Chicago, suburbs, collar counties now at high community risk level for COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added 15 Illinois counties to the high community risk level for COVID-19 – together with Chicago, suburban Cook County, and the collar counties.

The counties now on the high community level are Cook County – apparently together with each town of Chicago and suburban Cook County – in addition to DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, and Grundy counties. Boone, Lee, and Winnebago counties in Northern Illinois, and Fulton, Knox, Henderson, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties downstate, are additionally on the record.

“With 15 counties in Illinois now rated at a High Community Level, everyone in the state should be paying close attention to the guidance from public health authorities and taking action to protect themselves, their loved ones, and friends,” Illinois Department of Public Health Acting Director Amaal Tokars stated in a information launch. “Everyone should make sure they are up-to-date with vaccinations and booster shots. Wearing a mask in indoor public places and avoiding crowded indoor spaces as much as possible will also make a difference. If you are at risk of severe outcomes, you should also consider avoiding indoor activities in public places. 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.”

In areas of high risk, the CDC recommends that everybody put on a well-fitting masks indoors in public, no matter vaccination standing.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady warned the advance to the high risk level was coming. But officers stated that won’t imply a return to masks or vaccine mandates, as hospitalizations from the virus stay low.

“We are not reinstating the mask or vaccine requirement mandates, because the health system in Chicago remains stable,” Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Ken Meyer stated.

Arwady stated, whereas town remains to be recommending that folks put on masks indoors, as a result of town is presently at the “medium risk” level for COVID-19, she does not imagine a masks mandate is important until hospitals begin to get overwhelmed with circumstances once more.

“Here in Chicago, if our health care system is threatened, I would not hesitate to put a mask requirement back in place,” Arwady stated. “The last thing we want is COVID to get out of control again.”

But she stated mandate or not, individuals nonetheless should put on masks as a matter of public well being.

“Wear a mask indoors in public – yes, that means you – regardless of your vaccination status,” Arwady stated. “As we move into high, put that mask on.”

Arwady additionally urged individuals to keep away from giant gatherings, take a look at if they’ve signs, and get booster pictures of COVID-19 vaccine.

Still, Arwady stated this doesn’t imply any outside occasions should be canceled this Memorial Day weekend.

“I’m glad there will be plenty of outdoor activities this weekend to celebrate Memorial Day,” Arwady stated in a information launch. “This news doesn’t need to impact picnics, parades, or outdoor parties planned for the holiday weekend, but as we move into a High COVID level, we advise some extra caution when it comes to indoor gatherings. People at high risk should consider limiting non-essential indoor gatherings.”

The metropolis is averaging 28 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per day, in comparison with greater than 300 per day at the height of the Omicron surge earlier this year.

The Chicago Department of Public Health stated there are additionally already early indicators that the present COVID-19 surge could also be peaking in each the Midwest and Northeast. Cases are very high total – with 324 per 100,000 residents all through Cook County, however that determine is down from 338 final week.

The purpose is to get again below 200 circumstances per 100,000 residents per week.

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