The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is urging residents to continue to take action to protect themselves and the community against the spread of COVID-19. This is the result of significant increases in COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations in DuPage County and across the United States, according to a DCHD news release.
As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 3,351 COVID-19 cases in DuPage County over the past 7 days, which represents an increase of 126% from the previous week. There were also 190 individuals hospitalized in DuPage County related to COVID-19 illness, which represents a 52% increase (or 65 additional patients) since Nov. 30, Positivity rates have also been steadily rising and are now at 6.26%, the release stated.
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise, the DCHD is reminding residents that there are simple, practical steps they can take to protect themselves, family, co-workers and friends. Get vaccinated and boosted; wear a well-fitting, high-quality mask when in indoor public places and get tested.
According to the latest CDC COVID-19 vaccination data, 70% of eligible residents over 12 years old in DuPage County have been fully vaccinated, and 78% of the total population has received at least one dose. All three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S. continue to be effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death, including protection against the Delta variant which continues to be the main variant currently circulating, according to the release.
However, the protection provided by many vaccines can wane over time, and individuals 18 years and older should get a booster shot six months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or two months after their initial J&J vaccine. Any of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccines can be used for the booster dose.
On Nov. 26, the World Health Organization named and classified the Omicron variant as a variant of concern. On Dec. 1, the first case of Omicron was identified in the United States, and as of Dec. 6, there were cases in 18 states, the release stated.
“While much remains unknown about the severity, transmissibility and impact on immunity with the Omicron variant, we do know what works – masking, distancing, getting vaccinated including getting a booster and getting tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19,” DuPage County Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala said in the release.
According to DuPage County COVID-19 Dashboard graphs reflecting cases by vaccination status and severity, more than 97% of hospitalized and deceased COVID-19 cases between mid-December 2020 to the end of November 2021 occurred in persons not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“it is important to make sure everyone is doing their part in protecting their health and the health of those they are celebrating with this holiday season,” Ayala said in the release.
For more information on celebrating safely, visit the Illinois Department of Health for holiday season safety tips. The CDC has also provided updated guidance on improving ventilation in your home. For more information on COVID-19 in DuPage County, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19.
Anyone age 5 or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and can find an appointment by going to www.vaccines.gov, contacting their pharmacy or primary care physician or by visiting www.dupagehealth.org/covid19. Individuals seeking a COVID-19 vaccine from the health department must register first at www.dupagehealth.org/COVID19Vaccine. For registration or scheduling assistance, call 630-682-7400.
No-cost testing remains available. For information on testing locations visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19testing. For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 800-880-3931 or email DPH.SICK.@ILLINOIS.GOV.