January 27, 2023

IDPH: 43 counties at “high” COVID-19 risk; hospitalizations continue to rise

Bivalent booster vaccine recommended

The latest COVID-19 community levels map for Illinois as of Friday, December 16, 2022, from the Illinois Department of Public Health

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday that 43 of the state’s counties are considered “high” risk for COVID-19, up from 29 a week ago. An additional 43 counties are at medium risk, down from 45 a week ago.

“Illinois continues to see a dramatic rise in communities at elevated risk levels for COVID-19, including 43 counties that are now at a high risk,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a news release. “As we prepare for holiday gatherings with our loved ones, I want to remind Illinoisians that these elevated COVID-19 community levels, along with rising flu levels, are leading to a surge of respiratory infections, increased hospitalizations and limited hospital beds. I strongly recommend all Illinoisians take preventative steps to protect themselves and their family and friends, especially those most vulnerable including young children and individuals over 65.

“These preventative measures start with being up-to-date with the COVID-19 bivalent booster that is now authorized for children as young as six months old. Getting your flu shot is very important too. Other important protective steps include COVID-19 testing, especially if visiting someone at risk for severe disease; enhanced ventilation at gatherings; and good hand hygiene. And if you are sick, stay home and consult with your provider about whether you need one of the effective treatments that are available. A high-quality mask or respirator is also recommended and will protect you from COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory viruses. Our hope is for Illinoisians across our state to have a happy and healthy holiday season.”

The CDC recommends the following measures for people in areas that are rated at High Community Level for COVID-19 transmission:

• Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings)

• If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease consider self-testing to detect infection before contact consider wearing a mask when indoors with them

• Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters

• Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible

The IDPH announced Friday 2,573 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths.

As of late Thursday, Illinois had 1,704 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, the most since Feb. 14. Of those, 223 were in intensive care units, the most since Feb. 23, and 60 were on ventilators.

For Thursday, the state administered 17,442 vaccines.

Case rate per 100,000: 26.2 (down 1.0 from Thursday)

Percentage of ICU beds available: 14%

COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admissions (seven-day rolling average): 169 (up 9 from Thursday, highest since February 12)

Weekly deaths reported: 82 (up 26 from last week)

Illinois has seen 3,930,135 total cases of the virus, and 35,632 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.

CountyCase Rate/100,000% available ICU bedsCOVID-19 diagnosed hospital admissions
(7-day rolling average)
La Salle21.41310

Vaccine update: As of Friday, the IDPH reported a total of 26,328,595 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 25,597,784 vaccines administered.

As of Friday, 8,411,895 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 66.02% of the population. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people.

CDC numbers:

Among Illinois residents 5 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 8,943,773 (75%)

At Least 1 Dose: 9,897,728 (83%)

Among Illinois residents 18 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 7,839,261 (79.6%)

At Least 1 Dose: 8,672,987 (88%)

Among Illinois residents 65 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 1,860,078 (91%)

At Least 1 Dose: 2,010,161 (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: 69.39%

Suburban Cook: 73.62%

Lake: 71.52%

McHenry: 66.71%

DuPage: 76.37%

Kane: 67.12%

Will: 67.47%

Kendall: 70.66%

La Salle: 58.89%

Grundy: 58.32%

DeKalb: 56.97%

Ogle: 57.40%

Lee: 59.12%

Whiteside: 52.09%

Bureau: 57.13%

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.