Regional test positivity reaches lowest point since summer

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

COVID-19 metrics in Champaign County and the surrounding 20 counties that make up Region 6 have continued to improve.

The rolling seven-day test positivity rate for Region 6, which covers east central Illinois, is down to 3.2%, the lowest since July 24.

Regional hospitalizations for the virus, at 76 as of Friday, are the lowest since Sept. 11. Hospitalizations peaked in the region on Nov. 18, at 268, when the county was going through its worst dirge of new COVID-19 cases.

The region has spent 37 days underneath the 8% test positivity threshold which typically calls for more COVID-19-related mitigations, like minimizing indoor dining.

Locally, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District confirmed another 22 cases of the virus among its residents after Saturday’s tests. However, active cases dropped by 137, down to 556 active cases of COVID-19 in Champaign County.

Fourteen county residents are hospitalized for the virus as of Sunday, the same as Saturday. Among Carle’s hospitals, 29 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19, with three in Carle Foundation Hospital’s intensive care unit in Urbana.

Since the pandemic began, 17,920 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Champaign County, while 127 of them have died. The county has processed 1,679,929 COVID-19 tests to date.

A steady flow of new COVID-19 cases continues to drag on the University’s spring semester, though the picture is still better than the fall semester.

During the week ended Friday, another 255 people tested positive for COVID-19 for the first time. Since Jan. 15, when students began returning to campus, 1,170 people have tested positive for COVID-19 on campus.

Last year, after the fourth week of class, 1,870 cases had been identified on campus since move-in, including 340 in the fourth week of class.

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