Suburban Cook County has been raised to "medium" level of COVID transmission, CCDPH announced Friday
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois reported 2,422 new COVID cases and no deaths Monday.
There have been at least 3,147,663 total COVID cases, including at least 33,620 related deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
The seven-day average case rate was reported to be 200 cases per 100,000.
As of Sunday night, 699 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 72 patients were in the ICU, and 21 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
A total of 21,900,213 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Sunday, and 64.72% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 14,062.
DuPage County and suburban Cook County have moved to a "medium" level of COVID transmission risk due to the increased number of positive cases, according to health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Community Levels Framework defines "medium" transmission as higher than 200 cases per 100,000 residents, and as of Thursday, suburban Cook County is reporting 210 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 7 days, health officials said.
Case numbers, new hospital admission and beds occupied by COVID patients are the three metrics used by the CDC to determine if a county is low, medium or high risk. Hospitalizations in Cook and DuPage counties remain low.
"In the medium level we do not want to put additional stress on our health care and we really want to maintain things at a medium low level at all possible," said Dr. Rachel Rubin, senior medical officer at the Cook County Department of Public Health.
Based on the current CDC guidance, CCDPH recommends:
"We want people to understand these recommendations are not somebody telling you you have to do something; it's based on reducing the spread of illness," said DuPage County Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala.
"This is especially to protect our most vulnerable individuals that have underlying medical conditions," said Rubin.
In suburban Cook County, more than 1.9 million residents (86% of the population) have received at least one dose of the vaccine and almost 1.5 million (65%) are fully vaccinated, according to health officials.
The city of Chicago remains at low risk for COVID transmission, though with cases generally rising Dr. Allison Arwady does expect the city to move to medium schools.
Chicago Public Schools leadership sent a letter to families Friday, saying in part: "CPS will continue doing everything possible to provide all students with the safe, in-person learning environment they need and deserve. You can do your part by carefully monitoring your family's health, by ensuring that everyone in your household who is eligible receives their COVID vaccines and boosters, and by signing your child up for regular COVID-19 testing in school if you have not done so already."
CPS is also encouraging the use of masks in schools, which Rubin agreed with.
"We are not mandating it, but I recommend schools to consider having masking for all children," she said.
Mandates may return if the city and suburbs move into the "high risk" category, health officials said. They remain hopeful cases will drop when the weather warms up and people spend more time outdoors.
Since the pandemic started, three out of every 1,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.
Over the last two years, more than 993,000 have died from the virus. People 65 and older accounted for about 3/4 of those deaths.
CDC data also shows COVID has been the third leading cause of death in the U.S. both in 2020 and 2021.
Moderna's request for FDA authorization for a COVID vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years old could be a game-changer for parents of the 18 million U.S. children who remain unvaccinated. The company has asked for emergency authorization for a two-dose vaccine, with shots given four weeks apart.
Pediatricians say the data shows the Moderna vaccine to be very effective at keeping children out of the hospital and dying. They say side effects are no different than other pediatric vaccines.