Mercer County reports 20 new COVID cases; Illinois cases plummet 23.7%


Illinois reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 19,933 new cases. That's down 23.7% from the previous week's tally of 26,127 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Illinois ranked 13th 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 4.7% from the week before, with 507,209 cases reported. With 3.81% of the country's population, Illinois had 3.93% of the country's cases in the last week. Across the country, three 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 20 cases and zero deaths in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 46 cases and zero deaths. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 4,636 cases and 51 deaths.

Across Illinois, cases fell in 85 counties, with the best declines in Cook County, with 6,438 cases from 7,862 a week earlier; in Champaign County, with 837 cases from 1,667; and in Will County, with 1,146 cases from 1,544.

Within Illinois, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Hardin County with 550 cases per 100,000 per week; Champaign County with 399; and Saline County with 375. 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 6,438 cases; DuPage County, with 1,418 cases; and Will County, with 1,146. Weekly case counts rose in 15 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Morgan, Livingston and Montgomery counties.

In Illinois, 75 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 86 people were reported dead.

A total of 3,716,318 people in Illinois have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 39,445 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 95,250,705 people have tested positive and 1,050,323 people have died.

Illinois's COVID-19 hospital admissions rising

USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday, Sept. 11. Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:

  • Last week: 3,211
  • The week before that: 3,071
  • Four weeks ago: 3,280

Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:

  • Last week: 60,585
  • The week before that: 61,376
  • Four weeks ago: 69,436

Hospitals in 16 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 22 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 19 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