The Illinois Department of Public Health announced the CDC is reporting 12 counties in the state are at an elevated community level for COVID-19, compared to nine the previous week. Of those, zero counties are at “high” risk for COVID-19, compared with one the week before; and 12 counties are at “medium” risk, compared to eight last week.
The counties at medium risk in northern Illinois are: Ogle, Lee, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago and Boone. Just south of that cluster of medium-risk counties, Livingston and Stark counties also are at medium risk.
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 said that the IDPH welcomes the action by the FDA this week to authorize a bivalent booster shot – and the CDC’s subsequent recommendation of the shots – for children aged 6 months to 4 years old if they completed their primary vaccination series of the Pfizer vaccine with the monovalent vaccine more than two months ago.
“I am pleased that the FDA has authorized and the CDC has expanded its recommendation to allow this category of young children to receive a booster dose of Pfizer’s updated COVID-19 vaccine,” Vohra said in a news release. “This recommendation now means that all children in this age group are eligible to receive an updated vaccine. Vaccines remain the best protection to prevent serious illness from COVID-19, and these updated shots are formulated to protect against some of the more recently circulating strains of the disease. I recommend that parents speak with their children’s health care provider to ensure that their child is up to date on their COVID-19 and other vaccines.”
The IDPH has recorded a total of 4,100,818 cases and 36,533 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. The department is reporting 8,560 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending March 19, and 39 deaths.
A total of 26,093,521 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Friday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 3,445 doses, including the bivalent booster and first doses. Since March 17, 24,116 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 recommend that parents speak with their children’s health care provider to ensure that their child is up to date on their COVID-19 and other vaccines.”— IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra
As of Thursday night, 810 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 94 patients were in the ICU and 34 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 67 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.
Weekly case rate per 100,000: 67.2
Percentage of ICU beds available: 18%
COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admissions (seven-day rolling average): 86 (Up two from a week ago)
Weekly deaths reported: 39 (Down 24 from the previous week)