By Bob Uphues
Over the past two weeks, 34 more Brookfield residents tested positive for COVID-19, pushing the village's total number of cases to 344 since the global pandemic first became a local reality in March.
According to the Cook County Department of Public Health, the number of new cases in the most recent seven-day period slowed somewhat compared to the prior week. As of the morning of Sept. 15, Brookfield had recorded 13 cases during the seven-day period ending at that time. The previous week, Brookfield added 21 cases.
The rate of new cases has also slowed in North Riverside, although it ticked up slightly during the past week in Riverside. In the seven-day period ending the morning of Sept. 15, 11 more Riverside residents tested positive, compared to seven the week before.
Riverside has now recorded 181 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
For the second week running, there were just three new COVID-19 cases reported in North Riverside for the seven-day period ending on the morning of Sept. 15. Those two weeks followed a week in which North Riverside saw seven new cases. The village's total during the pandemic now stands at 119.
None of the villages have recorded any fatal cases of COVID-19 in nearly two months. The last fatality was a North Riverside resident, who died July 19. Three North Riverside residents have died from the disease.
Meanwhile, Riverside has had two people succumb to COVID-19, while Brookfield has seen four fatal cases since March.
Statewide positivity rate drops
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that the COVID-19 test positivity rate fell to 3.6 percent statewide Monday, decreasing in two regions that have faced increased economic restrictions due to high rates.
The seven-day rolling positivity rate average is as low as it's been since July 25, while Region 7 and Region 4 each saw decreases to their positivity rate as of Friday, Sept. 11.
Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, saw the seven-day average positivity rate decrease to 7.2 percent, which is still above the 6.5 percent threshold that will allow the rollback of some economic restrictions. Currently, the region is closed to indoor dining and bar services at restaurants and bars.
Region 4, which includes the area on the Missouri border near St. Louis, saw its rolling positivity rate decrease to 9.4 percent, marking three straight days of decreases.
Other regions ranged from 2.4 percent in eastern Illinois to 6.7 in Region 9, which includes McHenry and Lake counties in northern Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 41 deaths from Saturday to Monday, pushing the total Illinois casualty count to 8,314 since the pandemic first reached Illinois.
Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report.