Growing number of Illinois counties at medium COVID-19 community levels

Growing number of Illinois counties at medium COVID-19 community levels

The number of Illinois counties seeing medium community levels of COVID-19 has nearly tripled in recent days, but the acting director of the Department of Public Health said Friday it is not a cause for alarm.

“People who are at risk of severe outcomes should exercise caution,” said IDPH acting Director Amaal Tokars. “And if someone does test positive, then they should consult with a healthcare provider about obtaining a prescription for one of the therapeutic treatments that are widely available.”

Cook, Champaign, Douglas, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Logan, McHenry, McLean, Sangamon, Will and Winnebago counties are rated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having “medium” COVID-19 community levels.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady seconded Tokars’ comment, saying it was not unexpected the region would see a rise in COVID-19 metrics.

“Most cases right now are mild and thankfully our COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths remain at or near all-time pandemic lows in Chicago,” Arwady said. “But it is reason for more caution, and for more care with masking, since more people in Chicago are infected with COVID right now.”

IDPH reported 30,633 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 last week, a 24.3 percent jump from the prior week. Forty-six more Illinoisans died.

The new cases bring the state total to 3,169,315 cases, while the death toll increased to 33,660.

The seven-day average for new cases on Friday was 4,376, up 855 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths is seven, the same as the prior week.

The seven-day rolling average case rate per 100,000 people is 34.3 up 6.7 from the prior week.

As of Thursday, 808 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, up nine from Wednesday and up 76 from the prior week.

Of the patients in the hospital, 66 were in intensive care units, down 15 from Wednesday and down nine from the prior week. Twenty-three percent of Illinois’ ICU beds were available, down 1 percentage point from the prior week.

There were 24 patients on ventilators, up six from Wednesday and down eight from the prior week.

About 81.5 percent of eligible Illinoisans ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 73.1 percent are fully vaccinated.

Illinois vaccinators have administered 22,018,536 COVID-19 vaccines, including 4,412,796 booster doses. The seven-day average for doses administered is 14,163.

About 60.3 percent of total doses administered went to white Illinoisans, while 15.5 went to Latinx residents, 11.2 percent to Black residents and 7.2 to Asian residents. About 3.1 percent went to those identified as “other races” while 2.3 percent are “unknown.”

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