Tracking COVID-19: Cases Rise Moderately in Park Forest Region

Illinois and the Coronavirus
Illinois and the Novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. (ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- It’s been almost a month since we last tracked SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) cases in Park Forest and 29 other towns in our region. Since then, July 20, 2020, the number of deaths has increased by 20 from 480 to 500. Park Forest’s total casualties remain at 21. The total number of cases in our region rose moderately by over 2,400 from 12,094 to 14,535.

Numbers continue to rise state-wide. Illinois officials reported 2,264 new cases of coronavirus today and 25 deaths, lifting the statewide total to 202,691.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Friday reported 14 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

Fourteen counties are currently reported at a warning level – Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Jefferson, Kane, LaSalle, Moultrie, Perry, Union, Will.

The dangers of the spread of COVID-19 are multiple and complex, as Dr. Timothy Angelotti, MD Ph.D., recently told eNews Park Forest, “The problem is it’s not about death, it’s not about the healthy people or the people that get very little illness from this. It’s about the surge that can happen in a hospital setting when you have a whole bunch of people get infected.

“Our biggest fear, and that’s what people don’t appreciate, that if you want a hospital full of people who are full of COVID then keep doing what we’re doing. Then all other medical care will go by the wayside until we get control of this. Do you want us to cancel elective surgeries again?”

Dr. Angelotti is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine (ICU) at the Stanford University Medical Center. His Ph.D. is in pharmacology, and our entire interview with Dr. Angelotti is forthcoming.

Where do we stand today with COVID-19?

Park Forest has now has 614 cases and a rate of 2865.28 per 100,000. That’s an increase from up from 546 cases less than a month ago.

Chicago Heights 792 cases, almost 100 more than July 20, and a current rate per 100k of 2615.93. Cicero leads still with 3674 and the highest rate of the 30 by far at 4379.60.

The overall recovery rate in Illinois remains at 95%. We have no data on how many people are suffering lingering effects of COVID nor does anyone know yet if some conditions those have since recovering will become chronic.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, predicts upwards of 295,011 people in the United States will die of the virus by December 1, 2020. In Illinois, the number is forecasted to be 9,995, and 4,560 deaths in Indiana.

A total of 6,200 people in Park Forest have been tested with an overall positive test percentage of 9.90%, down from 11.25% when we last surveyed.

The Will County Health Department reports 65 cases of COVID-19 in the Will County section of Park Forest as of August 13, 2020. That figure is up from 48 when we last surveyed.

As of this writing, Steger has 126 cases, Flossmoor 150, Richton Park 302, Olympia Fields has 96, Sauk Village 167, Glenwood 225, Tinley Park 568, and South Chicago Heights has 109.

Harvey has 636 cases, Country Club Hills has 465 cases, Orland Park 860, Lynwood 192, Lansing 604, Homewood 356, South Holland 633, Markham 315, and Crete 237.

Ford Heights now has 45 cases, and Calumet City has 896 and a rate of 2418.88 per 100,000 people.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 202,691 cases, including 7,721 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 49,541 specimens for a total of 3,285,348.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from August 8 – August 14 is 4.1%. 

As of last night, 1,612 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 345 patients were in the ICU and 126 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

As of August 14, 2020, there are a total of 45,797 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in suburban Cook County and 1,824 deaths; only 178 cases are in congregate settings, such as long term care facilities or nursing homes, are reporting one or more confirmed cases; 75 cases are in other settings, such as workplaces or large gatherings, with confirmed outbreaks; with a total of 487 outbreak-associated 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, Will County now reports 9,754 confirmed cases and 349 deaths.

We note again: Other countries have fewer cases of COVID-19, far lower rates per 100k. The higher numbers are not an inevitability of testing. Testing alone is not the determining factor in higher numbers.

COVID-19 at Ludeman Center

According to the state of Illinois, Ludeman Center in Park Forest has 231 residents who tested positive for COVID-19, up from 230 when we last surveyed. Of these 231 residents who tested positive, 220 have recovered, two fewer recovered residents since we last checked.

A total of 132 staff members at Ludeman have tested positive, three more since we last surveyed. Of these, 123 have recovered and returned to work.

