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GALENA, Ill. -- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced today that 34 counties, including Jo Daviess County, are at a "warning level" for COVID-19 because of increases in at least two risk factors.

"Although the reasons for counties reaching a warning level varies, some of the common factors for an increase in cases and outbreaks are associated with gatherings in people’s homes, weddings and funerals, bars and clubs, university and college parties as well as college sports teams, family gatherings, long-term-care facilities, correctional centers, schools and cases among the community at large, especially people in their 20s," states an IDPH press release. "Public health officials are observing businesses blatantly disregarding mitigation measures, (and) people not social distancing, gathering in large groups and not using face coverings."

The risk indicators tracked by the state include more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in a week; the number of deaths increasing; weekly test positivity rate of more than 8%; limited intensive-care-unit availability; a surge in weekly emergency department visits; weekly hospital admissions; too few tests performed; and clusters of positive cases.

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Sixty-two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jo Daviess County have been reported since last Friday, and three more related deaths have been recorded, pushing the county's total to five. 

The county last was at the "warning level" four weeks ago.