As of last Friday, Kendall County is considered at “medium” risk for community transmission of COVID-19.
As a result, indoor mask use and updated vaccines are recommended, according to the state health department.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s community level coronavirus transmission risk assessments, 13 counties in Illinois – the majority in northern Illinois, including Kendall, Kane, McHenry, Lake, Cook, DuPage, Dekalb and Will counties – are considered medium risk.
As a result, the state health department recommends wearing a well-fitted mask indoors and maintaining ample ventilation when outside, especially when among those who could be immunocompromised or considered at high risk for developing a severe case of the virus.
The IDPH last reported the death of a county resident due to COVID-19 April 1.
A total of 161 county residents had died from COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic in March of 2020 as of April 7, according to data provided by the Kendall County Health Department.
If you’re immunocompromised or at high-risk for severe infection
If you are immunocompromised or considered high risk, the IDPH recommends speaking with health care providers about whether you should wear a mask indoors or take additional precautions. If a person lives with or has contact with a high-risk individual, the IDPH encourages indoor masking and self-testing before interactions.
For immunocompromised people, the IDPH recommends having a plan for regular rapid testing and speaking with health care providers about a plan for treatment.
Recommendations for individuals, community
It’s also recommended that those who are not yet vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19 to get vaccinated or receive a booster.
If a person contracts or suspects they have COVID-19, they should follow testing and isolation protocols, including quarantining themselves until they confirm whether they have the virus, and isolation until they test negative.
For community or public gatherings in medium-risk areas, the IDPH recommends ensuring equitable access to testing, vaccination, treatment and other provisions.
The IDPH also recommends that virus screening testing for medium-risk areas be implemented in workplaces, schools or other community settings, and maintaining ample ventilation when indoors.
When to test, what symptoms to look for
Rapid tests work best when used by someone already experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or administered five to seven days after exposure to the virus. If someone is experiencing symptoms and tests negative on a rapid test, health officials have said those people are strongly encouraged to retest themselves. They also can seek out a PCR molecular test – a nasal swab test which is sent to a lab and offered at most pharmacies in the area – for more accurate results. PCR tests can be scheduled by appointment at area pharmacies and clinics, including Walgreens, CVS and Physicians Immediate Care.
Unlike previous strains of COVID-19, the omicron variants might not present with a loss of taste or smell. Instead, many are reporting feeling cold or flu-like symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In general, watch for fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.
For a nonexhaustive list of testing sites, go to dph.illinois.gov/testing.
For more information and to schedule a vaccine appointment at the the Kendall County Health Department’s office at 811 John Street in Yorkville visit the agency’s website at www.kendallhealth.org.