Illinois on high alert as COVID-19 numbers rise
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) - Coronavirus continues to surge across the nation. In response, Illinois counties have escalated community levels, and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) wants residents to remain vigilant and proactive.
“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,” said IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars.
The counties now listed at High Community Level are Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, Grundy, Boone, Lee and Winnebago in Northern Illinois and Fulton, Knox, Henderson, Mason, Peoria and Tazewell in Central Illinois. An additional 30 counties in Illinois are now rated at Medium Community Level, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
“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,” says Tokars. “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.”
Being proactive curbs the spread of COVID-19 to those who are immunocompromised or at-risk of serious post-viral effects. Vaccines boost immunity against the virus and in case of infection counteract viral antigens resulting in less severity.
As a reminder, here’s a list of proactive ways to guard against another massive viral surge:
- Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status.
- If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease, wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection.
- Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to take other precautions.
- Have a plan for rapid testing if needed.
- IF YOU TEST POSITIVE: Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals and monoclonal antibodies.
- If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease, consider self-testing to detect infection before contact.
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
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