Five Illinois counties at ‘high’ COVID-19 activity

Five Illinois counties at ‘high’ COVID-19 activity

Five Illinois counties are now at the threshold of COVID-19 trends where federal health officials recommend public indoor masking, up one county from the prior week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 take precautions in 41 counties, up 21 from the prior week.

Meanwhile, BQ.1.1 surpassed BA.5 as the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to estimates from the CDC:

  • BQ.1.1: 25 percent, up 5.9 percentage points from the prior week.
  • BA.5: 24.5 percent, down 8.7 percentage points.
  • BQ.1: 24.4 percent, up 4.1 percentage points.
  • BF.7: 9.2 percent, down 0.5 percentage points.
  • BA.2.75: 3.6 percent, up 0.5 percentage points.
  • BA.4.6: 3.6 percent, down 1.3 percentage points.

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

With family gatherings during the holidays, the Chicago Department of Public Health said they are prepared for additional viral spread in the coming weeks.

“Combined with a surge in respiratory viruses and the onset of flu season, CDPH reminds all residents that it is critical to get the updated COVID-19 booster as well as a seasonal flu shot as soon as possible,” they said in a Friday statement.

The seven-day average for new cases in Illinois on Wednesday was 2,130, up 242 from the prior week, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The seven-day average for daily deaths was eight, down one from the prior week.

The seven-day rolling average case rate per 100,000 people was 16.7, up 1.9 from the prior week.

State numbers were not updated over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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