Update will include only new or enhanced activities and updated information.
- Will County numbers– As of today, Will County is reporting 64,549 positive COVID cases and 885 deaths. The number of positive cases includes molecular (PCR) and rapid antigen tests.
- Illinois Stats– Currently, Illinois has 1,168,683 positive COVID cases and 20,129 deaths. The state’s positivity rate is 3.3%, Will County’s 4.6%, and the Region 7 positivity rate is 4.4%. As you know, based on our much-improved metrics, Region 7 (Will and Kankakee Counties) moved to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan late January. The Restore Illinois Plan as well as many other resources on the IDPH website www.dph.illinois.gov
- Vaccine stats- A total of 2,106,800 vaccine doses have been delivered to providers throughout Illinois, however Will County Health Department has only received 68,335, or ~3.2% of the total number of doses. For the 4th most populous county in Illinois, that number is extremely shy of what is needed to vaccinate our population in a reasonable amount of time. A total of 1,977,033 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of midnight, last night, including 266,037 for LTCFs. A seven-day rolling average of vaccines delivered daily in Illinois is 61,132. Will county providers (including LTCFs) have administered 82,546 doses, fully vaccinating 21,431, ~3.10% of the county population, with a daily average of 3200 doses being administered.
- Hospital data– IDPH is reporting 1655 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across Illinois, 386 in the ICU, and 184 on ventilators. As you can see the numbers are continuing to trend downward.
- Staffing- Since my last report, we have no new positive cases in the agency.
- Mass Vaccination Plan (MVP)- Currently Will County is vaccinating people eligible for vaccine in Phase 1a and 1b. If you need additional information on the phases, please see the IDPH Mass Vaccination Plan: https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069t000000GNOFoAAP?operationContext=S1
IDPH distributed the newest version, 6.0 on Saturday. This version further expands Phase 1b, documents the change in scope of practice for EMS personnel, provides links to resources such as toolkits, and references information for at- home caregivers. The new document can be found on our website or the IDPH website. www.willcountyhealth.org
The Will County Health Department continues to operate a daily clinic at our 501 Ella Avenue site administering vaccine to 230-260 people per day. This week we expanded our hours on Tuesday and Thursdays to accommodate more appointments. We will also hold clinics on weekends, depending on availability of vaccine. We have also expanded our community partners as providers in the county (Silver Cross Hospital, St. Joe’s Amita, Walgreens, some Jewel-Osco, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Mariano’s, Kodo Pharmacy, Joliet West HS, etc.) to 32 providers! COVID vaccinations at all sites throughout the county are by appointment only. Individuals return to the same location for their second dose where they obtained their first dose.
For additional information please visit
Currently, the Health Department can schedule only 2nd dose clinics as we are not receiving 1st dose vaccine. There have been 3 weeks we have not received ANY vaccine, including this week. We are unable to provide vaccine for the many clinics some of our providers are holding- there simply is not enough being shipped to us.
At this time, Will County has vaccinated 3.10% of our population, 82,546 vaccines. These are rates as of today for other NE Region counties.
Lake – 2.57%
There is an abundance of information on all the site links I am providing below:
For detailed information and data on vaccines in Will County and Illinois visit:
- Binax Rapid Test Program- We now have 33 entities participating in our Binax Now program, with over 9,000 test kits provided to our community. Recently, many additional schools have become part of the program as they return to in person learning.
- COVID testing- Our Community Health Center has been providing testing in the community for 42 weeks. To date we have administered over 7, ooo tests. Due to decreased lack of interest, and the severe weather conditions we have curtailed the testing to 2 days per week for the time being. You can find the list of testing sites on our website:
- Call Center/Hotline– The Will County Board approved the contract and funding to support a robust call center that is being outsourced to Harris & Harris. The call center began operating this week; however, it will not be rolled out completely until next week while they continue to train and orient staff to our FAQs and practices. At this time staff at the Health Department are still receiving calls on the hotline, which will be transferred to the call center next week.
- New MVP staffing– This week we added 2 individuals to our MV Team. We welcome a manager for Community Partner Engagement. This role is to maximize our efforts in reaching various sectors in phase 1b as well as the different populations and cultures within. It is important we find ways to reach the many communities we have within Will county.
We also welcome our Clinic and Call Center Operations Manager. This individual will be the liaison between our agency and the call center. With a very strong background in Operations Management, she will also be assisting us in optimizing our efforts as we move through our plan.
- EMTrack– This technology platform will enable the public to make vaccine appointments on-line. Currently, department staff are utilizing the system to set up future clinics, and making appointments for individuals needing 2nd doses, however, we cannot role this out to the public until we begin to receive more vaccine. We simply do not have enough available vaccine to schedule additional clinics.
- New Vaccine– Earlier this month Johnson & Johnson submitted their application for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for their newly developed vaccine. The panel is expected to convene and provide approval (or disapproval) on February 26. If approved, J & J has stated they are prepared to begin distributing vaccine as early as March. This vaccine requires only one dose and is easily stored and transported like many other vaccines- not ultra-cold or low freezer temperatures. This should improve the availability of vaccines, as well as remove barriers for storage and transport.
- Normal Programming– All 38 programs are proceeding as required.
Environmental Health– In addition to running their regular programs of food inspections, water sampling and analysis, sewage program, tanning, and compliance, they continue to field and investigate complaints regarding COVID non-compliance. To date they have investigated over 600 complaints.
Behavioral Health– in addition to normal programming of child and adolescent and adult behavioral health services, the mobile crisis response program, homeless outreach, nursing home screenings and psychiatry, they are making the necessary preparations for licensure to begin a substance use treatment program. Additionally, they have volunteered many staff to assist in various roles in our mass vaccination efforts.
Community Health Center– In addition to the many primary care, behavioral health care, dental clinic, optometry services, hearing screening services, they have been instrumental in providing COVID testing at a multitude of sites throughout the county. Recently, they wrote for and were awarded 2 grants to enhance services- a hypertension grant and telehealth grant.
Family Health Services– Our contact tracing team continues their difficult and timely work reaching out to those testing positive for COVID, as well as their daily surveillance of other illnesses throughout the county. They began on the frontline in February and continue to this day, until this pandemic ends. In addition to the multitude of other community programs FHS provides, they were recently recognized by the state for exceeding their case numbers in the WIC program. They attained 101% of their WIC client caseload. Not only has this never been achieved in Will County, it has never been achieved in the state of Illinois.
- As a reminder, we have a comprehensive agency resource guide providing details of our programs. You can find this on our website at www.willcountyhealth.org or email Steve Brandy at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all staff. Some are directly involved in the COVID response, some are assisting in various capacities, and some are continuing our great work with many modifications due to the pandemic. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication. It is not unnoticed!