March 27, 2023

IDPH: 30 counties at “high” risk for COVID-19; bivalent booster shots strongly encouraged

IDPH expects more than 580,000 doses of new bivalent vaccine in the next week

The latest COVID-19 community levels map, from the Illinois Department of Public Health, as of September 2, 2022

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday that 30 counties in the state are considered “high” risk for COVID-19, a decrease of three counties from a week ago. An additional 60 counties are at the “medium” risk level, an increase of 12 from last week.

The counties listed at High Community Level are: Adams, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Grundy, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Macon, Massac, Perry, Pike, Shelby, Stephenson, Vermilion, Wabash, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago.

This week, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for two new bivalent booster vaccines that include an mRNA component of the original strain to provide an immune response that is broadly protective against COVID-19 and an added mRNA component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 lineages to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant.

IDPH expects to receive 580,000 doses of the new bivalent vaccines for distribution in the next week. This is in addition to 150,000 doses designated for the City of Chicago. The updated boosters will be available at pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 12 years of age and older.

“Once the updated booster shots become available next week, I urge everyone in Illinois who is eligible to take advantage of the opportunity to get fully protected before we enter the fall season,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a news release. “These new bivalent vaccines are designed to offer extra protection against the omicron variants which are now the dominant strain of the virus. Getting up to date now is especially important for those who are at risk of serious outcomes as the updated vaccines offer protection from hospitalization and even death.”

The CDC recommends wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status in high-risk counties.

IDPH announced 4,252 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional deaths Friday.

As of late Thursday, Illinois had 1,263 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, the fewest since July 10. Of those, 154 were in intensive care units, and 46 were on ventilators.

For Thursday, the state administered 4,586 vaccines.

From the IDPH’s data dashboard:

Case rate per 100,000: 29.3 (up 0.5 from Thursday)

Percentage of ICU beds available: 20%

COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admissions (seven-day rolling average): 120 (up 1 from Thursday)

Weekly deaths reported: 70 (down 12 from a week ago)

Illinois has seen 3,696,385 total cases of the virus, and 34,747 people have died.

County-by-county update: As of mid-April, the IDPH will provide a county-by-county update focusing on the case rate per 100,000 people, the percentage of ICU beds available, a rolling seven-day average of COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admissions and weekly deaths.

The definition of a COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admission is as follows: the seven-day average of daily number of hospital admissions given a diagnosis of COVID-19 as measured using the Illinois Syndromic Surveillance System.

Illinois collects all emergency department and inpatient visits through syndromic surveillance from all acute care hospitals in Illinois in near-real time. Data is presented with a three-day lag to allow time for diagnosis to be reported.

At the county level, a visit is counted by where the patient resides. A patient with multiple visits will be counted for each visit. Admissions may not be because of COVID-19 as the primary cause. Syndromic surveillance data is not the same source used by the CDC to report COVID-19 hospital admissions data.

CountyCase Rate/100,000% available ICU bedsCOVID-19 diagnosed hospital admissions
(7-day rolling average)
La Salle31.72110

Vaccine update: As of Friday, the IDPH reported a total of 29,314,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 23,248,758 vaccines administered.

As of Friday, 8,349,844 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 65.53% of the population. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people.

CDC numbers:

Among Illinois residents 5 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 8,799,688 (73.8%)

At Least 1 Dose: 9,720,076 (81.5%)

Among Illinois residents 12 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 8,365,626 (77.2%)

At Least 1 Dose: 9,227,451 (85.1%)

Among Illinois residents 18 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 7,717,242 (78.3%)

At Least 1 Dose: 8,517,473 (86.4%)

Among Illinois residents 65 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 1,830,599 (89.6%)

At Least 1 Dose: 1,977,070 (95%)

There can be as much as a 72-hour delay in reporting from health care providers on vaccines administered.

In northern Illinois, here is the percentage of the population fully vaccinated by county:

Chicago: 69.24%

Suburban Cook: 73.07%

Lake: 70.68%

McHenry: 66.15%

DuPage: 75.82%

Kane: 66.75%

Will: 67.03%

Kendall: 69.79%

La Salle: 58.61%

Grundy: 58.00%

DeKalb: 56.81%

Ogle: 57.20%

Lee: 59.09%

Whiteside: 52.08%

Bureau: 56.93%

John Sahly

John Sahly

John Sahly is the digital editor for the Shaw Media Local News Network. He has been with Shaw Media since 2008, previously serving as the Northwest Herald's digital editor, and the Daily Chronicle sports editor and sports reporter.