CDPH COVID-19 Update: Cook County Still at Medium COVID-19 Community Level Based on CDC Metrics

August 26, 2022

Chicagoans encouraged to keep wearing masks indoors, where COVID-19 transmission risk is higher

COVID-19 Joint Information Center

CHICAGO – COVID-19 case rates continue to decline in Chicago and Cook County according to the latest Community Level metrics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today, but CDPH continues to encourage residents to be cautious. Chicago and Cook County are still at the Medium Level on CDC metrics, but the highly transmissible omicron subvariants BA.4/BA.5 continue to dominate.

The number of new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days across Cook County was 167 (down from 168 last week and 192 two weeks ago), and the number of new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 population was 11.8 percent (13.1 last week). The percentage of staffed inpatient beds in Cook County in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 was 4.7 percent (4.9 percent last week).

Case rates in Chicago continue to decline as well, while percentage of staffed beds occupied by COVID-19 patients remains steady. The City’s COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 population is 141 (157 last week and 183 two weeks ago), and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 is 4.2 percent (4.6 last week).

"I am pleased to see the data continue to trend downward, but COVID-19 is definitely still with us,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, MD. “I encourage everyone to continue to take precautions like masking while indoors in public settings and staying home when sick.”

“The good news is within a few weeks, we should see the rollout of new, updated COVID-19 vaccines that are targeted specifically toward the Omicron subvariants that are causing almost all the infections right now,” added Dr. Arwady. “These new vaccines are very different from the boosters previously offered, and this will be a huge help in our efforts to get ahead of the virus this fall and protect residents from the strains circulating right now. I urge everyone to get this new vaccine as soon as it is available and they are eligible.”

Both Pfizer and Moderna have asked to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve their updated COVID-19 vaccines that contain an Omicron BA.4/5 spike protein component alongside the current vaccine composition. This creates a “bivalent” booster vaccine, which means it's a mix of two versions of the vaccine — both boosting protection against original coronavirus strain as well as newly protecting against the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.

These new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines likely will become available next month, pending FDA Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) and review by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for final recommendations. It is expected that the new vaccine boosters will be administered as a single dose to people ages 12 years and older (Pfizer-BioNTech) and people ages 18 years and older (Moderna), who previously completed a primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, with younger age groups to follow. CDPH is actively planning the roll-out of the bivalent vaccine boosters. More information will be shared when available. 

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


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
[GOAL is <10%]
City of Chicago 141 4.8 4.2%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 167 11.8 4.7%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 8/25/2022).

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 for the Chicago COVID-19 daily data dashboard.

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

Nationwide, cases continue to gradually decline as well, although approximately 73 percent of United States counties are still at either the Medium or High Level. In Illinois, 33 of the state’s 102 counties remain at a High COVID-19 Level, while the rest have moved back to Medium or Low. 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

(1,092 last week)

29.55% -4.33%

(1,326 last week)

42.92% 1.78%

(805 last week)

27.53% 2.55%

For additional COVID-19 news, see CDPH’s weekly update or visit