All Cook County residents – including Chicago – now face an “average” risk of COVID-19 infection and must wear a mask indoors, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control.
In Cook County, the incidence rate is now more than 259 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population, reaching the threshold set by federal health officials to warn residents that the risk of COVID-19 infection has risen from “low” to “medium”. According to federal health guidelines, the trigger for the transition from low to medium is the registration of more than 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population.
According to the CDC, residents of seven northeastern Illinois counties – McHenry, Lake, Cook, Kendall, DuPage, Will and Grandi – face a medium risk of COVID-19.
Dr Allison Arvadi, a Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner, said Chicagoans should view the CDC’s average level of warning of danger as a “yellow light of caution”.
“This is not a cause for panic,” Arvadi said during an online question and answer session on April 28, which focused on increasing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. “It’s not a reason that people can’t go to work, can’t go to school, can’t pass [CTA]».
All Chicagoans should make sure they are aware of their vaccines against COVID-19 and wear masks in rooms where they are unsure whether others have been vaccinated, including in buses and CTA trains, Arvadi said.
Chicago public school officials “will continue to urge school masks, but not demand them,” even as Chicago and Cook County residents now face a higher risk of COVID-19 infection than ever since the Omicron variant-induced outbreak. the virus disappeared in February, forcing officials to repeal measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Those who may become seriously ill with COVID-19 should talk to their doctor about whether to wear a mask and other precautions, Arvadi said.
The high-risk group for severe diseases from COVID-19 infection includes people over the age of 50, those with major medical conditions and weakened immunity, health officials said.
While the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has been rising in Chicago since March 8 – about a week after city and state authorities lifted the mask mandate and vaccine requirements for some businesses – the number of people in Chicago hospitals with COVID-19 remains close to historical lows.
According to the Chicago Department of Health, the number of deaths from COVID-19 has never been less. Since April 3, 14 people have died from the virus, according to city figures.
This is due to the effectiveness of vaccines, Arvadi said.
Federal health officials would consider the risk of contracting COVID-19 “high” in the county, where hospitals and the health care system have begun to strain due to the number of patients with the virus, according to recommendations in force since February. 28.
This workload is measured by the number of new hospital admissions with COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in seven days and the percentage of staffed hospital beds used by patients with COVID-19 on average over the past seven days.
According to the CDC, the incidence of hospitalization with COVID-19 in Cook County is 6.9. If this hospitalization rate rises to 10 or more, the risk level will rise to “high,” according to the CDC.
According to the CDC, 2.2% of staffed hospital beds in Cook County are used by patients with COVID-19 on average over the past seven days. If 10% of staffed hospital beds in Cook County are used on average by patients with COVID-19 within the past seven days, the risk will rise to “high,” according to the CDC.
City officials will not require Chicagoans to wear masks indoors or require businesses to request evidence of vaccination until the CDC considers the risk of COVID-19 in Cook County high, Arvadi said.
Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]