Union, six other counties in region all at orange warning level

Southern Seven Health Department reports the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Monday, Nov. 30, that Union County was at the orange warning level on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) risk metrics. 

Union County joined the six other counties in the Southern Seven region at this warning level: Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope and Pulaski. 

An orange designation indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the community. 

Residents are asked to remain vigilant to slow spread of the virus, the health department said in a news release.

All seven counties showed an increase in two risk metrics, new cases per 100,000 and test positivity percentage, from Nov. 15 to 21, which led to an orange warning designation for the counties. 

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 percent from the previous seven-day period.

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 seven days by county population times 100,000.  

This describes the potential number of people who are currently ill and may be infectious in the county.  

Union County had 861 potential new cases (based on 145 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 9.6 percent out of 1,442 tests.  

Alexander County had 479 potential new cases (based on 29 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 16.7 percent out of 162 tests.  

Hardin County had 716 potential new cases (based on 28 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 11.7 percent out of 230 tests.  

Johnson County had 723 potential new cases (based on 90 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 12.9 percent out of 590 tests.  

Massac County had 1,143 potential new cases (based on 161 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 16.5 percent out of 777 tests.  

Pope County had 285 potential new cases (based on 12 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 11 percent out of 100 tests.  

Pulaski County had 1,098 potential new cases (based on 60 positive cases) per 100,000 reported. The test positivity percentage for the county was 21.8 percent out of 252 tests.  

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.  

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, the health department said.

“It’s disappointing to see that all of our counties in the Southern Seven region are now in the orange warning zone,” said Nathan Ryder, outreach coordinator for Southern Seven’s contact tracing team.

“These latest numbers show just how rampant COVID-19 infections are in our region right now. Unfortunately it also shows that many of our community members are not taking the most basic precautions to reduce the spread of coronavirus.”

The health department continues to work with businesses and many other facets of the community to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.  

These efforts have included increasing mobile COVID-19 testing in the region, building the Southern Seven contact tracing workforce, coordinating with law enforcement officials and county state’s attorneys to address executive order violations at businesses, and assisting schools, childcare providers, long-term care facilities, and other industries with public health education and guidance.  

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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