While the state’s COVID-19 coronavirus test positivity rate remains among the lowest in the Midwest, cases in Montgomery County continue to spike this week.
As of Wednesday afternoon, July 8, the Montgomery County Health Department reported 63 positive cases, up 22 since Phase 4 reopening began on June 26. By comparison, Montgomery County had only one positive test result during the entire four weeks of Phase 3 from May 29 to June 26.
“A lot of these new cases are–in our opinion–linked to a specific facility,” Montgomery County Health Department Administrator Hugh Satterlee said during a telephone interview on Wednesday. “People didn’t quite follow the guidelines. They were in a large group, and now this large group is all testing positive.”
Satterlee said the group is also generating positive COVID-19 cases in Macoupin, Madison, Bond and Jersey counties.
“Everyone seems to have this one place in common,” Satterlee said. “It has affected other facilities because of where people work.”
The health department is using testing and isolation to try to stop the outbreak.
“We don’t want it spreading to other places, like a nursing home,” the health department administrator said.
Statewide, the seven-day rolling positive rate dropped to 2.5 percent on Tuesday after a weekend of low positive test results, but ticked up to 2.6 percent after the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 980 cases on Wednesday. On Sunday and Monday, the state reported six deaths each day, the lowest numbers since late March.
Hospitalization numbers remain near their pandemic lows across the state as well. As of Tuesday, 1,518 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19 according to IDPH, with 331 of those in the ICU and 151 on ventilators.
At least one confirmed case has now been reported in all 102 Illinois counties, with Scott County, west of Jacksonville, reporting its first case over the weekend after 546 negative tests.