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IDPH sees continued uptake of COVID-19 boosters headed into winter

IDPH sees continued uptake of COVID-19 boosters headed into winter

Uptake of the new bivalent COVID-19 booster continues headed into the holidays, the Department of Public Health said last week.

An average of more than 20,000 doses of the bivalent vaccines were administered daily over the past week, with more than 14 percent of eligible Illinoisans having received the updated shot.

“With respiratory illnesses such as RSV, the flu and COVID-19 leading to increased illness and hospitalizations, I strongly recommend using all available strategies to stay healthy and safe,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a statement.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said more than 387,000 booster doses were administered to Chicagoans as of Nov. 16. Of those eligible for vaccines, 32 percent of white residents have received them, compared to 22.7 percent of Asian residents, 16.4 percent of Black residents and 11.7 percent of Latinx residents.

About 21 percent of eligible Chicagoans have received the updated vaccines so far.

“Our goal is to avoid a high level (of COVID-19 community spread) where our hospital system is overwhelmed with COVID patients,” said CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. “I ask Chicagoans to exercise caution ahead of the holiday season.”

IDPH reported 13,659 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 48 deaths last week. The new cases bring the state’s total to 3,850,508. There have been 35,389 deaths.

The seven-day average for new cases on Friday was 1,951, up 102 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths was seven, the same as the prior week.

The seven-day rolling average case rate per 100,000 people is 15.3, up 0.8 from the prior week.

Winnebago is the lone Illinois county at a “high” community level of COVID-19, the level at which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people mask indoors in public spaces.

Twenty counties are now at a “medium” risk level, down 12 from the prior week.

As of Thursday, 1,070 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, down 72 from Wednesday and up six from the prior week.

BA.5 made up a little more than a quarter of COVID-19 cases last week in the six-state region that includes Illinois, as other variants continue to grow.

The estimated variant proportions last week in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin were:

  • BA.5: 28.7 percent, down 10.5 percentage points from the prior week.
  • BQ.1.1: 22.8 percent, up 6.2 percentage points.
  • BQ.1: 20.7 percent, up 4.2 percentage points.
  • BF.7: 9.4 percent, down 0.2 percentage points.
  • BN.1: 4.9 percent, up 1.4 percentage points.
  • BA.4.6: 4.2 percent, down 1.4 percentage points.

Other COVID-19 lineages were circulating at less than 3 percent each.

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