IDPH: Therapeutic treatments helped 8,600 people avoid hospitalization over recent months

The Illinois Department of Public Health says COVID-19 therapies helped thousands of people...
The Illinois Department of Public Health says COVID-19 therapies helped thousands of people avoid hospitalization.(WTOC)
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 4:31 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Public Health continues to urge people to get up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines with the bivalent booster shots becoming available across the state. IDPH officials also reported Friday that COVID-19 therapeutic treatments have helped avert about 8,600 hospitalizations over the past four months.

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said this new data shows how effective the treatments can be at protecting people who contract COVID from being hospitalized. He noted that the treatments are especially recommended for people over 50 and anyone with underlying medical conditions.

“The key is to start these medications quickly, within the first five days,” Vohra said. “If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please test and get treated right away.”

The state has also continued to work with pharmacies and health care providers to increase the inventory of various FDA-authorized treatments. IDPH reports there are over 1,200 treatment locations across the state, including all major retail pharmacies.

Illinois reported 19,933 new confirmed and probable cases since last Friday. The state also reported another 64 deaths during that time. 34,811 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illness since the pandemic started.

Meanwhile, the CDC also labeled 28 counties at the high community level for COVID-19 Friday. There are 40 counties now rated at the medium community level.

The 28 counties in orange are now listed at high community level for COVID-19. There are also...
The 28 counties in orange are now listed at high community level for COVID-19. There are also 40 counties in yellow rated at the medium community level.(Illinois Department of Public Health)

The counties listed at the high community level are Adams, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Lawrence, Lee, Marion, Massac, Ogle, Perry, Pike, Saline, Wabash, Wayne, Whiteside and Williamson.

Vohra stressed that vaccines continue to be the most effective tools for preventing the most severe symptoms of COVID-19. He said the new booster shots are the most advanced tool to keep Illinoisans safe and protected.

“These new bivalent vaccines are designed to offer extra protection against the omicron variants which are now the dominant strain of the virus,” Vohra said. “Getting up to date is especially important for those who are most at risk of serious outcomes. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get up to date with these new boosters as soon as possible.”

The Moderna bivalent vaccine single dose booster is authorized for anyone 18 and older. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose for people 12 and older. People can get vaccines at pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. You can search availability of the boosters by clicking here.

The CDC recommends people in areas rated at the high community level should wear well-fitted masks indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status. The organization notes that the recommendation includes masking in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings. People who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease should wear a mask or respirator for greater protection and consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public. The CDC said those people should also have a plan for at-home testing and talk with a healthcare provider if they test positive to learn about oral antivirals and monoclonal antibodies.

Anyone in close contact with someone at high risk for severe disease is advised to consider self-testing to detect COVID-19 infection before contact. The CDC also said those people should wear a mask whenever they are inside with someone at higher risk for disease.

Elderly or immunocompromised people living in areas labeled at medium-level risk for COVID-19 should wear masks in indoor places as well. The CDC said those individuals should be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines and get a second booster shot if eligible.

IDPH reported 3,310 new confirmed and probable cases and 18 deaths on Friday. The case rate 7-day average is now 156 per 100,000 people.

1,314 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois. 163 people are in the ICU, and 48 of those patients are on ventilators.

24,558 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 85.2% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 77.2% of those people are fully vaccinated. 40,777 vaccines were administered since last Friday. The 7-day rolling average for shots given is 5,825.

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