Alexander, Hardin counties in Orange Warning Level for COVID-19

ULLIN, Ill. (KBSI) – The Southern Seven Health Department (S7HD) reports that Alexander and Hardin counties have returned to the Orange Warning Level for COVID-19 risk metrics.

All Southern Seven counties are now at the Orange Warning Level. An orange designation indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the community, according to Illinois Department of Public Health. Eight different indicators are used to determine a county’s designation. A county is considered at the orange ‘Warning’ level when at least two of the main indicators are going in the wrong direction.

The amount of New Cases Per 100,000 people, Test Positivity Percentage metrics, and low but improving ICU bed availability at area hospitals are causing the elevated risk levels.

Residents are asked to remain vigilant to slow spread of the virus.

COVID-19 cases by county

Alexander County

  • 231 potential new cases (based on 14 positive cases) per 100,000 reported
  • Test positivity percentage for the county – 3.1% out of 257 tests
  • ICU availability was 15.1%

Hardin County

  • 332 potential new cases (based on 13 positive cases) per 100,000 reported
  • The test positivity percentage for the county was 5.7% out of 228 tests.
  • ICU availability was 15.1%

Johnson County

  • 249 potential new cases (based on 31 positive cases) per 100,000 reported
  • The test positivity percentage for the county was 1.5% out of 1951 tests.
  • ICU availability was 15.1%

Massac County

  • 376 potential new cases (based on 53 positive cases) per 100,000 reported
  • The test positivity percentage for the county was 8.1% out of 566 tests.
  • ICU availability was 15.1%

Pope County

  • 261 potential new cases (based on 11 positive cases) per 100,000 reported
  • The test positivity percentage for the county was 6.3% out of 176 tests.
  • ICU availability was 15.1%

Pulaski County

  • 201 potential new cases (based on 11 positive cases) per 100,000 reported
  • The test positivity percentage for the county was 2.8% out of 316 tests.
  • ICU availability was 15.1%

Union County

  • 166 potential new cases (based on 28 positive cases) per 100,000 reported
  • The test positivity percentage for the county was 2.1% out of 1308 tests
  • ICU availability was 15.1%

A warning for New Case Rate indicates the rate is greater than 50 cases per 100,000 people. A warning for Test Positivity indicates that the percentage was above 8% from the previous 7 day period. A warning for ICU Availability shows the number of ICU beds has dropped below a 20% availability threshold.

New Cases per 100,000 People Rate is a unit of measure calculated as a rate to compare the number of cases in large and small counties. The rate is calculated by dividing the county case count for 7 days by county population x 100,000. This describes the potential number of people who are currently ill and may be infectious in the county.

Individuals, families, and community groups should use this information to help inform their choices about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do. To view the IDPH county-level risk map, visit the County Level Covid-19 Risk Metrics website.

“Despite our counties all returning to an Orange Warning Level status this week, the silver lining in this report is that our test positivity rates are coming down all across the S7 region right now,” said Nathan Ryder, COVID-19 Community Outreach Coordinator for S7HD in a state in S7HD’s Facebook page. “We’ve also seen a huge improvement in the number of ICU beds available in the region. If we can keep this up, the S7 region could be headed back towards the blue stabilized status within the next couple of weeks.”

S7HD has been urging southern Illinoisans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The COVID vaccines are proving to be effective in preventing people from becoming severely ill or requiring hospitalization.

It’s also recommended to continue following the COVID-19 mitigation procedures we’re all familiar with to help prevent the spread of COVID-19: wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and keep your distance especially in crowded situations or indoor environments.

S7HD continues to work with businesses and many other facets of the community to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. For the latest information on COVID-19 cases in the S7HD region or to find out how to get vaccinated against COVID-19, visit: https://www.southern7.org or call (618) 634-2297.

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