COVID-19, Local, Park Forest, Science

COVID-19: Numbers Rise in South Suburbs; Access to Testing Increases. Park Forest Still Has Highest Rate.

Illinois COVID-19 novel coronavirus
Illinois novel coronavirus. (ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The number of COVID-19 rose again in each of the 30 suburb eNews Park Forest tracks. No doubt the rise in some of those figures is happening because testing has become more available in the South Suburbs at last. We are including a list of South and Southwest Surburban private testing sites in addition to those managed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Park Forest now has a rate of 1,381.31 per 100,000 people with 296 cases, according to data provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This remains the highest rate per 100,000 people of any of the 30 towns we track.

The Will County Health Department now reports 12 cases of COVID-19 in the Will County section of Park Forest.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in the Cook County section of Park Forest rose to 8 since we last tallied comprehensively on April 20. Chicago Heights lost one more person in the past couple of days, that number now at 11. Country Club Hills has now lost 9, Cicero 17, Richton Park 7, and Matteson remains at 11. The number of deaths in Steger (Cook County) is also unchanged since April 17 at 3.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) says the number of COVID-19 cases peaked in Illinois on April 17, but testing continues. Hence, the number of cases in the South Suburbs continues to rise. The IHME also says the peak death rate from the worst pandemic in anyone’s memory has also passed in Illinois.

“Since data can fluctuate daily, IHME uses the overall trend (rather than the single highest reported number) to identify a peak date of daily deaths,” the organization’s website notes.

IHME projections assume strict social distancing continues until infections are minimized and containment implemented.

As of this writing on April 20, Chicago Heights has 178 cases, Steger has 40, Flossmoor 53, Richton Park 105, Olympia Fields 34, Sauk Village 51, Glenwood 55, Tinley Park 109, and South Chicago Heights has 15.

Harvey has 155 cases, Country Club Hills has 133 cases, Orland Park 163, Lynwood 71, Lansing 139, Homewood 115, South Holland 203, Calumet City 236, and Markham 102, Crete 70. Ford Heights has 14 cases.

Cicero stands alone again with the highest number of cases at 516 with a much higher rate per 100,000 at 615.10. Seventeen people now have died of COVID-19 related causes in Cicero, five more since we tracked numbers on April 20.

New Mask Requirement in Illinois Effective May 1

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today that his stay-at-home order will continue in Illinois through the month of May. Additionally, he is requiring a “face-covering or mask” for all over the age of two under certain circumstances.

The Governor said:

Starting on May 1, any individual over the age of two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering or mask will be required to wear one when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face coverings work and we need all Illinoisans to do their part here.

For our essential businesses, including manufacturers, we are issuing new requirements on social distancing and new caps on occupancy.

Again all of these things won’t take effect until May 1 – a week from tomorrow. And they are only minor modifications – what we can do safely – while keeping our stay at home restrictions in place as we manage through to the next phase.

Current COVID-19 Cases for Several South Suburban Towns

Municipality COVID-19 Cases Most Recent Population Figures Rate per 100,000 Population*
Calumet City 236 37042 637.11
Chicago Heights 178 30276 587.92
Cicero 516 83889 615.10
Country Club Hills 133 16541 804.06
Crestwood 42 10950 383.56
Crete 70 8117 862.39
Dolton 160 23153 691.06
East Hazel Crest 8 1543 518.47
Flossmoor 53 9464 560.02
Ford Heights 14 2763 506.70
Frankfort 71 19178 370.22
Glenwood 55 8969 613.22
Harvey 155 25282 613.08
Hazel Crest 108 14100 765.96
Homewood 115 19323 595.15
Lansing 139 28331 490.63
Lynwood 71 9007 788.28
Markham 102 12508 815.48
Matteson 182 19009 957.44
Oak Forest 70 27962 250.34
Olympia Fields 34 4988 681.64
Orland Park 163 56582 288.08
Park Forest 296 21429 1381.31
Richton Park 105 13646 769.46
Sauk Village 51 10506 485.44
South Chicago Heights 15 4139 362.41
South Holland 203 22030 921.47
Steger 40 9331 428.68
Tinley Park 109 49235 221.39
University Park 55 6958 790.46
*Numbers per 100,000 based on most recent population from US or derived via formulat using rate per 100,000 population and COVID-19 cases as reported by Cook County.

The following chart will auto-update as we update our Google spreadsheet:

This chart might not appear on all mobile devices. It does not appear, for example, in the browser built into the Apple Facebook app.

