Where do I need a mask in IL? See the latest CDC data on COVID-19

The latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 38 counties in Illinois have elevated rates of COVID-19, compared to 26 counties last week.

Transmission of COVID-19 has increased in recent weeks, along with cases of the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, according to an Oct. 28 statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

There is Five Illinois counties currently have high rates of COVID-19, including Pike, Vermilion, Ford, Ogle and Stephenson. The CDC ranked 33 Illinois counties as average, including Perry, Jackson, Williamson, Franklin, Greene and others.

CDC’s community levels of COVID-19 are updated on Thursdays and are based on figures from the past seven days, including the number of new hospitalizations per 100,000 people, the average percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID, and new cases per 100,000 people.

The federal agency recommends that people in high-traffic areas wear a mask indoors and on public transportation, and people at higher risk of severe illness should consider precautions in medium-traffic areas.

IL Community Levels COVID oct2822.png
Here are the latest community levels of COVID-19 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Respiratory diseases spread in Illinois

Illinois health officials have warned of an increase in RSV cases in recent weeks, leading to an “acute shortage” of pediatric intensive care unit beds in the state.

“As the weather gets colder and Halloween approaches, Illinois and much of the country are seeing a marked increase in the number of people getting sick with respiratory viruses, including the flu, RSV and again, COVID-19,” said IDPH Director Dr. Samir Vohra said in a statement. “This rise makes it critical for everyone to use the tools that are available to protect themselves and their families. Vaccines remain the most powerful means of preventing serious diseases. If you haven’t gotten yourself and your kids vaccinated against COVID-19 and you haven’t gotten your flu shot, now is a great time.”

Cases of COVID-19 have also increased statewide, with IDPH reporting 13,642 new confirmed and probable cases and 67 deaths since Oct. 21.

The national daily incidence rate is 15.3 per 100,000 people, up from 13.4 last week, according to IDPH, and only 17% of the state’s ICU beds are available. Pediatric intensive care beds have even more uses; as of October 18, IDPH reported that only 6% of ICU beds were available in the state.

The number of hospitalized patients increased throughout the state. The number of hospital admissions in the seven days to October 28 is 101, compared with 87 last week.

St. Clair County has a daily incidence rate of 13.6 per 100,000 people, according to IDPH, and the county has 19% of ICU beds available. The number of hospital admissions in seven days in the county is one. IDPH reported zero deaths from COVID-19 in St. Clair County for the week.

The CDC reported that the weekly rate in St. Clair County is 101.66 per 100,000 people, up from 78.94 last week. There were 6.3 new hospital admissions with COVID-19 per 100,000 people, and 2.5% of the county’s full hospital beds are occupied by patients with confirmed COVID-19.

Positive test results in St. Clair County were 4.46%, compared to 3.99% last week, and the rate of testing was down 5.07%.

As of Thursday evening, IDPH reported 1,080 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 129 patients in intensive care and 48 on ventilators.

IDPH said in an Oct. 28 statement that Vohra recently received the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine, and advised Illinois residents to prepare for the holiday season by getting vaccinated.

“I recommend that everyone in Illinois get full protection,” Vohra said in a statement. “And if you feel sick, please stay at home, get tested and seek help from a doctor. I encourage all Illinoisans to do everything they can to stay safe and healthy as the holiday season approaches.”

You can find COVID-19 information about tests and vaccinations online in St. Clair County.

Note: Some CDC data, such as the positive test rate, the number of tests performed, and the total case rate, are updated on different days. IDPH and CDC data may not be updated at the same time, so rates may vary between agencies.

Meredith Howard is a staff reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat. She graduated from Baylor University and previously worked as a freelance writer for the Illinois Times and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

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