As of August 7, three Ludeman Homes were still quarantined for droplet isolation, up from none when we last surveyed. This refers to precautions healthcare workers, visitors, and staff need to take “before going into or leaving a patient’s room.” These three homes are not available for in-person visits, Parents & Friends of the Ludeman Center report. “All other Unit 3 homes are cleared for in-person visits,” the group reports.

“Droplet precautions are for patients who have germs that can spread when they cough or sneeze.” (MyHealth.Alberta.CA)

Ludeman Center now employs 927 people, up from 911 when we last surveyed, and has 339 residents, according to the current census. All have been tested, some twice, according to Parents & Friends. Staff continues to undergo wellness checks before reporting to their respective assignments, the group Parents & Friends reports.

Deceased from COVID-19

The Cook County Medical Examiner now reports 4,962 total COVID-19 related deaths since March 16, 2020, as of August 14, 2020.

As noted above, Park Forest has lost 21 people from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Deaths for 30 Towns

Municipality Total Deceased Most Recent Population Figures
Rate per 100,000 Population*
Calumet City 8 37042 21.60
Chicago Heights 37 30276 122.21
Cicero 81 83889 96.56
Country Club Hills 35 16541 211.60
Crestwood 20 10950 182.65
Crete 5 8117 61.60
Dolton 23 23153 99.34
East Hazel Crest 3 1543 194.43
Flossmoor 9 9464 95.10
Ford Heights 1 2763 36.19
Frankfort 5 19178 26.07
Glenwood 7 8969 78.05
Harvey 22 25282 87.02
Hazel Crest 16 14100 113.48
Homewood 33 19323 170.78
Lansing 12 28331 42.36
Lynwood 2 9007 22.20
Markham 16 12508 127.92
Matteson 24 19009 126.26
Oak Forest 9 27962 32.19
Olympia Fields 4 4988 80.19
Orland Park 36 56582 63.62
Park Forest 21 21429 98.00
Richton Park 14 13646 102.59
Sauk Village 2 10506 19.04
South Chicago Heights 0 4139 0.00
South Holland 34 22030 154.33
Steger 5 9331 53.58
Tinley Park 10 49235 20.31
University Park 6 6958 86.23
Combined 500 606251 82.47
*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 City of Chicago has lost 2,663 people to COVID-19, 68 more people since we last tallied.

As previously mentioned, the state of Illinois reports an overall recovery rate of 95%. According to the IDPH, the recovery rate is calculated as the recovered cases divided by the sum of recovered cases and deceased cases. Recovered cases are defined as persons “with an initial positive specimen collection date” who after more than 42 days “have not expired,” according to the IDPH.

Current COVID-19 Cases for 30 South Suburban Towns

Municipality COVID-19 Cases Most Recent Population Figures Rate per 100,000 Population*
Calumet City 896 37042 2418.88
Chicago Heights 792 30276 2615.93
Cicero 3674 83889 4379.60
Country Club Hills 465 16541 2811.20
Crestwood 177 10950 1616.44
Crete 237 8117 2919.80
Dolton 572 23153 2470.52
East Hazel Crest 25 1543 1620.22
Flossmoor 150 9464 1584.95
Ford Heights 45 2763 1628.66
Frankfort 321 19178 1673.79
Glenwood 225 8969 2508.64
Harvey 636 25282 2515.62
Hazel Crest 346 14100 2453.90
Homewood 356 19323 1842.36
Lansing 604 28331 2131.94
Lynwood 192 9007 2131.68
Markham 315 12508 2518.39
Matteson 523 19009 2751.33
Oak Forest 342 27962 1223.09
Olympia Fields 96 4988 1924.62
Orland Park 860 56582 1519.92
Park Forest 614 21429 2865.28
Richton Park 302 13646 2213.10
Sauk Village 167 10506 1589.57
South Chicago Heights 109 4139 2633.49
South Holland 633 22030 2873.35
Steger 126 9331 1350.34
Tinley Park 568 49235 1153.65
University Park 167 6958 2400.11
Combined 14535 606251 2397.52
*Numbers per 100,000 based on most recent population from US Census.gov or derived via formula 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:

For the State of Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced on August 14, 2020, 2,264 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 25 additional confirmed death.

  • Bureau County: 1 female 80s
  • Cook County: 1 female 30s, 2 males 50s, 2 males 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
  • DeKalb County: 1 female 60s
  • DuPage County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 90
  • Iroquois County: 1 female 50s
  • Madison County: 2 females 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
  • Morgan County: 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s
  • Sangamon County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
  • Will County: 1 female 90s

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 202,691 cases, including 7,721 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 49,541 specimens for a total of 3,285,348.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from August 8 – August 14 is 4.1%. 

