February 25, 2024
Coronavirus

IDPH: 26 counties at ‘medium’ COVID-19 risk; invasive group A strep throat on the rise

Hospitalizations remain stable across much of the state for COVID-19

The latest COVID-19 community levels for Illinois as of Friday, March 10, 2023

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced the CDC is reporting 26 counties in the state are at an elevated community level for COVID-19, compared to 18 the previous week. Of those, zero are at “high” risk for COVID-19, compared to four the week before; and 26 counties are at “medium” risk, compared to 14 last week.

The counties at medium risk in northern Illinois include: Lee, Ogle, Boone, Winnebago, Jo Daviess and Stephenson.

In counties at medium risk, persons who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of severe outcomes) are advised to wear a mask in indoor public places. They should also get up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or get their bivalent booster, if eligible.

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra warned that cases of group A strep throat leading to severe complications are on the rise in Illinois, with more cases reported in 2023 than in any of the past five years.

“As COVID-19 cases and community levels remain stable, I want to share my concern about the growing number of strep throat cases in Illinois that are leading to severe complications,” Vohra said in a news release. “These cases, known as invasive Group A strep, are the result of disease spreading from the throat to blood, muscle and lungs. I urge parents to contact their health providers when their children start showing early symptoms. These symptoms include sudden onset of sore throat, pain when swallowing and fever. Early detection is critical as strep can be diagnosed with a simple test and treated with antibiotics. If able, please make sure everyone in the house is up to date with flu and chickenpox vaccines. Having either the flu or chickenpox can increase your risk of contracting invasive Group A strep.”

IDPH has recorded a total of 4,083,292 cases and 36,431 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. The department is reporting 10,320 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending March 5, and 45 deaths.

As of Thursday night, 880 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 102 patients were in the ICU and 33 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 81 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.

A total of 26,057,999 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of today. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 3,566 doses, including the bivalent booster and first doses. Since March 3, 24,961 vaccine doses were reported administered in Illinois. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 79% have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, more than 71% have completed their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines, and more than 19% have received the bivalent booster dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“These cases, known as invasive Group A strep, are the result of disease spreading from the throat to blood, muscle and lungs. I urge parents to contact their health providers when their children start showing early symptoms.”

—  IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra

Weekly case rate per 100,000: 81

Percentage of ICU beds available: 20%

COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admissions (seven-day rolling average): 91 (Down two from a week ago)

Weekly deaths reported: 45 (Down seven from the previous week)

John Sahly

John Sahly

John Sahly is the digital editor for the Shaw 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.