The state has put 11 counties in "warning" status because of their COVID-19 metrics - and seven of those counties are in southern Illinois.
The metrics, measured from July 19-25, take into account the number of cases per 100,000 people, deaths, test positivity rate, number of tests, hospital admissions, and more.
In this region, Randolph County was already on the list - and it remains there this week. Added to warning status are Gallatin, Jackson, Johnson, Perry, Saline, and White. Each exceeded guidelines when it came to the number of cases in a week, test positivity rates, and the number of tests administered.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says parties, graduation ceremonies, people gathering at bars and restaurants, and sporting events all contributed to the growth in COVID-19 spreading. The agency points out Perry and Jackson County are working aggressively to bring their numbers down.