April 20, 2024

IDPH: 9 counties at elevated COVID-19 risk; down from 26 a week ago

State reports 824 people in the hospital with COVID-19

The latest COVID-19 community levels for Illinois as of Friday, March 17, 2023, according to the CDC

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

The one county in the state at “high” risk is Clay County in southeastern Illinois. None of the eight counties at “medium” risk are in northern Illinois.

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.

This week, IDPH also announced that it is working with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to distribute HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) air purifiers to almost 3,000 schools throughout the state to protect students and schools’ staff by reducing the transmission of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The $30 million program is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I am very pleased to be working with our partners at ISBE to help improve air quality in Illinois’ classrooms,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a news release. “Data over these last three years have shown us the critical importance of good ventilation to keep children and adults safe from respiratory illnesses. These HEPA air purifiers are a significant investment in our children. They will keep kids healthy and in school, ensuring more opportunities for learning and success.”

IDPH has recorded a total of 4,092,258 cases and 36,494 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. The department is reporting 8,966 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending March 12, and 63 deaths.

As of Thursday night, 824 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 107 patients were in the ICU and 36 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 70 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.

A total of 26,069,405 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of today. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 3,398 doses, including the bivalent booster and first doses. Since March 10, 23,783 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.

“I am very pleased to be working with our partners at ISBE to help improve air quality in Illinois’ classrooms”

—  IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra

Weekly case rate per 100,000: 70.4

Percentage of ICU beds available: 21%

COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admissions (seven-day rolling average): 84 (Down seven from a week ago)

Weekly deaths reported: 63 (Up 18 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.