COVID-19 in Warren County, IL - August 29 to September 4
Two weeks ago Warren County saw enough new cases and a high enough positive test rate to get placed on warning with the state of Illinois. County level data is reported on a one week lag and warnings are issued a week behind that. Results from 8/16-8/22 when live on 8/29 and the warning kicked in following that. Last Week saw a lot of new cases and the first reported death in Warren County, and as a result of all of this, we can expect to stay on warning going into next week. At the county level, the warning seems to nothing more than a reminder to residents in that county to wear masks, wash hands, and practice good social distancing. It’s not until a whole region goes on warning that social distancing restrictions are put into place. Interestingly enough, the state is deploying a mobile, voluntary, public testing site to Monmouth this Saturday. Normally, only those showing symptoms can get tested in Warren County. Anyone that’s been in contact with someone who’s tested positive but is not showing symptoms or someone who simply wishes to be tested had to travel a bit to get a test. It will be interesting to see if and how this one day testing station is used by people in the area.
Comparing State Data to the County Reports
The state calculates its weekly benchmarks on a Sunday to Saturday basis. What’s more, they attribute tests to the date listed on the report from the test processing lab. I’ve been attributing tests to the date the local health department issues the report. When I compared the Saturday to Sunday numbers from the Warren County Health Department with those reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health it became clear that the data doesn’t line up. This seems perfectly reasonable given that test reports go first to the state and from there are distributed to the counties. There’s no guarantee that the batch of test results sent to Warren County Health Department all came from the lab on the same day. I’ve been reporting on a Saturday to Friday basis and was considering moving to Sunday to Saturday to match the state. Given that the numbers would not align if I did, I’m going to continue slicing up the weeks in the same way and only look to these snapshots as an indicator of potential warnings and not a determiner.
As of today’s report the county has seen 20 new positive cases (118 per 100,000 people), a positive test rate of 7.3% for the week, and a seven day rolling average of the positive test rate at 7.9%. The number of cases per 100,000 people is above the state’s threshold of 50 but if the positive rate for the week stays below 8% then we might find we’re no longer on warning in a couple of weeks. Remember, we’ll be on warning next week due to last week’s numbers. The week after next is determined by this week’s numbers. The data thus far points to enough of a drop that we might get off the list. On the other hand, the regional positive test rate continues to trend up. Our recovery region is currently at 7% and if it ticks above 8% and stays above 8% then we could see region wide social distancing restrictions regardless of what’s happening in our county.
The usual graphics are below. We have three weeks of positive test rates, daily test results, positive case status, and the demographics of those that tested positive.
As I said earlier, our recovery region continues to see a steady increase in the positive test rate. The state reported a rate of 7.4% for 9/1. If it goes about 8% and stays there for three or more days we might be facing more strict social distancing mandates from the state.
The national trend has been an overall decline in new cases. The region I’m tracking continues to buck this trend. New cases are up compared to last week. We continue to see the usual suspects reporting new cases but this week also brought with it a spike in McLean County as a result of residential students at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal.
The usual graphics are below. You can see a three week spread of new cases per day, a map showing the new cases per 100,000 for the last week, and an animation showing the daily change in the seven day, rolling average of new cases per 100,000.