Pandemic plea...stay home

Grundy positivity rate tops 25%

As a second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks continue to sweep across the state, Illinoisans are being urged to stay home as much as possible for the remaining days of November.
The pandemic plea is not a renewal of the stay at home order from the spring, rather a call to limit outings in hopes of once again slowing the viruses spread.
At the close of last week, Grundy County’s seven day rolling test positivity rate topped 25% and the number of new cases was just short of 500 according to the Illinois Department of Public Health [IDPH].
On Monday, Nov. 9, the state health agency reported a total of 1,557 cases had been identified in the county and on Nov. 16 the case count was up to 2,053. Since the start of the pandemic the state has recorded 19,572 tests conducted on Grundy residents and 12.3% or 2,158 of those tests were conducted within the past week.
As of Friday, Nov. 13, the Grundy County Health Department reported it was following 434 people who had recently tested postivie and were in isolation, and each of their close contacts.
The county remains at an orange warning level as it saw increases in four of eight indicators the state uses in determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity or if there are warning signs of increased risk.
For the week of Nov. 1-7, Grundy County was at warning level for the number of new cases beer 100,000, test positivity, tests performed and emergency room visits for COVID like illness.
On a regional level, the most recent positivity rate for the North Central Region was at 16.7% a figure that has increased since the governor implemented mitigation strategies on the 20 county region two weeks ago.
Each of the state’s 11 regions have mitigation’s in place that are aimed at slowing the spread, however the numbers are not showing improvement.
Gov. JB Pritzker has given warning that if mitigation measures are not followed and the metrics don’t begin to show improvement more drastic actions will be needed.
“With many community leaders choosing not to listen to the doctors, we are left with not many tools left in our toolbox to fight this. The numbers don’t lie. If things don’t take a turn in the coming days, we will quickly reach the point when some form of a mandatory stay-at-home order is all that will be left,” Pritzker said last week.
At particular concern is the number hospitalizations. As of Sunday, 5,581 hospital beds were in use by COVID-19 patients and according to Pritzker just 1,100 intensive care beds are open across the state. On a regional level about 65% of ICU beds are in use.
“If we wait to take action until our hospitals are full, it will be too late, and countless patients-COVID patients as well as those with all the other ailments and injuries that bring people to the hospital will die unnecessary deaths, because there aren’t enough beds or people to staff them,” Pritzker said in his daily press briefing on Monday.
Ventilator usage is also up with 514 in use as of late Sunday. Utilization on a regional level was most recently reported at 22%.
State officials also indicated concerns about proper staffing as health care workers are being forced into quarantine because of virus exposure in the community.
Public health officials continue to urge citizens to wear face coverings and maintain appropriate social distance when in public, and to practice good hygiene including frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
These steps along with others like gathering limits and limiting non-essential travel were outlined by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus as ways to help flatten the COVID curve.
“While each of our 275 member municipalities is unique, they all agree that it is critically important that we come together in the days and weeks ahead to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Endorsing these strategies is one of the most coherent methods for dealing with the current increase in positivity results, hospitalizations, and loss of life,” the Mayors Caucus stated in a Nov. 16 release.
As the holiday season approaches, state officials continue the call for individuals and families to rethink Thanksgiving plans that include travel and mixing household.
IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said people should consider virtual get-togethers and food drops on family member’s doorsteps.
Ezike indicated the next few months could be difficult ones for Illinoians, “just how bumpy it really gets depends on each of us. Let’s hang in there together and be all in for Illinois,” she said.
Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report


As a second wave of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations surge people of all ages are seeking testing, and its resulting in a flood of phone calls and misuse of hospital emergency rooms.
More than 9 million COVID-19 tests had been administered in the state of Illinois as of Monday, over 175,440 of those occurred in the previous 48 hours, and as the virus resurges more and more Illinoians are searching for testing sites.
As reported by the Grundy County Health Department, testing is available through local hospital systems, as well as sites staffed by the Illinois Department of Public Health [IDPH]. A number of medical clinics and even some pharmacies offer COVID testing.
Protocols at each location are subject to change based on available resources, and the availability of results differ from site to site.
Medical professionals are seeing many asymptomatic people turning to their local hospital emergency department with the hope of seeking quick testing, and they want to remind people emergency rooms should be reserved for medical emergencies.
A simple internet search of COVID-19 testing sites yields multiple returns, but before heading out to get tested individuals should understand the protocols at the various locations—typically outlined on-line.
Locally testing locations include:
• Morris Hospital outpatient drive-thru testing is available by appointment only Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 150 W. High St., Morris [corner of Lisbon and High streets]. A physician order is required and a scheduling representative from the hospital will call once the order is received from the physician. Results are typically available in 3-6 days.
• Morris Hospital Diamond-Coal City Campus Convenient Care, 1450 E. Division St., Diamond. Walk-in testing is available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Requires an exam with a convenient care provider who determines if testing is appropriate based on patient’s medical history and symptoms. An exam with a provider does not guarantee a COVID test will be done. Results for those tested are typically available in 3-6 days.
• Riverside Medical Center Coal City Campus, 5775 E. Route 113, Coal City, offers testing Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Testing must be scheduled, walk-ins are not accepted, and a physicians order is required. COVID testing must be scheduled on-line at There are two ways to schedule testing including through the MyChart account for current patients and for those who are not a MyChart user, open scheduling is available. The scheduling links are available on the website. Those arriving for testing will e-check in and remain in their vehicle until called in for their scheduled test. A mask and identification is required.
• Will County — The Will County Health Department hosts free walk-in clinics throughout the week at two county locations.
All locations will test from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Lewis University will have testing each Tuesday and Thursday except holidays at 1 University Dr., Romeoville (at the Fieldhouse in the back). This location is walk-in, first-come-first-served.
Walk-in testing is also available at Governor’s State University Grants Office, 1 University Parkway, University Park, each Wednesday except holidays.
The Will County Community Health Center is providing COVID-19 testing to anyone who wants to be tested. The health center will not collect any money at the location. If you have insurance, a small administrative fee may be billed directly o your insurance by the Illinois Department of Public Health to cover the cost of processing the sample at the laboratory.
Will County also hosts testing by appointment in Romeoville and Joliet.
Site information can be found online at
• IDPH has testing sites open every day for everyone regardless of symptoms, and sites closest to our reading area including Aurora and Bloomington.
The Aurora location, 2450 N. Farnsworth Ave., is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. while daily supplies last. Located at 1106 Interstate Dr., the Bloomington site is open daily while supplies last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The state agency also sponsors mobile testing sites and testing will be conducted this week in Joliet and Minooka. Again, testing is available to anyone regardless of symptoms while supplies last.
IDPH staff will be at Minooka Community High School Central Campus, 301 S. Wabena Ave., Minooka from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21. Testing will also be conducted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 18-Sunday, Nov. 21 at the Joliet Park District, 3000 W. Jefferson St.
Additional testing locations can be found by visiting the IDPH website at
Additionally, CVS Minute Clinics report providing lab and rapid testing at select locations to eligible individuals. Testing must be scheduled at When signing up for testing individuals will be asked a few questions to determine if they qualify for testing. Qualified individuals will select a test site and available time and will be asked to complete a registration form. Insurance card, proof of identity and test confirmation is required. Upon arrival at the testing site, individuals should follow the posted instructions. Rapid test results are delivered the same day and lab results are typically provided within 3-4 days.