IDPH reports 20,495 COVID-19 cases, 57 deaths over past week
SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC reported 20,495 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases over the past week. The state also reported another 57 deaths during that time. 35,494 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illnesses since the pandemic started.
IDPH officials are urging all Illinoisans to get fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 and the flu. The department is also reminding people to get tested for COVID-19 before attending holiday gatherings, especially if they will visit someone at high risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19.
If you are sick, the department suggests you should stay home and contact a healthcare provider to find the best treatment. Paxlovid, Lagverio and Remdesivir have been found to work as successful antiviral medications against the current strains of COVID-19.
“As we enter December and the weather continues to get colder, Illinois is beginning to see an anticipated increase in COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses such as the flu,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said. “Please continue to take all preventative measures to protect yourself, your family, and friends, especially very young children and individuals over 65 who are most vulnerable to severe outcomes. These effective strategies include COVID-19 testing, especially if visiting someone at risk for severe disease; enhanced ventilation; good hand hygiene; staying home if sick, and getting up to date with both the COVID-19 bivalent booster and the flu shot.”
The CDC has now reported 63 Illinois counties are at an elevated community level for COVID-19 compared to 46 counties last week. As of Friday, 12 counties are at the high community level and 51 counties are rated at medium risk for COVID-19 spread.
The case rate 7-day average is now 161 per 100,000 people. 1,509 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois. 161 people are in the ICU and 45 of those patients are on ventilators.
Adams, Brown, Christian, Johnson, Knox, Logan, Massac, Pike, Randolph, Wabash, Warren, and Williamson Counties are considered to be at the high community level in orange.
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.
Boone, Cook, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties in northern Illinois are currently at the medium community level.
Central Illinois counties at the medium community level include Cass, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Fulton, Macon, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Montgomery, Peoria, Sangamon, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, Vermillion, and Woodford.
Clay, Clinton, Franklin, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Washington, and Wayne counties in Southern Illinois are also labeled as medium risk.
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 data indicated that the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for people who are up to date on their vaccinations.
The state continues to work with pharmacies and healthcare providers to increase the inventory of various FDA-authorized treatments. IDPH reported there are over 1,200 treatment locations across the state, including all major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7% of the state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these locations.
More than 1.9 million people in Illinois have received a dose of the bivalent COVID-19 booster shots since they were authorized in early September. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 13,865 doses, including the bivalent booster and first doses.
18,948 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 86.6% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 78.4% of those people are fully vaccinated.
The CDC authorized the updated COVID-19 bivalent vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech for children ages 5 to 11 on Oct. 12. Bivalent vaccines from Moderna were also authorized for children and young adults 6 to 17 on the same day. Doctors, parents and guardians can find resources from the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics by clicking here.
The updated booster shots are available at pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare providers. You can look for a vaccine provider near you by clicking here and searching for bivalent booster availability.
IDPH is also distributing 1 million COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to 200,000 families in economically disadvantaged zip codes outside of Chicago. The effort was made possible through a partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation’s public charity and its Project ACT (Access COVID Tests) program. People can find out if they live in an eligible zip code and request a package of five tests at the Project ACT website. The COVID-19 tests will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis and will be delivered to the home address applicants use.
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