COVID Update: IL reports 3,499 new cases, 15 deaths

Chicago, Cook County moved to 'medium' community risk level, health officials announce

BySarah Schulte and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, June 17, 2022
Cook County, Chicago moved to 'medium' COVID community level, health officials say
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CDPH said it still strongly recommends wearing a mask in public indoor settings.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois reported 3,499 new COVID cases and 15 deaths Friday.

More than 27,000 new cases have been reported in the last seven days, according to the latest reporting. That's down from 20% the week prior.

There have been at least 3,380,095 total COVID cases in the state since the start of the pandemic and, at least 33,994 related deaths.

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The Illinois Department of Health said the daily case rate per 100,000 people is at 33.4.

As of Thursday night, 1,162 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 131 patients were in the ICU, and 33 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

A total of 22,543,715 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday, and 65.07% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 9,891.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said Thursday Cook County, including Chicago, are now in the "medium" COVID-19 community risk level. According to the CDC, 25 Illinois counties have a High Community Level, down from 32 one week ago.

CDPH said it still strongly recommends wearing a mask in public indoor settings.

A Food and Drug Administration committee cleared the way Wednesday for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to be distributed to children 6 months to 5 years of age.

Elena Rosales did her part to make sure her 6-month-old brother can get vaccinated, participating in Lurie Children's Hospital's Moderna vaccine trials for kids 5 and under.

"We are proud of her, she wanted to be a part of it, she was excited to do her duty," said Mariaelena Lozano, her parent.

Because pharmacists are not legally allowed to administer vaccines for kids under 3, pediatrician offices are gearing up to give it out as early as the end of next week.

"We have clinics dedicated just to COVID vaccines, so patients can sign up and come in, we do the, everyday typically," said Jonathan Necheles of Children's Healthcare Associates.

Claire Barnes said she plans to bring her 4-year-old daughter, Maya, in as soon as she can.

"No hesitancy for the vaccine, but the question is if there are two available, which one to get," Barnes said.

Necheles suggested parents pick the one easiest to get.

"Both vaccines are safe. Pfizer and Moderna, we know they both produce very strong immunological response, which is important," Necheles said.

The side effects for both vaccines are mild, similar to adults. The big difference between both is the dosage. Pfizer is three doses over a 5-month period. Moderna two doses, four weeks apart.

Because only one-third of children 6 to 11 years old are fully vaccinated, Lurie Children Hospital infectious doctors reminded hesitant parents several kids continue to be hospitalized for COVID-19.

"Even though most kids get mild illness, it's not true for every kid and it's much more stressful for a child to be in the hospital than it is for child to come to a doctor's office and get a vaccine," said Lurie Children's Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Bill Muller.

The final FDA authorization could come any time in the next few days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must sign off on it, which is expected sometime next week.