Following improved rates of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Chicago and Cook County moved from a ‘medium’ to ‘low’ community level status for the first time in months, officials say. of health.
As of Friday, all Chicago-area counties in Illinois are listed at the “low” community level, a marked improvement from previous weeks, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Statewide, three counties would be at a “high” community level, 33 would be at “medium” and 66 at “low.” In Cook County and Chicago, “low” status had not been achieved since May.
In a press release, Dr. Allison Arwady, director of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said she was pleased with the downward shift and thanked Chicagoans for following COVID-19 precautions. 19, but noted that even at the “low” community level, COVID guidance does not change.
She urged residents to consider wearing a well-fitting mask in crowded indoor environments, ask their doctor for COVID antiviral medications if they get sick, and keep up to date with vaccines before the cold sets in.
“Colder weather is coming and residents are starting to move indoors, which is traditionally when we see respiratory virus rates rise. Don’t wait to get vaccinated this year. Do it now to protect you, your family and our whole town,” the doctor said.
Counties at a “high” community level are experiencing high levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations, percentages of staffed beds occupied by COVID patients, or dramatic increases in overall case counts.
Residents of these counties are advised to take precautions against the virus, including wearing masks in indoor spaces and staying away from large gatherings if they are immunocompromised or have other common risk factors for serious illness if they contract COVID.
For those who are under a “medium” alert level, here is what the CDC recommends: