Several counties considered ‘high-risk’ as COVID-19 cases rise

Image courtesy of MGN.
Image courtesy of MGN.(MGN)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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(25 News Now) - As new COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the Illinois Department of Public Health now considers several parts of central Illinois ‘high-risk’ zones.

Experts say despite the rise in cases, hospitalizations remain on the lower side, and that is thanks to an abundance of COVID-19 vaccines, boosters and testing options.

“While we are seeing a lot of indications in those metrics about being at the high level, our severity is a lot different than if we were at these numbers previously,” Peoria City/County Public Health Administrator Monica Hendrickson said.

Right now, Peoria County’s seven-day average is sitting at around 90 new cases per day. McLean County is at around 54 new cases - many of which, experts say, are in people 50 or older.

“That is a group that can get their second booster if they’ve already gotten their first booster, but they are also eligible for their first booster as well.”

77% of Illinoisans are fully vaccinated, according to the IDPH. Experts say that is a big reason why this rise in cases is more manageable.

“They are doing exactly what they are intended to do,” McLean County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said. “Treatment is available, testing is readily available - we are more prepared now than we were a year ago.”

With summer approaching, that means more gatherings. Experts are urging people to make sure they are up to date on their shots, and if you feel symptoms, get tested - even if you think it is just allergies.

“The Federal Government has made an additional round of free at-home COVID tests available to every household,” McKnight said. “Be prepared - have a testing plan ready.”

There are also several local testing sites available to visit. Information about those sites can be found here.

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