North Suburban Region 9 (Lake County and McHenry County) COVID-19 Trends May Trigger Mitigation

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The North Suburban Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry Counties, is nearing thresholds set by the State of Illinois that could trigger new mitigation measures in the region as early as next week. The Lake County Health Department and McHenry County Department of Health are urging the public to take action to slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Arlington Heights and the northwest suburbs, including the Cook County portion of Buffalo Grove are in Region 10, which has also experienced an increase in positivity rate with 8 days of increases. On October 13, 2020 (the latest reported rating as of the date of this report) the positivity rate was 6.3%. In Region 9 there were 6 days of positivity rating with the latest reported positivity rate of 6.6%.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), thirty-four counties are currently reported at a warning level – Adams, Alexander, Boone, Cass, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, DeWitt, Jasper, Jefferson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Lee, Macon, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Monroe, Pike, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Stephenson, Union, Vermilion, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago.

Today, Friday, October 16, 2020 the IDPH reported that the preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from October 9 – October 15 is 5.1%.

Region 9 has seen troubling increases in both the 7-day rolling average test positivity rate and new hospital admissions for COVID-like illness (CLI) over the past two weeks. If increases are sustained for 7 of the past 10 days for both measures, the region will be required by the State to enter into mitigation under the Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan. Mitigation measures are restrictions such as limiting bar and restaurant service, sports activities, and the sizes of social gatherings.

“After a period of relatively stable metrics, signs are now pointing to substantial community spread of COVID-19 in our region, and we are dangerously close to crossing the State’s mitigation thresholds,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department. “For the sake of our vulnerable residents, for our schools and our businesses, we must double down and all take personal responsibility to minimize the spread of this virus.”

On October 9, 2020, Lake County was indicated as “orange – warning” on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s County-Level Risk Metrics map, due to case rates and emergency department visits. Today, the State announced that McHenry County is designated as orange for the first time, while Lake County returns to “blue – stable.” The county-level metrics tracked by the State indicate signs of increasing COVID-19 risk, but do not in themselves trigger mitigation measures.

“We know that the everyday precautions of wearing masks, washing hands, and watching our distance help prevent this virus from spreading, and we have to remain vigilant,” said Melissa Adamson, Public Health Administrator for the McHenry County Department of Health. “Every interaction you have with people from other households carries risk. Carefully consider your plans for social gatherings, holiday get-togethers, and travel. Please do your part to protect yourself and others.”

Additional Information

To view the North Suburban Region metrics on the Illinois Department of Public Health website, visit

and select Region 9. Metrics are updated daily, including testing positivity rates, hospital admissions, and hospital capacity.



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