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Watch now: Macon County off COVID warning list; 49 cases added Friday

Watch now: Macon County off COVID warning list; 49 cases added Friday

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DECATUR — Macon County is no longer on a "warning list" for COVID cases compiled by state health officials, but Shelby County has been added.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday said 26 counties have enough cases and other factors to be on the danger list. Local ones include Christian, Coles, Effingham and Shelby. 

The list is updated weekly. There were 28 last week, which included Macon County, flagged two weeks for surpassing multiple metrics the state uses to track increased occurrences of coronavirus.

On Friday, Macon County health officials reported 49 new COVID cases, for a total of 1,917 since the pandemic started. A Macon County man in his 80s with COVID-19 also died, they said.  

Shelby County also reported 13 new COVID cases, including seven in a long-term care facility, health officials said. It returned to the list because the seven-day rolling average for positive cases hit 8.8%, exceeding the state’s target of 8%, and had 225 positives per 100,000 people, while the benchmark is 50. 

The state Friday also eased restrictions on activities in the Metro East. Officials say the region is returning to phase four rules that allow indoor dining and bar service and gatherings of up to 50 people. The region was the first in Illinois to see a scaled back reopening in August after it passed a state-set threshold of an 8% positivity rate for three consecutive days.

Reported Friday were 2,818 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 35 confirmed deaths.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois since the start of pandemic reached 313,518 with Friday’s numbers and the death toll has reached 8,945. Friday’s cases is the result of 71,599 new tests in the last 24 hours, which puts the seven-day statewide positivity rate at 3.8%.

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