IHME stresses relaxed social distancing may be possible with containment strategies that include testing, contact tracing, isolation, and limiting gathering size.

The projections from IHME still show no anticipated shortage of hospital beds in Illinois, ICU, or other. The same still holds true for Indiana.

As of April 23, 2020, there are a total of 9,961 known confirmed cases of COVID-19 in suburban Cook County and 423 deaths. 109 congregate settings, such as long term care facilities or nursing homes, are reporting one or more confirmed cases. The data from Cook County includes all cases under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Department of Public Health (excludes Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie, and Stickney Township). All numbers are provisional and subject to change.

As of this writing on April 20, Will County reports 1,885 known cases and 119 deaths.

The state of Illinois reports 36,934 positive cases of COVID-19, 1,688 deaths, and a total of 173,316 tests performed.

Testing Sites for COVID-19

Please note not all testing sites listed are managed by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This list will be updated frequently. If your lab is testing for COVID-19 and would like to be listed, please contact the Illinois Department of Public Health at [email protected].

The State of Illinois is announcing two additional Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) are opening to the public this week to help test Illinoisans for COVID-19. These new sites will open this week in Aurora (Wednesday) and Rockford (Friday). Illinois Community-Based Testing Sites are open seven days a week to test individuals with COVID-19 symptoms.

The sites listed below are distinguished by the name of the center first, the city where they’re located, hours of operation, says of operation, specific requirements, a website, if available, and a “hotline” number, if available. All information is from

For an up-to-date listing of testing sites in the state of Illinois, please go here.

VNA Health Care

  • Romeoville
  • 8:30am-3:30pm 8:30am – 12:00pm
  • Monday-Friday Saturday
  • Appointment required. Special instructions will be provided for walk-ups.

Morris Hospital

Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness, Inc.

  • Joliet
  • 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Monday/Tuesday/Friday
  • Appointment required. Must meet testing criteria established by IDPH. Capacity is limited.

Family Christian Health Center

  • Harvey
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Monday – Friday
  • Appointment required. Televisit required prior to visit.

Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness, Inc.

  • Chicago Heights
  • 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Monday/Tuesday/Friday
  • Appointment required. Must meet testing criteria established by IDPH. Capacity is limited.

IDPH Markham Drive-through

  • Markham
  • 8:00am – 4:00pm
  • Daily
  • No appointment required. Capacity is limited. Hours of operation subject to change on a daily basis, based on available equipment and throughput.
  • 1-800-889-3931

Christian Community Health Center

  • South Holland
  • 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Tuesday-Thursday
  • Appointment required.
  • 773-233-4100

Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness, Inc.

  • Kankakee
  • 8:30am – 2:30pm
  • Tuesday – Thursday
  • Appointment required. Must meet testing criteria established by IDPH. Capacity is limited.

Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness, Inc.

  • Harvey
  • 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Wednesday – Thursday
  • Appointment required. Must meet testing criteria established by IDPH. Capacity is limited.

In order to ensure that social distancing rules may be eased, medical experts assert that more widespread testing must be available. “CDC has provided guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians,” the CDC says on its website. NPR reports, however, that many who need testing for COVID-19 still fail to get access.

There are currently 1,268 COVID patients occupying 3,155 staffed ICU beds statewide in Illinois and 766 COVID patients on ventilators of 3,266 staffed ventilators, per the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Public Health Officials Announce 1,826 New Cases of Coronavirus Disease

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 1,826 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 123 additional deaths.

  • Boone County: 1 male 80s
  • Champaign County: 1 male 90s
  • Cook County: 1 male 20s, 1 male 30s, 2 females 40s, 1 male 40s, 3 females 50s, 3 males 50s, 3 females 60s, 7 males 60s, 9 females 70s, 13 males 70s, 8 females 80s, 8 males 80s, 10 females 90s, 2 males 90s
  • DuPage County: 1 male 60s, 4 females 70s, 3 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 3 males 80s, 2 females 90s
  • Fayette County: 1 female 90s
  • Jackson County: 1 female 70s
  • Kane County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 90s
  • Kankakee County: 1 female 80s, 4 males 80s
  • Kendall County: 1 male 70s
  • Lake County: 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 3 males 70s, 2 females 80s, 2 males 80s, 1 male 100+
  • McHenry County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 40s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
  • Sangamon County: 1male 70s
  • Will County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 2 males 90s
  • Winnebago County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 80s

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 36,934 cases, including 1,688 deaths, in 96 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.

For all personal protective equipment (PPE) donations, email [email protected]. For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected].

*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered. 

Related: Essential Information About COVID-19