94 Illinois counties at high or medium level risk for COVID-19

The 50 counties in red are now listed for high community-level spread of COVID-19. There are...
The 50 counties in red are now listed for high community-level spread of COVID-19. There are also 44 counties in yellow rated at medium community level.(Illinois Department of Public Health)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 2:25 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Public Health is monitoring a slow but steady increase in COVID-19 case counts across the state. The CDC reported Friday that 50 Illinois counties are now listed at high community level for COVID-19, including most of the collar counties and areas surrounding Peoria, Champaign, Springfield, and Quincy. There are also 44 counties now rated for medium community level spread.

With 94 counties at high or medium level risk for COVID-19, IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars said Illinoisans should make sure they are up-to-date with vaccines and booster shots. Tokars noted that it is especially important for people vulnerable to serious medical problems.

“It is recommended that you wear your mask in indoor public places and avoid indoor crowded spaces at this time,” Tokars said. “If needed, contact a healthcare provider promptly to discuss what treatment is right for you.”

Counties listed at the high community level include Boone, Bureau, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will, and Winnebago in northern Illinois. Adams, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Fulton, Knox, Livingston, Logan, Marshall, McDonough, Menard, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Sangamon, Schuyler, Tazewell, Vermillion, and Warren counties in central Illinois are also at the High Community Level. Alexander, Bond, Calhoun, Franklin, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Marion, Perry, Pulaski, Union, Wabash, and Williamson counties across southern Illinois met the high-risk mark as well.

The CDC recommends people in areas rated 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.

Anyone 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 notes they should also be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines and get their second booster if eligible.

IDPH officials say there were 33,066 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases since Friday. The state also reported another 59 deaths during that time. 34,257 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illness since the pandemic started.

The department reported 4,607 new confirmed and probable cases and 13 deaths on Friday. The case rate 7-day average is 260 per 100,000 people.

Tokars is urging 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.

16,348 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 84.8% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 76.9% of those people are fully vaccinated. The 7-day rolling average for shots given is 11,154.

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