a warning level – Bureau, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Jefferson, Logan, Madison, Monroe, Moultrie, Randolph, St. Clair, Union, Whiteside, Will, and Williamson. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.
Madison County has seen cases associated with weddings, businesses, neighborhood gatherings, parties, long-term care facilities and other congregate settings, travel to neighboring states, bars, sports camps, and spread among members of the same household. Observations of people not social distancing or using face coverings in public has been noticeable.
Madison County has seen a steady rise in cases throughout the summer which has become a swift rise in cases over the past several weeks. It is imperative for everyone to do their part by wearing your mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance. Additional ways you can help decrease the spread include: sanitizing high touch/frequent touch surfaces often, keeping gatherings to 25 people or less while also still wearing a mask and social distancing, avoiding large crowds, staying home if you are sick, and getting tested when you have not been practicing these guidelines or have been in situations or places where these guidelines are not being followed.
“Unfortunately, we are trending in the wrong direction. As local public health, we have shared guidance, consultation, messaging, information, and data. We continue to promote and provide multiple testing site opportunities available in the county and the region every week, 7 days a week. We are working diligently to help positive cases understand the process and adhere to the guidelines. We continue to utilize contact tracing to identify people who have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19,” said Toni Corona, Director Public Health, Madison County Health Department. “But, we need your help. As public health, we can lead this response but we cannot be this response. We need each and every one of you to do your part by following the public health guidelines and adhering to the restrictions. We urge you to make healthy decisions for yourself, your family, and all of your fellow county citizens. Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 in Madison County.”
IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.
- New cases per 100,000 people. If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
- Number of deaths. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
- Weekly test positivity. This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
- ICU availability. If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
- Weekly emergency department visits. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
- Weekly hospital admissions. A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
- Tests performed. This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
- Clusters. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.
County metrics are intended to raise local awareness and designed to help community leaders, businesses, local health departments, and citizens quickly see the level of viral transmission in their county and make decisions accordingly to keep themselves, employees, customers, students, and loved ones safe.
Madison County is in the Warning Level for 4 of these 8 metrics for the week including: New cases per 100,000 people (MC = 197/110K population), Number of deaths (MC = 9 new deaths in a week), Weekly test positivity (MC = 9.2%), Tests performed (MC = 4,714).
The metrics are updated weekly, from the Sunday-Saturday of the prior week.
A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.