With Cook County at the “high” community level for COVID-19 for another week, Chicago health officials issued a travel warning late Friday afternoon.
“Cook County is again in the high community level of COVID-19 today, based on nationwide CDC measures. If you are traveling, be aware of the current spread and take appropriate precautions,” said the Chicago Public Health Department in a tweet on Friday.
The tweet encouraged anyone traveling from Chicago to check whether their destination is on a “low”, “medium” or “high” rating, based on the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
According to the CDC, 58 counties in Illinois are now at a “high” community level for COVID, including many counties around the Chicago metro area.
36 additional counties statewide are now at the “average” level.
Counties listed at a “high” community level are Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago, Adams, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar , Ford, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Pike, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Alexander, Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Crawford, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Jersey, Johnson, Lawrence , Macoupin, Madison, Massac, Montgomery, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Wabash and Williamson.
At the highest level, the CDC recommends that everyone in the area wear a mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. For immunocompromised people, the CDC suggests avoiding “nonessential indoor activities” in public places.
In medium-risk counties, the CDC recommends that the elderly and immunocompromised wear a mask in indoor public places and receive COVID vaccines and boosters, if eligible.
“The data tells us that COVID-19 is still with us and continues to spread,” said Amaal Tokars, acting director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus is to be up to date on vaccines and boosters. If you’ve been waiting to get a vaccine, booster or second booster, n ‘Wait no more. Get up to date. Safe and effective vaccines are widely available free of charge to all Illinois residents age 6 months and older.’
Illinois health officials reported 32,268 new coronavirus cases over the past week, along with 52 additional deaths, marking slight increases in both measures from the previous seven days, as 58 counties across the state are at a “high” COVID-19 community level.
The previous week, the state reported 33,066 new cases, 59 deaths and another 50 counties at the “high” community level.
The previous week, the state had reported 27,543 new cases and 28 deaths.
A total of 3,528,282 coronavirus cases have been reported in the state since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths bring the state to 34,309 confirmed COVID deaths.
According to IDPH, the seven-day preliminary statewide case rate is 253 COVID cases per 100,000 Illinois residents.
As of midnight Thursday, 1,453 patients were hospitalized with COVID in the state. Of those patients, 145 are in intensive care beds and 46 on ventilators.
Over the past seven days, the state’s daily immunization average has risen to 13,232 doses, according to IDPH data. Since last Friday, 92,621 doses have been administered across the state.
Over 22 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Illinois since vaccinations began in December 2020. Over 69% of Illinois residents are fully vaccinated against COVID, and over 76% are receiving at least one dose. About 54% are also boosted.