DeKalb County reports 5 COVID-19 breakthrough cases out of 25,340 fully vaccinated so far, health officials confirm

The post-vaccination rate of viral infection falls at 0.019%, “a pretty small number,” said Lisa Gonzalez, adding it doesn’t raise concerns

DeKALB – Out of the 25,340 DeKalb County residents who have been fully vaccinated so far for COVID-19, five have reported contracting the virus post-full vaccination, confirmed the DeKalb County Health Department this week.

The cases, known as ‘breakthrough cases’, total five in DeKalb County, a 0.019% rate of infection from those fully vaccinated with a confirmed case of the virus.

Lisa Gonzalez, public health administrator for the DeKalb County Health Department, said on Tuesday there were four total breakthrough COVID-19 cases in the county at that point, with a fifth being a reported on Friday. She declined comment on additional information about those cases, including whether they came from adults, children, male, female, or whether there were any notable circumstances attached to any of the cases. It’s also unknown whether any are linked to long-term care facilities, or whether the breakthrough cases are due to COVID-19 variants.

“Due to the small number of breakthrough cases identified, and in order to protect patient privacy, we will not be able to provide additional information on these cases,” Gonzalez wrote in a Thursday email.

Gonzalez confirmed the cases were separate from one another and weren’t related to each other due to any outbreaks. She also declined comment on whether any of the cases involved hospitalization.

According to Illinois Department of Public Health data, there are 25,340 fully vaccinated people within DeKalb County as of Monday morning, making up 24.33% of the county’s population of 104,143. Nearly 20% of residents between 16 and 64 years old have been fully vaccinated, along with 70.5% of residents 65 years old and older.

As of April 17, only 16% of intensive care unit hospital beds were available throughout DeKalb County. That includes Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb and Valley West Hospital in Sandwich.

Gonzalez said two of those breakthrough cases in the county were reported in March and the remaining three were reported this month. She said the number of breakthrough cases hasn’t raised any specific concerns for the department at this time.

“If you look at the number of breakthrough cases compared to the number of those who have been fully vaccinated, it really is a pretty small number,” Gonzalez said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person isn’t considered fully vaccinated until two weeks post their second vaccination or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks and socially distant when out in public or indoors when around those who aren’t fully vaccinated. The guidelines state non-mask wearing indoors is only for those who are also fully vaccinated, and interaction is encouraged to only those within one household.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine status

The update comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration issued a joint statement more than a week ago asking all states to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as the agencies investigate blood clots in six women that occurred within six to 16 days after vaccination. The clots were observed along with reduced platelet counts — making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially “dangerous.”

Gonzalez said on Tuesday there was a lot of interest in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from residents and there still is. She said she believes a number of people have elected to just wait for the pause on the single dose vaccine to be lifted, as opposed to just taking alternately offered Moderna or Pfizer vaccine appointments, both of which require two doses.

“But I will also say that when they were offered it, many people took it,” Gonzalez said.

The 11-day pause on the latter was lifted Friday by U.S. health officials.

Katie Finlon

Katie Finlon covers local government and breaking news for DeKalb County in Illinois. She has covered local government news for Shaw Media since 2018 and has had bylines in Daily Chronicle, Kendall County Record newspapers, Northwest Herald and in public radio over the years.