As of last night, 1,612 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 345 patients were in the ICU and 126 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

Region 4 (Metro East) of the 11 COVID-19 Regions is seeing increases in test positivity rates and could surpass the resurgence metrics in the coming days.  If the region experiences three consecutive days of 8% test positivity (7-day rolling average), the State will implement mitigation measures.  A list of mitigation options can be found on the coronavirus.illinois.gov website.

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH is now reporting both confirmed and probable cases and deaths on its website.  Reporting probable cases will help show the potential burden of COVID-19 illness and efficacy of population-based non-pharmaceutical interventions.  IDPH will update these data once a week.

*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.  For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected]

14 Illinois Counties at Warning Level for Coronavirus Disease

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 14 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

Fourteen counties are currently reported at a warning level – Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Jefferson, Kane, LaSalle, Moultrie, Perry, Union, Will.

These counties saw ​cases or outbreaks associated with weddings, businesses, birthday parties, long-term care facilities and other congregate settings, bars, sports camps, and spread among members of the same household.  Public health officials are seeing people in some communities are not wearing masks, or if they are, they are being worn incorrectly.  Local health departments are finding it challenging to obtain the information necessary to halt local transmission, by quickly identifying exposures from contacts of cases and businesses.  Inconsistent messaging from local elected leaders are contributing to on-going transmission in some communities where there is little public concern for consequences or enforcement of social distancing, banning large gatherings, or quarantine/isolation orders.       

Several counties are taking swift action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow spread of the virus.  Examples include increasing the availability in testing in their community and working with local businesses to educate and spot check mask wearing and guideline adherence.   

IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.

  • New cases per 100,000 people.  If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
  • Number of deaths.  This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
  • Weekly test positivity.  This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
  • ICU availability.  If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
  • Weekly emergency department visits.   This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
  • Weekly hospital admissions.  A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
  • Tests perform.  This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
  • Clusters. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

These metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do.  The metrics are updated weekly, from the Sunday-Saturday of the prior week.   

A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics

About the Elisabeth Ludeman Center

As of June 17, the latest date that data is available, the Illinois Department of Human Services reports a current census of 339 residents at Ludeman Center. Of these:

  • The average age is 53.4 years (22 – 77);
  • 72% of the residents are severe and profound mentally, intellectually, and physically disabled.
  • 52% are non-verbal, using sign language or gestures to communicate;
  • 58% have a behavior intervention program, often requiring higher
    levels of staff supervision;
  • 63% receive psychotropic medications.

According to the IDHS:

The Elisabeth Ludeman Center occupies 60 acres in Park Forest at the southwest corner of Orchard Drive and North Street.

The Center is divided into three (3) residential units comprised of 13-14 homes. Each unit has a centrally located Neighborhood House which has offices for the Unit Director, Social Worker, Unit Physician, Nursing Personnel, Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals, (QIDP’s), Residential Services Supervisors and clerical personnel. The Ludeman Center also serves as an admission center for individuals having significant adaptive issues in the community-based setting. The Interdisciplinary teams’ main priority is to stabilize and ensure a successful transition back into the community.

Each of the 40 ranch-style homes has a kitchen, dining/living room area, utility room which contains a washer and dryer, two full and one half bathrooms, and five bedrooms.

Approximately half of the people who currently reside at the Ludeman Center attend vocational training programs at community training sites or workshops. The remainder of the people are served in on-campus day training programs. Currently, several individuals are working in a food service program, housekeeping program, horticulture program (vegetable garden and greenhouse flowers) and in the Center-wide recycling program.

Finally, the Ludeman Center has opened its doors and shared space/services with the Illinois Department Of Transportation’s District 1 South DBE Resource Center; as well as the Office of the Inspector General, Bureau of Civil Affairs, Bureau of Quality Management, and SODC Operations.

*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.

Clarification added on August 15, 2020: The last sentence of the first paragraph was edited to say, “The total number of cases in our region rose moderately by over 2,400 from 12,094 to 14,535,” where 12,094 previously was omitted from the sentence and it appeared to some readers that the number rose from 2,400 to 14, 535. Thank you to our readers for asking for clarification.