Mercer County's COVID cases fall 32.4%; Illinois cases up 7.5%

A child receives her coronavirus vaccine at Knoxville Area Urban League's Shoes for School event in Caswell Park in Tennessee on Aug. 6.

New coronavirus cases increased 7.5% in Illinois in the week ending Sunday as the state added 26,127 cases. The previous week had 24,297 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Illinois ranked 11th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week coronavirus cases in the United States decreased 17.1% from the week before, with 543,317 cases reported. With 3.81% of the country's population, Illinois had 4.81% of the country's cases in the last week. Across the country, 16 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

The Labor Day holiday may have altered how many people can get tested and when, and when governments report testing results and deaths. This will skew week-to-week comparisons.

Mercer County reported 46 cases and zero deaths in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 68 cases and zero deaths. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 4,616 cases and 51 deaths.

Within Illinois, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Champaign County with 795 cases per 100,000 per week; Lawrence County with 785; and Wayne County with 685. The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.

Adding the most new cases overall were Cook County, with 7,862 cases; DuPage County, with 1,721 cases; and Champaign County, with 1,667. Weekly case counts rose in 60 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Champaign, Will and DuPage counties.

Across Illinois, cases fell in 40 counties, with the best declines in Cook County, with 7,862 cases from 8,057 a week earlier; in Rock Island County, with 251 cases from 363; and in Winnebago County, with 647 cases from 734.

In Illinois, 86 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 104 people were reported dead.

A total of 3,696,385 people in Illinois have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 39,370 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 94,748,404 people have tested positive and 1,047,498 people have died.

Illinois' COVID-19 hospital admissions staying flat

USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday, Sept. 4. Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:

  • Last week: 3,167
  • The week before that: 3,153
  • Four weeks ago: 3,436

Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:

  • Last week: 63,337
  • The week before that: 64,048
  • Four weeks ago: 71,125

Hospitals in 10 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 15 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 21 states admitted more COVID-19 patients in the latest week than a week prior, the USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Health and Human Services data shows.

The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control. If you have questions about the data or the story, contact Mike Stucka at