As a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases, suburban Cook County has moved to a "medium" risk level for COVID transmission, the second-highest risk level designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Though the county was not listed on the CDC's most recent county-by-county transmission risk update, the Cook County Department of Public Health stated its metrics as of Thursday indicate suburban portions are under the "medium" risk level.
The department on Thursday reported 210 cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days. According to the latest CDC framework, "medium" transmission is defined as higher than 200 cases per 100,000 residents.
Now that the COVID risk has changed, some people in Cook County are advised to take additional precautions to best protect themselves. Here's which steps are recommended and who should take such measures, based on CDC guidance:
- Wearing a mask indoors to protect those at high risk for severe illness from a COVID infection including adults over the age of 50, those with underlying medical conditions, and the immunocompromised
- Socializing outdoors if possible and avoiding poorly ventilated indoor settings
- Getting tested before attending a family or public event. Home tests are ideal for this purpose
- Contacting your doctor right away to get treatment for COVID if you are diagnosed
- Getting any COVID-19 vaccine boosters that you are eligible for
COVID levels still remain low throughout most of Illinois, but that's not the case everywhere.
According to the CDC's latest update Friday, two other Chicago-area counties were also under the medium risk category.
Lake County was added this week and DuPage County rose to the level last week and remained there once more this week. In addition to DuPage and Lake counties, Champaign, McLean and Logan counties in Illinois are also listed under the CDC's "medium" transmission risk level.