Illinois health officials issued a warning Friday, saying that the uptick in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks is a "cause for concern."
Since Memorial Day Illinois has seen a 10% increase in COVID cases, reversing the downward trend from the past two weeks, according to IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars.
“This uptick is a cause for concern – and serves as a reminder to all of us, especially as we are approaching the coming Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend, that we can all do our part to fight the virus and protect our friends and family who are vulnerable to severe outcomes by taking some simple actions," Tokars said.
Illinois health officials reported 34,001 new COVID cases over the past week, along with 73 additional deaths, marking slight declines in cases from seven days prior as 23 counties across the state reach a "high" community level of COVID.
The previous week, the state reported 32,605 new cases and 47 deaths. The week before that, the state reported 36,843 new cases and 45 deaths were reported.
In all, 3,352,983 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 33,926 confirmed COVID fatalities.
According to IDPH, the preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 267 COVID cases per 100,000 Illinois residents.
As of midnight Thursday, 1,189 patients were hospitalized due to COVID in the state. Of those patients, 124 are in ICU beds, and 27 on ventilators.
Over the past seven days, the state’s weekly vaccination average dropped to 11,813 doses, per IDPH data. Since last Friday, 82,691 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 53% are also boosted.
As of Friday, the following 32 Illinois counties were at high community level risk for COVID: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Boone, DeKalb, Lee, Ogle, Winnebago, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Ford, Fulton, Knox, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, McLean, Menard, Montgomery, Peoria, Sangamon, Tazewell, Woodford, Franklin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac 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.
“With 45 counties in Illinois now rated at a Medium or High Community Level, we should all be sure that we are up-to-date with vaccinations and booster shots,” IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars said in a statement. “We should all strongly consider masking up if we are entering indoor public places and avoiding indoor crowed spaces whenever possible at this time – especially if you are at risk of a severe outcome. If you test positive, promptly contact a healthcare provider to discuss which treatment is right for you. The treatments are much more effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths when they are taken early in the course of the illness.”
According to CDC data, an additional 39 counties in Illinois are now rated at the medium community level.
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.
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