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Local News

Will County reaches 400 total COVID-19 deaths, keeps positivity rate under 6%

A sign tells visitors to the new Will County Courthouse to wear masks and maintain 6 feet of distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A sign tells visitors to the new Will County Courthouse to wear masks and maintain 6 feet of distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Local public health officials announced Friday that Will County has recorded over 400 total deaths due to COVID-19.

The Will County Health Department reported the deaths of a man in his 60s and a man in his 90s on Friday, which put the county at a total of 401 deaths during the pandemic.

Overall, just under 88% of those who have died from COVID-19 in Will County were age 60 or older, according to health department data.

Still, Will County has continued to record a steady rolling COVID-19 test positivity rate of under 6% since mid-September.

"I guess that’s a good sign that everybody is following the mask wearing," said Steve Brandy, a spokesman for the Will County Health Department.

Typically, between about 1,600 and 2,400 COVID-19 test results are processed from Will County a day, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The county has continued to see stubbornly high numbers of new recorded cases, relative to the target number of 50 per 100,000 people set by the IDPH. Will County's rate stood at 87 cases per 100,000 people as of this month.

Will County has continued to meet the target for several other metrics the state uses to measure community spread of the novel virus.

Those metrics include deaths attributed to COVID-19, test positivity rate, tests performed, emergency department and hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness, and intensive care unit bed availability.

Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, has also maintained a rolling positivity rate under 6%. Three weeks ago, the region had additional restrictions lifted after it got its positivity rate down under 6.5%.

The region's hospital bed and intensive care unit availability remain at adequate levels as of this week as well.

Brandy added the county health department is in the early stages of talks on how to prepare for the storage and distribution of a vaccine for COVID-19. He said local health officials want to be ready for when a vaccine is approved for public use.

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