Illinois Coronavirus 'Positivity' Rate Among Lowest In U.S.

By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois continues to enjoy a relatively low coronavirus “positivity” rate, as officials brace for the potential effects of a long holiday weekend.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday said the state’s rolling positivity rate, based on seven days’ worth of data, was 2.6%, a big improvement from late March/early April when this metric peaked at 24.4% during the height of the pandemic here.

Illinois — the sixth most populous state in the U.S. — compares favorably to many of the largest states, such as California (6.4% positivity rate, according to the latest daily statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University); Texas (14.4%); Florida (16%); Pennsylvania (4.7%) and Ohio (5.5%).

Meantime, New York, once the nation’s epicenter of COVID-19, had a 1.1% positivity rate.

The rolling, seven-day positivity rate of each state is based on the number of tests conducted versus the number that come back “positive,” meaning the person tested has coronavirus. Some states conduct more tests than others, so it’s not a perfect comparison. Still, positivity rate is considered a good metric for determining how widespread the disease has become.

Also Thursday, the Illinois Health Department said another 36 people in the state died of COVID-19, and another 869 tested positive for the virus. 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is gradually reopening her city with restrictions, urged business owners and the public not to let their guard down.

Vermont is the state with the lowest positivity rate, according to the Johns Hopkins database: 0.4%. Arizona has the highest positivity rate: 24%.

The check out the complete JHU database, click on this link, which leads to a pull down menu for each state.