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8 Illinois counties now at ‘high’ risk for COVID-19, more than 1,000 Illinoisans hospitalized

Eight counties in the state, including four in northern Illinois, are now considered “high” risk for community spread of COVID-19, according to new data from the Illinois Department of Public Health released Friday.

At the High Community Level, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public at all times regardless of a person’s vaccination status. That includes in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings, according to the IDPH.

For those at risk at risk of severe complications from the virus, they should consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public places, have a plan for rapid testing if needed, and talk to their healthcare provider about other precautions they can take.

Nearly half of all the 102 counties in Illinois are at medium risk or higher, including 39 counties now listed as “medium”, according to state data. That’s compared to last week, where 23 counties were “medium” and none at “high risk.”

The counties under “high” risk are: Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Lee, Peoria, Tazewell, Ford and Champaign.

The counties under “medium” risk are: Jo Daviess, McHenry, Lake, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, DeKalb, Ogle, Whiteside, Henry, Rock Island, Mercer, Warren, Fulton, Will, Kendall, Grundy, LaSalle, Putnam, Livingston, Marshall, Stark, Woodford, McLean, De Witt, Logan, Mason, Menard, Sangamon, Calhoun, Madison, Douglas, Coles, Cumberland, Wabash, Jackson, Johnson and Massac.

At the Medium Community Level, people at risk of severe health outcomes are advised to take additional precautions to protect themselves from the virus, including masking up in indoor spaces.

The state health department also recommends maintaining ample indoor ventilation when out, especially when among those who could be immunocompromised or considered at high risk for developing a severe case of the virus.

“With COVID-19 case counts rising across the state, the public should understand that they can take action to protect themselves, their loved ones, and friends,” said IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars in a news release. “Everyone should make sure they are up-to-date with vaccinations and booster shots. As we see movement into higher community risk levels, masking up in indoor public places and avoiding crowded indoor spaces as much as possible will also make a difference. And if you test positive, promptly contact a healthcare provider to discuss which treatment is right for you. The treatments are much more effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths when they are taken early in the course of the illness.”

IDPH reported 40,193 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 this week, according to Friday data, and 56 deaths since May 13. The state’s weekly reported case rate quadrupled over the past week, data shows.

The state is registering 315 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans, according to the IDPH. Official case counts do not include cases identified through at-home or rapid testing.

From the IDPH’s data dashboard:

Case rate per 100,000: 44.9 (+227 since last Friday, May 13)

Percentage of ICU beds available: 18.9%

COVID-19 diagnosed hospital admissions (7-day rolling average): 102 (+23 from May 13)

Weekly deaths reported: 56 (+9 from May 13)

Illinois has reported 3,249,534 cases of the virus, and 33,761 people have died.

The state also reported that as of Thursday night, 1,060 people in Illinois were hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 116 were in the ICU and 43 were on ventilators, according to state data.

County-by-county update: As of mid-April, the IDPH will provide a county-by-county update focusing on the case rate per 100,000 people, the percentage of ICU beds available, a rolling seven-day average of COVID-19 diagnosed hospital admissions and weekly deaths.

The definition of a COVID-19 diagnosed hospital admission is as follows: The seven-day average of daily number of hospital admissions given a diagnosis of COVID-19 as measured using the Illinois Syndromic Surveillance System.

Illinois collects all emergency department and inpatient visits through syndromic surveillance from all acute care hospitals in Illinois in near-real time. Data is presented with a three-day lag to allow time for diagnosis to be reported.

At the county level, a visit is counted by where the patient resides. A patient with multiple visits will be counted for each visit. Admissions may not be because of COVID-19 as the primary cause. Syndromic surveillance data is not the same source used by CDC to report COVID-19 hospital admissions data.

Vaccine update: As of Friday, IDPH reported a total of 27,201,145 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 22,200,483 vaccines administered.

As of Friday, 8,243,783 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 64.7% of the population. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people, and a weekly vaccination rate of 13,167 as of Friday.

CDC numbers:

Among Illinois residents 5 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 8,768,798 (73.5%)

At Least 1 Dose: 9,739,275 (81.7%)

Among Illinois residents 12 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 8,353,050 (77.1%)

At Least 1 Dose: 9,271,289 (85.5%)

Among Illinois residents 18 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 7,716,218 (78.3%)

At Least 1 Dose: 8,572,670 (87%)

Among Illinois residents 65 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 1,824,814 (89.3%)

At Least 1 Dose: 1,987,440 (95%)

There can be as much as a 72-hour delay in reporting from health care providers on vaccines administered.

In northern Illinois, here is the percentage of the population fully vaccinated by county:

Chicago: 67.41%

Suburban Cook: 71.52%

Lake: 69.07%

McHenry: 64.68%

DuPage: 73.95%

Kane: 65.04%

Will: 65.23%

Kendall: 68.6%

La Salle: 57.86%

Grundy: 57.32%

DeKalb: 56.16%

Ogle: 56.56%

Lee: 58.56%

Whiteside: 51.61%

Bureau: 56.38%

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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