97 Illinois counties at high or medium risk for COVID-19

The 66 counties in orange are now listed at high community level for COVID-19. There are also...
The 66 counties in orange are now listed at high community level for COVID-19. There are also 31 counties in yellow rated at the medium community level.(Illinois Department of Public Health)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 2:33 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - The CDC reported Friday that 66 Illinois counties are now listed at the high community level for COVID-19 and 31 counties are rated at the medium community level.

With 97 counties now at high or medium level risk for COVID-19, IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars said the most important thing people can do is get vaccinated and boosted.

“This is the most effective means we have to protect ourselves from serious illness, hospitalization, and death,” Tokars said. “So please don’t wait to get up-to-date!”

1,459 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois. 153 people are in the ICU and 43 of those patients are on ventilators.

Counties listed at the high community level include Boone, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will, and Winnebago in northern Illinois. Adams, Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Fulton, Hancock, Knox, Macon, Marshall, Moultrie, Pike, Shelby, Vermillion, and Warren counties in Central Illinois are also at the high community level. Bond, Calhoun, Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Wayne, Washington, and Williamson counties across Southern Illinois met the high-risk mark as well.

The CDC recommends people in areas rated at the high community level should wear well-fitted masks indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status. The organization notes that the recommendation includes masking in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings. Those who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease should wear a mask or respirator for greater protection and consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public. The CDC says those people should also have a plan for at-home testing and talk with a healthcare provider if they test positive to learn about oral antivirals and monoclonal antibodies.

People in close contact with someone at high risk for severe disease should consider self-testing to detect COVID-19 infection before contact. The CDC also says those individuals should wear a mask whenever they are inside with someone at higher risk for disease.

Elderly or immunocompromised people living in areas at medium-level risk for COVID-19 are advised to wear masks in indoor places. The CDC also said they should be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines and get a second booster shot if eligible.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 35,371 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 this week. The state also reported another 48 deaths during that time. 34,357 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illness since the pandemic started.

IDPH reported 5,913 new confirmed and probable cases and 5 deaths on Friday. The case rate 7-day average is now 278 per 100,000 people.

Tokars continues to urge parents and guardians to get children vaccinated, especially if they are under 5. The CDC recommended vaccines for children in that age group on June 18 and IDPH is working with the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to educate health providers and parents. They hope more people will decide to get their children vaccinated after learning about the effectiveness and safety of the new authorized vaccines for youth under 5.

13,031 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 85% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 77% of those people are fully vaccinated. The 7-day rolling average for shots given is 12,671.

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