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7 Southern Illinois counties at warning level for COVID-19
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7 Southern Illinois counties at warning level for COVID-19

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The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported seven Southern Illinois counties are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19.

Locally, Alexander, Jefferson, Johnson, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline and Union counties are on this week's warning list, which is updated weekly on Fridays and reflect data from the Sunday to Saturday of the prior week.

In total, 34 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19, up from 26 counties last week. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

The reasons for counties reaching a warning level vary, according to a news release from IDPH.

A Friday news release from Shawnna Rhine, community outreach coordinator/public information officer at Southern Seven Health Department, said four of the seven counties covered by Southern Seven showed an increase in two risk metrics: new cases per 100,000 residents and test positivity percentage, from Oct. 4 to 11. 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 seven-day period.

Alexander County had 165 potential new cases (based on 10 positive cases) per 100,000 and test positivity rate of 9%.

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Johnson County had 610 potential new cases (based on 76 positive cases) per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 15.2%.

Pulaski County had 311 potential new cases (based on 17 positive cases) per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 11.8%.

Union County had 647 potential new cases (based on 109 positive cases) per 100,000 reported, and test positivity rate of 18.5%.

Pulaski and Union counties showed decreases in the metrics, but still met the criteria for a warning level. Both counties were on the warning list last week. Jefferson and Saline counties were on the list last week, as well.

Jackson and Massac counties were removed from the list this week.

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, according to the news release.

To view the IDPH county-level risk map, visit www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.

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