coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: BA.2.75, High COVID Alert Levels, Contagious Period

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today

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Cases of a new COVID variant have been detected in Illinois, but how concerning is it?

The latest development comes as more than half of Illinois' counties are under a "high" COVID alert level.

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Coronavirus in Illinois: 35K New Cases, 48 Deaths in Last Week; 66 Counties Now at High Alert Level

Illinois health officials reported 35,371 new coronavirus cases over the past week, along with 48 additional deaths as 66 counties across the state are at a "high" community level of COVID-19.

The previous week, the state reported 32,268 new cases, 52 deaths and 50 counties at "high" community level.

The week before that, the state reported 33,066 new cases and 59 deaths.

Read more here.

Cases of BA.2.75 Detected in Illinois. What Experts Are Saying About New COVID Variant

Since the pandemic's onset more than two years ago, sudden increases in COVID-19 cases have been driven by the emergence of new variants, including delta and omicron. Currently, a more contagious omicron subvariant, called BA.5, accounts for most new U.S. cases, however a separate, newer subvariant is garnering attention.

Known as BA.2.75, the subvariant may be able to evade immunity from vaccines and prior infection, scientists assert. 

A total of 13 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., with three of those in Illinois, said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

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More Than Half of Illinois' 102 Counties at ‘High' COVID Alert Status

More than half of Illinois' counties, including all in the Chicago area except for two, were listed at "high" COVID-19 community level status Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on the latest federal data, 57 Illinois counties are now rated at "high" community level status, which is technically a slight decline from the week prior. Data released July 21 showed 58 counties were categorized at that level.

Read more here.

When Do You Stop Being Contagious With COVID? Chicago's Top Doc Breaks Down the Time Frame

As the BA.5 variant continues its dominance and spread, those who contract COVID may be wondering how long they're contagious, particularly if their symptoms linger.

Chicago's top doctor addressed that question during a Facebook Live Thursday, as she said many people may be experiencing the virus for the first time in this latest wave.

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How Long Can You Test Positive for COVID? It Depends, Top Doc Says

For many recovering from COVID-19, the uncertainty surrounding whether they may have it a second time or are still testing positive from their previous infection can mark an added hurdle - and a lot of it may have to do with the type of test you're using.

While the highly contagious BA.5 variant has been making some stay positive for longer and shortened the window for potential reinfection, tests may not be the best way for determining if you're still infectious.

Read more here.

Sen. Dick Durbin Tests Positive for COVID

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced Thursday morning that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

“This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19," Durbin said in a statement. "Thankfully, I am fully vaccinated and double boosted and only experiencing minor symptoms."

Durbin said he plans to quarantine and follow advice from his doctor, but will continue working remotely.

Millions Still Without Sense of Smell or Taste After COVID-19

Still struggling with your sense of smell after a bout with COVID-19? You’re far from alone. 

About 5% of patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 — some 27 million people worldwide — are estimated to have suffered a long-lasting loss of smell or taste, a new analysis suggests.   

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How Soon Can You Get COVID Again? Cases Reported Within 1 Month Amid BA.5 Spread, Experts Say

With the BA.5 omicron subvariant leading to a rise in reinfections, even for those who may have already had omicron, many are wondering how quickly they could get COVID again following an infection.

While many experts say the exact timing remains unclear and dependent on each individual, cases are being reported of reinfections in as early as one month.

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How Long Can You Test Positive for COVID? BA.5 Making Some Last Longer, Top Doc Says

If you've tested positive for COVID and have completed your isolation but are still testing positive, you're likely not alone. How long could your results stay positive? Turns out, the ultra-contagious BA.5 omicron subvariant could be making people stay positive longer, according to Chicago's top doctor.

"I wouldn't say the incubation period is shorter... it's been getting shorter compared to what the original was, but we are seeing people often have just upper respiratory symptoms or having a cold, they're having sore throat sometimes, they're having fever or not seeing a lot of that severe illness - especially in people who are up to date with vaccine because the secondary part of your immune system kicks in and helps - but we're seeing people...they can stay positive for a little longer," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Facebook Live Tuesday.

Read more here.

Is COVID's Incubation Period Changing With BA.5 Subvariant? Chicago's Top Doctor Explains

With the most contagious version of coronavirus yet spreading across the country, what does that mean for COVID's incubation period and is it changing?

According to Chicago's top doctor, while much is still unfolding surrounding the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, she doesn't believe the incubation period is changing, but rather some people are staying positive for longer.

Read more here.

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