COVID-19 spreading quickly across 45 Illinois counties
SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - As May comes to a close and people plan for summer events, the Illinois Department of Public Health is warning everyone to avoid large gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now labeled 15 counties for high-level community spread, and 30 counties are rated at the medium-level spread.
Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, Grundy, Boone, Lee, Winnebago, Fulton, Knox, Henderson, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties are now listed for high community spread of COVID. According to the CDC, everyone in those regions should wear masks indoors, including in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. People who are older or immunocompromised should avoid non-essential indoor activities and plan for rapid testing if needed.
DeKalb, LaSalle, Kane, Kendall, Marshall, Mercer, Ogle, Stephenson, Warren, and Whiteside counties in the northern portion of Illinois have reported medium-level spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Champaign, DeWitt, Edgar, Ford, Gallatin, Jackson, Johnson, Logan, Macon, Madison, Marion, Massac, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Sangamon, Schuyler, St. Clair, Washington, and Williamson counties in central and southern Illinois have also reported medium-level spread. IDPH says elderly or immunocompromised people 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.
“With 45 counties in Illinois now rated at a Medium or High Community Level, we should all be sure that we are up-to-date with vaccinations and booster shots,” said IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars. “We should all strongly consider masking up if we are entering indoor public places and avoiding indoor crowded spaces whenever possible at this time – especially if you are at risk of a severe outcome.”
Tokars said people testing positive for COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider to talk about proper treatment options. IDPH notes that treatments are much more effective at preventing hospitalization and death if taken early in the course of illness.
The department reported 5,659 new confirmed and probable cases and 8 deaths Friday. The case rate 7-day average is now 289 per 100,000 people.
IDPH also reported that 1,136 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Thursday night. Of those patients, 123 people were in the ICU and 35 were on ventilators.
State officials say there were 36,843 new confirmed and probable cases since last Friday. IDPH also reported another 45 deaths during that time. 33,806 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illness since the pandemic started.
The department says anyone living with someone at high risk for severe disease should consider self-testing for COVID-19 and wearing a mask indoors. IDPH also notes people should try to have improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces whenever possible.
“With the Memorial Day holiday weekend upon us, this is a time for friends and family to gather and we want everyone to enjoy the season – and honor our fallen soldiers - safely,” Tokars said. “If you are in areas with higher community risk levels, masking up in indoor public places and avoiding crowded indoor spaces as much as possible is recommended, especially for those who are at risk of serious outcomes.”
17,152 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 84.9% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 76.8% of those people are fully vaccinated. The 7-day rolling average for shots given is 15,759.
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