CDPH COVID-19 Update: Cook County and Chicago Remain in Medium COVID-19 Community Level

December 16, 2022

More Illinois Counties reach High Community Level, as nationwide levels hold steady

COVID-19 Joint Information Center

CHICAGO–Chicago and Cook County remain in the Medium COVID-19 Community Level according to the latest Community Level metrics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but more Illinois counties have reached the High Level this week. In total, 43 of Illinois’ 102 counties are at the High Community Level (29 last week), 43 are Medium (45 last week), and 16 are Low (28 last week). Nationwide, approximately 44 percent of U.S. counties are at the Medium or High Level (nearly the same as 45 percent last week).

“Cases are on the rise in Chicago and nationwide and I expect we could reach High in the next week or two. New York City and Los Angeles are already there,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “With people gathering for the holidays it wouldn’t be surprising to see a further surge in cases. Which is why we need people masking up, thinking about testing ahead of gathering and getting the new, updated booster vaccine.”

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to urge all Chicagoans age 6 months and older to remain up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations including the fall 2022 booster and to get their annual flu shot. Last week, federal health officials approved the administration of the updated COVID-19 booster for eligible children ages 6 months and up. The updated vaccine is free for all, regardless of health insurance status.

"If you have not had a COVID vaccine since Labor Day this year, you’re almost certainly not up-to-date,” said Dr. Arwady.

CDPH is hosting a free flu/COVID-19 vaccination clinic tomorrow, Saturday, December 17, at Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski Rd., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is recommended, but walk-ins will be accommodated. Primary series COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines for Chicagoans 6 months and up will be offered, as well as bivalent COVID-19 boosters for those who are eligible.

The City continues to operate Protect Chicago At Home, its completely free program that will bring COVID-19 and flu vaccines right to any Chicagoan’s home and vaccinate up to 10 people in a single appointment. COVID-19 vaccines, including primary doses and the new booster vaccines are available for anyone age 6 months and up. Chicagoans age 6 months and up can also receive a flu vaccine at home if at least one member of the household is receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are available mornings, afternoons, and evenings, weekdays and weekends. Make an at-home appointment for your family at or by calling (312) 746-4835.

Find additional vaccination events in your neighborhood at or call the City’s COVID-19 Hotline at (312) 746-4835.

COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Updates

As of December 14, 17.6 percent of all Chicagoans age 5 and up have received the updated COVID booster vaccine, compared to 14.1 percent of all Americans. As of December 14, more than 473,000 doses of the updated booster have been administered to Chicagoans.

This new, updated vaccine, known as the bivalent booster, is designed to better protect against the Omicron subvariants BA.4/5 as well as original strains of the virus. The bivalent booster generates a stronger immune response against current and future Omicron subvariants.

COVID-19 By the Numbers

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.

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


New Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 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 157 11.9 4.7%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 163 13.9 5.1%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 12/15/2022).

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

Nationwide and in Illinois, COVID-19 Community Levels continue to trend upward. Travelers should be aware of whether areas they are visiting are Low, Medium, or High risk for COVID-19 by checking the CDC’s map, and take proper precautions, which should include reviewing CDPH’s travel guidance. 

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

(299 last week)

9.19% -0.01%

(1,134 last week)

35.02 % -0.22%

(1,785 last week)

55.79% +0.33%

For additional COVID-19 information, visit