The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday issued a COVID public health warning Thursday, saying "case rates are slowly rising in many areas of the state." and that members of the public should be paying close attention to conditions in their local communities and staying up-to-date on their vaccination status."
April 13, COVID cases in Illinois were at 2,060. By April 14, that number was 3,340 — a much higher daily jump than the state has seen recently.
In Chicago, the latest numbers show 455 COVID cases. That's up 314 cases, or 45 percent from the prior week.
Across the U.S., there has been a slight increase in cases in recent weeks, with daily confirmed cases nationwide rising from about 25,000 per day to more than 30,000.
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And while, according to officials, hospitalizations and deaths tied to COVID are stable, officials are encouraging residents pay close attention to conditions in their local communities.
Where in Illinois is COVID Community Transmission the Highest?
The CDC last updated its county-by-county community levels map Thursday, showing high transmission levels in four Southeastern Illinois counties.
In those communities, people are advised to wear masks in public indoor spaces, including schools, and take additional precautions if at risk for severe illness.
The following counties were listed in the 'high' category:
- Gallatin County
- Hardin County
- Pope County
- Saline County
In communities with in the 'high' category, residents are encouraged to wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status, and to consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.
All other counties in Illinois are currently listed in the 'low' category, where community transmission is less severe. In places with low community transmission, residents are encouraged to stay up to date with COVID vaccines and boosters, and maintained improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.
Currently, all adults 50 and older are eligible for a fourth COVID booster shot.
Health officials said Illinois "remains strongly positioned to respond in the event of a new COVID surge" as the state's test stockpile was recently replenished with more than 1.5 million rapid tests on hand and another half million on the way.
Public health officials say that they are not considering additional mitigation actions at this time, ruling out a return to mask mandates and other such orders for the time being.