CDPH COVID-19 Update: Cook County and Chicago Remain in Medium COVID-19 Community Level Based on CDC Metrics

December 2, 2022

More than half of Illinois counties now at Medium or High Level alongside seasonal flu surge; CDPH urges residents to get updated COVID-19 booster and flu shot now

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). In total, 51 of Illinois’ 102 counties are the Medium Level (up from 41 last week) and 12 are High (five last week).

In addition, both Chicago and the United States are seeing sharp increases in flu cases, well beyond where we were at this point in previous years. Young children and older adults are both at higher risk of severe outcomes like hospitalization and death from influenza and should be vaccinated to prevent such outcomes. There are 18 Chicagoans hospitalized in the ICU for influenza this past week.

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is regularly monitoring bed capacity, engaging with healthcare providers and hospitals, and distributes a Respiratory Virus Weekly Surveillance Report through Chicago’s Health Alert Network (HAN) system. The Chicago HAN  provides quick, efficient, and secure web-based communication with CDPH staff, providers of medical care, laboratories, first responders and other local public health agencies. These weekly reports are also posted to our website here.

“As expected, we are seeing increases across all respiratory viruses with colder weather, including COVID, flu and RSV," said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “Our focus and priority remains avoiding that High COVID Community Level. This means preserving our hospital system from being overwhelmed with patients, while also protecting residents from the worst outcomes. Chicagoans can protect themselves and their families by getting their updated COVID-19 booster for everyone 5 and up and their seasonal flu shot for everyone 6 months and up.”

National Influenza Immunization Week

Next Tuesday, December 6 at 11am, Dr. Arwady’s weekly Facebook Live show will feature CDPH’s very own Medical Director for Disease Control and Youth Settings, Michelle Funk and Senior Epidemiologist, Stephanie Gretsch. They will join Dr. Arwady to discuss CDPH’s surveillance of influenza and other respiratory illnesses.  Most importantly, they will discuss the importance of getting your flu shot in honor of National Influenza Immunization Week. Be sure to tune in on Facebook or Twitter @ChiPublicHealth and submit questions using #AskDrArwady.

Both COVID-19 and flu vaccines are widely available at pharmacies across the city; find your vaccine at CDPH is hosting a free flu/COVID-19 vaccination clinic tomorrow, Saturday, December 3 at Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett