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DuPage County Health Department News

Posted on: September 11, 2020

DuPage County Shows Warning Signs of Increased COVID-19 Risk

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY--The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk level in DuPage County has changed from blue to orange on the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) County Level Risk Metrics Map. An orange designation indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the community.

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. To view the IDPH county-level risk map, visit the County Level COVID-19 Risk Metrics webpage. Additional county-level data are available at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19data.

An increase in case rates and deaths from August 30–September 5, 2020 have led to the change to an orange ’Warning’ designation for DuPage County:

New Cases Per 100,000 People per Week (Weekly Incidence Rate)

  • There were 89 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people reported last week in DuPage County, an increase from 77 new cases per 100,000 people the previous week.
  • Cases among DuPage County residents aged 10–19 years and 20-29 years have driven the increase in recent weeks.
  • The target established by the state is less than 50 cases per 100,000 people per week.
  • DuPage County weekly incidence rates have exceeded the state’s target since the week ending July 18.

Number of Deaths per Week

  • There were 6 deaths in DuPage County last week, up from 4 deaths the week before.
  • The target established by the state is for deaths to decrease or remain stable.
  • The number of weekly deaths in DuPage County have decreased since mid-June and have remained at 10 or fewer per week since late July.

“These increases tell us too many people are not following public health guidelines. We need everyone to take this seriously. To slow the spread of COVID-19 everybody needs to wear a mask over your nose and mouth, watch your distance and wash your hands often,” said Karen Ayala, DuPage County Health Department Executive Director.

While half of 18 COVID-19 outbreaks since August 1 have occurred in long-term care settings, the Health Department is currently investigating an additional 9 COVID-19 outbreaks reported in a variety of settings, including a graduation party, a youth athletic team, as well as different workplaces. An outbreak is defined as at least one confirmed case plus a suspected case within a congregate living facility, or two or more linked cases in another setting.

DuPage County COVID-19 Outbreaks
Reported August 1, 2020 – September 10, 2020

Category

Number of Outbreaks

Total Confirmed Cases in Category*

Long-term Care Facilities

9

36

Place of Worship

1

15

Healthcare Facilities

3

11

Private Homes

2

10

Workplaces

2

<5**

Youth Athletic Team

1

<5**

*Case counts are provisional and subject to change.

**Due to confidentiality concerns, case counts under 5 are not reported as exact numbers

To slow the spread of COVID-19, DCHD continues to work with community partners to provide many resources, including:

  • The Return to School Framework that school officials may use to make decisions about if and when to shift between learning models this school year;
  • A COVID-19 Education Response Team that provides consultation and support to local school leaders, nurses and staff, and provides guidance to ensure safe operations, reduces the risk of COVID-19 and ensures proper cleaning and disinfecting;
  • A COVID-19 Business Response Team that promotes best practices in a variety of business to ensure appropriate actions before and after COVID-19 case reports, including employees properly cleaning and disinfecting with EPA-approved products, and providing the recently updated ‘Restaurant and Bar Establishment Safety Guidelines’ to help slow the spread of COVID-19;
  • Continued efforts to address health inequities, particularly through expanded access to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and cloth face coverings, and personal protective equipment;
  • Stay Safe DuPage, a pandemic mitigation educational campaign designed to encourage residents to practice the 3Ws (Wear a Mask, Watch Your Distance and Wash Your Hands) to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities;
  • A multi-faceted Contact Tracing marketing campaign to encourage residents to ‘Answer the Call’ from DCHD and provide information to help slow the spread of COVID-19; and
  • A toolkit for the community with details on contact tracing, quarantine and isolation, general prevention and videos, which is available here: Education and Outreach Resources.

Additional information and resources are available at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19.

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