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Community Poll | How worried are you about recent COVID uptick?

Locally, after enjoying a nearly two week period of 32 or fewer active cases, that number surged to 69 one week ago. Today, The Sentinel area has returned to its pre-outbreak level down to 29 active cases. The daily average of new cases has also returned to its two per day average.

Meanwhile, it has been more than a week and the state has not met the governor's metrics to enter the Bridge Phase Reopening. The increase in hospitalizations and positivity in Chicago, Cook County, and Region 1, which includes the Rockford area, has been trending upwards there as well as in a few other parts of the state. The uptick in the spread has led to the creation of state Rapid Response Vaccination Teams that will handle mass vaccinations in five counties and the expansion of vaccine eligibility in those 'trouble' areas around the state.

"Since March 8, Illinois has seen 10 days of increases in the seven-day rolling average for hospital admissions. The COVID-19 test positivity on March 10 was 2.5%. Today’s reported test positivity is 3.3%. While these rates are certainly significantly lower than the peak, they represent a potential early warning sign about a possible resurgence," the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a release on Friday. "Chicago has seen its daily case rate increase by nearly 50% since last week, along with six days of increases in test positivity. Suburban Cook County has seen its daily case rate increase more than 40%, along with nine days of increasing hospital bed usage. Region 1, the Northern portion of the state including Rockford and surrounding communities, has seen eight days of increasing hospital bed usage and six days of increasing test positivity."

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