A Look At COVID-19 In Stephenson County

Health data shows that the county has tested well and active cases have decreased; but cases could rise again without cautionary measures.

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Publicly available data from the Stephenson County Health Department shows that the county has administered about 6,000 COVID-19 tests since the beginning of the pandemic. The county has had 294 cases of COVID as of June 22nd. 

The county has seen 35 hospitalizations for COVID, and 6 people have lost their lives. 

This graph, provided to The Voice by the Stephenson County Health Department, shows the total of negative tests and positive tests over time. 

This graph shows that the county’s testing ability has improved greatly in the last 6 weeks; around 4000 tests have been administered since June 17th. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health said on its website that the county’s current testing numbers are “sufficient” given the county’s relatively low positivity rate.

Positivity rate is the percentage of COVID tests which come back positive. 

Using publicly available data, The Voice created original graphs visualizing the county’s total positive cases and current active cases.

The above graph shows that the total of positive cases has plateaued in recent weeks, though the total has begun to rise again in the last few days of testing. This means that few tests have been coming back positive, though there has been a small rise in recent days. 

The below graph indicates that active COVID cases in Stephenson County have fallen over the last several weeks. On June 14th, the earliest date that data is publicly available, there were 84 known cases of COVID. Yesterday, there were 24 known cases.

These numbers show that Stephenson County has successfully increased its testing ability and that active cases have fallen in recent weeks. 

However, this local success comes as Illinois and many parts of the country are experiencing a spike in COVID cases.

Cases in the US topped 4 million today, and on June 22nd Illinois saw its highest single-day increase since late May.

There are still many unknowns about how COVID transmitted and what the number of COVID cases actually is. It is possible that many cases are asymptomatic, which if true would result in an undercount of total cases; estimates of how many COVID cases are asymptomatic range from 10% of all cases to 70%.

With a vaccine not expected until 2021, the CDC says that the best way to fight against COVID is to avoid being infected by other people.

CDC guidelines say that individuals should practice social distancing when travelling outside the home, and that “everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings.”