Illinois health officials reveal how they determined COVID-19 cases are on the rise

(Photo: Twenty20 | Julie K.)

Illinois health officials alerted residents that COVID-19 cases are on the rise, but the method of detection for the virus this time around was not based on testing.

While all of the state's 102 counties remain at a low level for hospital admissions related to COVID-19, Illinois' wastewater surveillance system has detected rising activity of the virus.

In addition to COVID-19, the wastewater surveillance system monitors the spread of influenza and RSV as well.

According to Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra, the system has detected "moderate" COVID-19 activity throughout the state.

“We are fortunate the vast majority of Illinoisians have received immunity from a COVID-19 vaccine or previous infection that protects them against severe disease. However, COVID-19 continues to pose a risk for our seniors, individuals with chronic medical conditions, and those who are immunocompromised. IDPH is closely monitoring COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, emerging variants, and a broad range of respiratory illnesses including flu and RSV. As we approach the fall, our residents will have access to a number of tools, including updated shots and treatments, that can help us avoid another ‘tripledemic.’ Please contact your primary care provider to learn about the options available to protect you and your loved ones this upcoming respiratory season," Vohra said.

According to the IDPH, the CDC is expected to issue updated guidance on new COVID-19 boosters this fall.

More than 200,000 courses of therapeutic COVID-19 medications, such as Paxlovid, are available free of charge through providers and pharmacies in Illinois until supplies run out.

More information can be found here.

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