With Cook County at "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 COVID-19 Community Level today, based on CDC national metrics. If you are traveling, be aware of the current spread and take the proper precautions," Chicago Department of Public Health said in a tweet Friday.
The tweet encouraged all those traveling from Chicago to check whether their destination is at "low," "medium" or "high" level, based on the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
According to the CDC, 58 Illinois counties are now at "high" community level for COVID, including many of the counties around the Chicago metropolitan area.
An additional 36 counties throughout the state are now at "medium" level.
The 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 high level, the CDC recommends that all people in the area wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Those who are immunocompromised, the CDC suggests avoiding "non-essential indoor activities" in public places.
In the counties at medium risk level, the CDC recommends the elderly and immunocompromised wear a mask in indoor public places and receive COVID vaccinations and booster shots, if eligible.
“The data tells us that COVID-19 is still with us and still spreading,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Acting Director Amaal Tokars. “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 booster shots. If you have been waiting to get a vaccine, booster or a second booster, please don’t wait any longer. Get up to date. Safe and effective vaccines are widely available at no cost for everyone in Illinois who is at least 6 months old."
Illinois health officials reported 32,268 new coronavirus cases over the past week, along with 52 additional deaths, marking slight increases in both metrics from seven days prior as 58 counties across the state are at a "high" community level of COVID-19.
The previous week, the state reported 33,066 new cases, 59 deaths and again 50 counties at "high" community level.
The week before that, the state reported 27,543 new cases and 28 deaths.
In all 3,528,282 cases of coronavirus 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 fatalities.
According to IDPH, the preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 253 COVID cases per 100,000 Illinois residents.
As of midnight Thursday, 1,453 patients were hospitalized due to COVID in the state. Of those patients, 145 are in ICU beds, and 46 on ventilators.
Over the past seven days, the state’s daily vaccination average increased to 13,232 doses, per IDPH data. Since last Friday, 92,621 doses were administered across the state.
More than 22 million vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois since vaccinations began in December 2020. More than 69% of Illinois resident are fully vaccinated against COVID, with more than 76% receiving at least one dose. About 54% are also boosted.