COVID-19: 8 Illinois counties labeled for high community spread, 39 rated at medium level

The latest COVID-19 community transmission map for Illinois.
The latest COVID-19 community transmission map for Illinois.(Illinois Department of Public Health)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 2:35 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning people to be cautious as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise across the state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now labeled eight counties for high-level community spread, and 39 counties are rated at the medium-level spread.

Boone, Lee, Stephenson, Winnebago, Champaign, Ford, Peoria and Tazewell counties are now listed for high community spread. According to the CDC, everyone in those regions should wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. People who are older or immunocompromised should also avoid non-essential indoor activities and plan for rapid testing if needed.

Meanwhile, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Henry, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, McHenry, Mercer, Ogle, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Warren, Whiteside, Will, and Woodford counties in the northern portion of the state have reported medium-level spread. Calhoun, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Fulton, Jackson, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Mason, Massac, McLean, Menard, Sangamon, and Wabash counties in central and southern Illinois are experiencing the same COVID-19 surge. IDPH says people who are elderly or immunocompromised in areas with medium-level spread should wear a mask in indoor public places. The department also suggests they should get a second booster shot if eligible.

IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars says everyone can take action to protect themselves, family, and friends. She is encouraging Illinoisans to make sure they are up to date with vaccinations and booster shots.

“As we see move 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,” Tokars said. “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 4,692 new confirmed and probable cases and 11 deaths on Friday. The case rate 7-day average is now 315 per 100,000 people.

The department also reported that 1,060 people were hospitalized for COVID-19. Of those patients, 116 were in the ICU, and 43 were on ventilators. At this point last week, there were 909 patients with 87 people in the ICU and 25 on ventilators.

IDPH officials say there were 40,193 new confirmed and probable cases since last Friday. The state also reported another 56 deaths during that time. 33,761 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illness since the pandemic started.

The department says people should self-isolate and stay home from work or social gatherings if they start to feel flu-like symptoms.

Meanwhile, 14,940 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 85.5% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 77.1% of those people are fully vaccinated. The 7-day rolling average for shots given is 13,167.

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