COVID-19: South Chicago Heights Now Has 2nd Highest Rate per 100k; 65 Ludeman Staff Test Positive

Illinois and the Novel Coronavirus.
Illinois and the Novel Coronavirus. (ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- As testing increases for COVID-19, we become aware of more cases of the virus. South Chicago Heights now has the second-highest rate per 100,000 at 1,304.66. With a population of only 4,139, South Chicago Heights’ 54 cases drive its rate up. The Town of Cicero still has the largest number of cases with 899 and a rate of 1,071.65 per 100,000. Park Forest now has 321 known cases, with 150 of those being residents of Elisabeth Ludeman Center, and a total rate of 1,497.97 per 100,000, according to data provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This remains the highest rate per 100,000 people of any of the 30 towns we track.

Parents & Friends of the Ludeman Center now reports that, besides the 150 who tested positive, 90 residents tested negative as of April 28 tests with 105 pending test results. Sixty-five Ludeman Staff also tested positive. A total of 29 of 38 occupied Ludeman Homes have individuals that have been tested and received results for COVID-19.

The statistics for Ludeman Center are from Parents & Friends of the Ludeman Center. The group has a statement on its website along with statistics from April 7 onward:

“Ludeman is continuing to test all residents who have not been previously tested for COVID-19,” the group says. “The additional testing is based on recommendations from the infectious disease physician who is consulting with the Divisions of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health. This will enable Ludeman to continue the best possible precautionary, clinical and medical programming and supports for the people they serve. Ludeman will notify families of the testing process and results.

The group provides these statistics for testing done on April 28:

  • Ludeman Residents: 150 tested positive. 82 tested negative. 117 pending results.
  • Ludeman Staff: 58 tested positive. 
  • 28 of 38 occupied Ludeman Homes have individuals that have been tested and received results for COVID-19.

Wellness checks are being conducted on staff members before reporting to their respective assignments, the group says.

Ludeman Center is in need of the following supplies, the group notes:

  • Disposable Stethoscopes
  • Disposable Surgical Gowns
  • Surgical KN95 Masks
  • Oral or Temporal Thermometers
  • Wall Mounted Hand Sanitizers – Holder and Sanitizer Supply
  • Sanitizer Wipes, Disinfectant Spray

If you are able to fulfill any of the above supplies to Ludeman, e-mail us at [email protected] and they will be happy to pick up or provide instructions to ship your donation.

The Will County Health Department now reports 14 cases of COVID-19 in the Will County section of Park Forest as of April 28, 2020.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in the Cook County section of Park Forest rose to 10 since we last tallied comprehensively on April 26. Chicago Heights lost one more person in the past couple of days, that number now at 13. Cicero lost 22, Richton Park 7, Matteson 12, and Country Club Hills remains at 9. The number of deaths in Steger (Cook County) is also unchanged since April 26 at 3.

The City of Chicago has lost 859 people to COVID-19.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) says the number of COVID-19 cases peaked in Illinois on April 17, but testing continues. Hence, the number of cases in the South Suburbs continues to rise. The IHME also says the peak death rate from the worst pandemic in anyone’s memory has also passed in Illinois.

IHME projects that relaxing social distancing in Illinois may be possible after May 20, 2020, with containment strategies that include testing, contact tracing, isolation, and limiting gathering size.

“Since data can fluctuate daily, IHME uses the overall trend (rather than the single highest reported number) to identify a peak date of daily deaths,” the organization’s website notes.

IHME projections assume strict social distancing continues until infections are minimized and containment implemented.

As of this writing on April 26, Chicago Heights has 217 cases, Steger has 44, Flossmoor 55, Richton Park 121, Olympia Fields 37, Sauk Village 58, Glenwood 60, Tinley Park 136, and South Chicago Heights has 54, nearly double the number of known cases the town of 4,139 had three days ago, earning South Chicago Heights the second-highest rate per 100k at 1304.66.

Harvey has 194 cases, Country Club Hills has 163 cases, Orland Park 198, Lynwood 77, Lansing 171, Homewood 143, South Holland 220, Calumet City 268, Markham 118, and Crete 72. Ford Heights now has 18 cases.

Again, Cicero stands alone again with the highest number of cases at 899 with a much higher rate per 100,000 at 1071.65.

New Mask Requirement in Illinois Effective May 1

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today that his stay-at-home order will continue in Illinois through the month of May. Additionally, he is requiring a “face-covering or mask” for all over the age of two under certain circumstances.

