CDPH COVID-19 Update: Cook County Remains at High COVID-19 Community Level Based on CDC Metrics

August 12, 2022

CDPH continues to urge masks and everyone 5+ to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters

COVID-19 Joint Information Center     media.coronavirus@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO – Cook County has moved from a High back to a Medium COVID-19 Level as confirmed case counts continue to drop, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today. The percentage of counties in the United States at a Medium or High COVID Community Level remains over 80 percent, driven by the highly transmissible omicron subvariants BA.4/BA.5, but the number of counties at a High Level has fallen slightly in the past week, CDPH said. 

The number of new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days across Cook County was 192 (down from 244 last week), and the number of new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 population was 13.3 (last week was 12.5). The percentage of staffed inpatient beds in Cook County in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 was 4.9 percent (4.6 last week). 

All three of these metrics for the City of Chicago itself have also improved in the past week. The City’s COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 population is 183 (203 last week), its COVID-19 hospitalization rate per 100,000 population is 5.0 (5.6 last week), and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 is 4.3 (4.8 last week). 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance to help people better understand their personal risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19 and help them make informed decisions to layer prevention strategies as needed. CDPH supports these new recommendations from the CDC and encourages Chicagoans to take steps to protect their health and those of fellow Chicagoans. We’re in a stronger place today as a nation with more tools—like vaccination, boosters, and treatments—to protect ourselves and others, plus our communities, from severe outcomes from COVID-19. We also have a good understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like wearing masks, testing, and improved ventilation. This provides a baseline of protection for our collective communities. 

What prevention actions to take will continue to be informed by the COVID-19 Community Levels, which guides individuals and communities to understand local risk levels and impact on local healthcare systems. The recommendations for all Community Levels continue to emphasize the importance of staying up to date with vaccination to protect from severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death. 

"I am pleased to see the city back at the Medium Level,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “We should all keep in mind, however, that the pandemic is not over - get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already, continue to follow guidelines on masking in crowded indoor settings, get tested and stay home if you’re experiencing symptoms, and get treatment if you are infected and at higher risk of severe outcomes.” 

The City of Chicago continues to offer free at-home appointments for vaccines and boosters for every Chicagoan aged 6 months and up across the whole city. To make an at home vaccination appointment, call (312) 746-4835 or register at chicago.gov/athome. Appointments are available 4 days a week, Saturday through Tuesday – 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m,. Those age 5 and older may be eligible for a $50 gift card through August 30 while supplies last. Everyone who receives a booster dose may receive a gift card regardless of where they live; those receiving a first or second dose are eligible for a gift card if they live in one of the following zip codes: 60608, 60612, 60617, 60619, 60620, 60621, 60624, 60628, 60633, 60636, 60637, 60644, 60649, 60651, and 60653, as well as Chicago residents who live in 60827 and 60707. 

Based on the latest data from CDC, Cook County levels are as follows.

Metrics
 

New Cases (per 100,000 people in last 7 days)

New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population (7-day total)

Proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients (7-day average)

  [GOAL is <200] [GOAL is
<10]
[GOAL is <10%]
City of Chicago 183 5.0 4.3%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 192 13.3 4.9%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 8/11/2022).

The CDC determines COVID-19 Community Levels as Low, Medium, or High, based on the number of new local COVID-19 cases, regional COVID-19 hospital admissions, and COVID-19 hospital capacity in the prior week. The Levels were developed to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest local COVID-19 data.

When the CDC updates its COVID-19 Community Levels national map each week, the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County data are combined into one weekly case metric for Cook County. Hospitalization data, in contrast, reflect a burden on the whole federally defined Health Service Area, which includes hospitals in Cook, Lake, DuPage, and McHenry counties.

CDPH also continues to track and report COVID-19 hospital burden specifically for Chicago hospitals every day on its dashboard and uses this local hospital data to make further mitigation decisions. Visit chi.gov/coviddash for the Chicago COVID-19 daily data dashboard.

COVID-19 Community Levels in the U.S. by County

Nationwide, while over 80 percent of United States counties are at either the Medium or High Level, the number of counties at the High Level is down by 2 percent from last week. While much of Illinois remains at a Medium or High Level, 12 of the state’s 102 counties are at a Low COVID-19 Level, the most in nearly a month. Travelers should review CDPH’s travel guidance and check the CDC map to know whether areas they are visiting are Low, Medium, or High risk for COVID-19 and take proper precautions. 

  Community Level Number of Counties Percent of Counties % Change from Prior Week
  High

1,278
(1,344 last week)

39.7% -2.05%
  Medium

1,307
(1,254 last week)

40.6% 1.64%
  Low

638
(625 last week)

19.8% 0.4%

For additional COVID-19 news, see CDPH’s weekly update or visit Chicago.gov/COVID.

###

 

News Release Facts

Department:

I Want To