Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) indicates a rising positivity rate of 12.2% over the previous weeks rate of 10.6% with cases in all counties (IDPH, 2020). Illinois divides the response into regions and reported all 11 regions were in Tier 3 mitigation. This means active resurgence is occurring in the state and the measure are meant to slow the spread. Examples of restrictions include no indoor seating for restaurants, fitness centers may operate at 25% capacity, indoor recreation is closed and outdoor recreation limited to 25% capacity, and working remotely as to the extent possible. Tier 2 and the less restrictive measure are implemented after the region reaches a positivity rating of less than 12%.
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) provides COVID-19 cumulative infection rates information by facility for inmates and employees (IDOC, 2020). All in-person visitation was suspended on March 14, 2020 to control the spread of COVID-19 in the jail system. They have expanded video visits and phone calls opportunities and are encouraging writing to inmates. Inmates are encouraged to take up yoga to help with physical and mental well-being, including the IDOC providing information to inmates.
The following counties were selected based on population and/or position in the state.
Macon County jail is a newer facility with an extensive remodel in 2006 (MCSO, 2020). The jail has a capacity of 425 inmates and boasts current technology for safety and visitation. In person visitation was suspended with an undated memo (MCSO COVID, 2020). The largest city is Decatur. The County is located in Region 6 in central eastern Illinois (IDPH, 2020).
St. Clair County is adjacent to the City of St Louis, Missouri as well as Madison County, Illinois. On November 13, 2020, the County revised their operations due to increasing community spread of COVID-19, including closing the court house to the public but they are still providing essential services (SCCB, 2020).
Cook County is the county seat and home to the City of Chicago, which is the third largest city in the United States. The City of Chicago comprises the entirety of Region 11 in the state and Cook County comprises the entirety of Region 10. Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) reopened in-person visitation in June 2020 in an outdoor setting but was resuspended on November 16, 2020 due to increasing cases of COVID-19 in the jails and community (CCDOC, 2020).
|Type of Facility||Family Visitation||Attorney Visitation||Commissary/Money for Expenses||Other Programs|
|General Information||Hours and Parking for Visitation||Inmate Property Release|
|State-Run Correction Facility|
|Macon County||Must be picked up within 30 days of discharge.||No specific information provided|
|St. Clair County||No specific information provided||No specific information provided|
|Cook County/ City of Chicago|
Infection Rates and Death Rates
Illinois uses 12% positivity as its target for reducing from Tier 3 to Tier 2 restrictions (IDPH, 2020). As of November 27, 2020, the 7-day rolling average has been declining but is still above 12% in all parts of the state. The positivity rate exceeded 20% in some regions within the last several weeks with hospital bed availability in critical shortage recently. However, these numbers are improving statewide.
Illinois rates Correctional Facilities as the fourth highest location (e.g. where infection is likely the source) of outbreaks (IDPH, 2020). The state restarted county jail intakes on August 3, 2020 with modified procedures including quickly releasing inmates when they are eligible (IDOC, 2020).
Macon County released some inmates early in March 2020 (Reid, 2020). The community positivity rate is 12.1% and declining from a high of 14.6% approximately 4 weeks prior on November 17, 2020 (IDPH, 2020). Macon County itself is slightly higher with a positivity rate of 12.5% and a high of 17.7%.
St. Clair County is adjacent to Madison County as well as St. Louis County, Missouri, all of which have very high community spread of COVID-19. The November 24, 2020 region 4 rate was 13.6% with a high of 16.4% on November 16, 2020 (IDPH, 2020). The region remains in the “red zone” for lack of ICU and medical/surgical beds as well as rising daily increases in the number of people hospitalized. St. Clair County itself is slightly better with a positivity rate of 12.8% on November 24, 2020, one of the lowest county positivity rates compared to other counties in Region 4.
Cook County and the City of Chicago both have positivity ratings trending downward after implementation of renewed strict measures statewide. The City of Chicago has a positivity rate of 12.4% as of November 24, 2020 after a high of almost 16% two weeks prior (Chicago Dashboard, 2020). Cook County has a positivity rating of 13.3% after a high of approximately 15% two weeks prior. Cook County provides jail services for the City of Chicago. Per the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the majority of cases identified in the jail system currently are new intakes and the efforts to test and separate new intakes plus extensive testing has kept numbers in the jail system relatively low (CCSO, 2020).
|Type of Facility||Infection||Death|
|Number||Positivity Rate||Number||Death Rate of Positive Cases|
|State Jails||Inmate||3,8091||Not determined||Not provided||Not determined|
|Employee||2,1962||Not determined||Not provided||Not determined|
|Macon County||Inmate||Not provided||Not determined||Not provided||Not determined|
|Employee||Not provided||Not determined||Not provided||Not determined|
|St. Clair County||Inmate||Not provided||Not determined||Not provided||Not determined|
|Employee||Not provided||Not determined||Not provided||Not determined|
|Cook County/ City of Chicago||Inmate||91||2.97%3||≥7||Not determined|
|Employee||63||Not determined||≥3||Not determined|
CCDOC. (2020, November 23). Inmate Search. Retrieved November 27, 2020 from Cook County Sheriff: https://inmatelocator.ccsheriff.org/
CCSO. (2020, November 12). COVID-19 Rise in Community Leads to Case Increase in Cook County Jail. Retrieved November 28, 2020 from Cook County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.cookcountysheriff.org/covid-19-rise-in-community-leads-to-case-increase-in-cook-county-jail/
Chicago Dashboard. (2020, November 24). COVID Dashboard. Retrieved November 27, 2020 from Chicago: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home/covid-dashboard.html
IDOC. (2020, November 20). COVID-19 Response. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from Illinois Department of Corrections: https://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/facilities/Pages/Covid19Response.aspx
IDPH. (2020, November 27). COVID-19 Statistics. Retrieved November 27, 2020 from Illinois Department of Public Health: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid19-statistics
MCSO. (2020). Corrections. Retrieved November 28, 2020 from Macon County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.sheriff-macon-il.us/Corrections.html
MCSO COVID. (2020). A Whole of Illinois Approach. Retrieved November 28, 2020 from Macon County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.sheriff-macon-il.us/A%20Whole%20Illinois%20Approach.pdf
Reid, T. (2020, March 22). Macon County Jail releases some inmates early as precaution against coronavirus. Retrieved November 28, 2020 from Herald Review: https://herald-review.com/news/local/public_safety/macon-county-jail-releases-some-inmates-early-as-precaution-against-coronavirus/article_e0b00c5d-9997-55d1-abb9-1a9583fb12a8.html
SCCB. (2020, November 13). COVID-19 Service Plan. Retrieved November 28, 2020 from St. Claire County Board: https://www.co.st-clair.il.us/webdocuments/notices/actionPlan.pdf