As coronavirus cases increase in the state of Illinois, more counties are now classified as having a “medium community level” of the virus according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
According to the latest data from the CDC, there are currently 14 Illinois counties that are in that “medium” range, up from five just a week ago.
In the Chicago area, McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Kendall and Will counties are all now in that range, with their COVID cases and hospitalizations rising in recent weeks.
So what exactly does that “medium” classification mean? Per CDC guidelines, counties that are experiencing 200 or more weekly COVID cases per 100,000 residents are automatically placed into the “medium community level” range.
All eight Chicago area counties that are currently in that “medium” level are there because of their number of COVID cases, as none of those communities are seeing their hospitalization numbers rise into what would be considered “medium” range.
Counties that are at a “medium COVID community level” aren’t required to implement mitigations, but residents who are at high-risk of severe illness related to the virus are advised to speak to their health care providers to discuss precautions, including wearing masks in indoor spaces.
If those counties begin to see their new weekly admissions per 100,000 residents rise above 10, or if they see their percentage of occupied hospital beds rise above 10%, then they would go into a “high community level” range, and would potentially see new COVID mitigations put into place.
Residents that live in communities that are at the “high community level” of COVID are encouraged to wear masks in public regardless of vaccination status, and high-risk individuals are encouraged to take additional precautions.
According to CDC data, all eight of the Chicago-area counties that are in the “medium” level of COVID are in the 2% range in terms of hospital beds used by COVID patients. Most of those communities are also seeing the number of weekly admissions rise, but none have gone above seven, according to CDC data.
Here are the weekly COVID cases per 100,000 residents in each of the eight Chicago area counties currently classified as having a “medium community level” of the virus.
Weekly COVID Cases Per 100,000 Residents: 259.31
Weekly COVID Cases Per 100,000 Residents: 275.51
Weekly COVID Cases Per 100,000 Residents: 365.69
Weekly COVID Cases Per 100,000 Residents: 248.62
Weekly COVID Cases Per 100,000 Residents: 251.96
Weekly COVID Cases Per 100,000 Residents: 331.64
Weekly COVID Cases Per 100,000 Residents: 254.41 (medium)
Weekly COVID Cases Per 100,000 Residents: 239.6