The Governor said:

Starting on May 1, any individual over the age of two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering or mask will be required to wear one when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face coverings work and we need all Illinoisans to do their part here.

For our essential businesses, including manufacturers, we are issuing new requirements on social distancing and new caps on occupancy.

Again all of these things won’t take effect until May 1 – a week from tomorrow. And they are only minor modifications – what we can do safely – while keeping our stay at home restrictions in place as we manage through to the next phase.

Current COVID-19 Cases for Several South Suburban Towns

Municipality COVID-19 Cases Most Recent Population Figures Rate per 100,000 Population*
Calumet City 268 37042 723.50
Chicago Heights 217 30276 716.74
Cicero 899 83889 1071.65
Country Club Hills 163 16541 985.43
Crestwood 52 10950 474.89
Crete 72 8117 887.03
Dolton 190 23153 820.63
East Hazel Crest 7 1543 453.66
Flossmoor 55 9464 581.15
Ford Heights 18 2763 651.47
Frankfort 78 19178 406.72
Glenwood 60 8969 668.97
Harvey 194 25282 767.34
Hazel Crest 118 14100 836.88
Homewood 143 19323 740.05
Lansing 171 28331 603.58
Lynwood 77 9007 854.89
Markham 118 12508 943.40
Matteson 200 19009 1052.13
Oak Forest 82 27962 293.26
Olympia Fields 37 4988 741.78
Orland Park 198 56582 349.93
Park Forest 321 21429 1497.97
Richton Park 121 13646 886.71
Sauk Village 58 10506 552.07
South Chicago Heights 54 4139 1304.66
South Holland 220 22030 998.64
Steger 44 9331 471.55
Tinley Park 136 49235 276.23
University Park 59 6958 847.94
Combined 4430 606251 730.72
*Numbers per 100,000 based on most recent population from US Census.gov or derived via formulat using rate per 100,000 population and COVID-19 cases as reported by Cook County.

The following chart will auto-update as we update our Google spreadsheet:

This chart might not appear on all mobile devices. It does not appear, for example, in the browser built into the Apple Facebook app.

IHME stresses relaxed social distancing may be possible with containment strategies that include testing, contact tracing, isolation, and limiting gathering size.

The projections from IHME still show no anticipated shortage of hospital beds in Illinois, ICU, or other. The same still holds true for Indiana.

As of April 28, 2020, there are a total of 12,210 known confirmed cases of COVID-19 in suburban Cook County and 501 deaths. 114 congregate settings, such as long term care facilities or nursing homes, are reporting one or more confirmed cases. The data from Cook County includes all cases under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Department of Public Health (excludes Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie, and Stickney Township). All numbers are provisional and subject to change.

As of this writing on April 20, Will County reports 2,267 known cases and 145 deaths.

Overall for the State of Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) April 28, 2020, announced 2,219 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 144 additional deaths.

  • Cook County: 1 female 20s, 1 male 20s, 2 males 30s, 3 males 40s, 2 females 50s, 6 males 50s, 10 females 60s, 17 males 60s, 11 females 70s, 17 males 70s, 17 females 80s, 15 males 80s, 5 females 90s, 6 males 90s
  • DuPage County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Jefferson County: 1 female 90s
  • Kane County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Kankakee County: 1 male 50s
  • Lake County: 1 male 40s, 2 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 1 male 80s
  • Madison County: 1 female 50s
  • McHenry County: 2 females 70s
  • Ogle County: 1 male 70s
  • Rock Island County: 1 female 90s
  • St. Clair County: 1 female 90s
  • Will County: 1 female teens, 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 2 males 70s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Winnebago County: 1 female 80s.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 48,102 cases, including 2,125 deaths, in 96 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have processed 14,561 specimens for a total of 242,189. 

For all personal protective equipment (PPE) donations, email [email protected]. For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected].

*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered.  Information for a death previously reported has changed, therefore, today’s numbers have been adjusted. 

Why Rate Per 100,000?

We found a clear explanation for viewing the rate of infections per 100,000 comes from Indiana University at Bloomington: “There may or may not be 100,000 residents in the county under review, but multiplying the result by 100,000 makes that rate comparable with counties with more than 100,000 or less than 100,000.”

“It is customary to use rates per 100,000 population for deaths and rates per 1,000 population for live births,” our source at Indiana University says.

So, none of the cities, towns, and villages we survey have 100,000 residents, but by using the rate per 100,000, we are able to compare apples to apples, so to speak, as if every town did have 100,000 residents.

eNews Park Forest will continue to track the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has on our region.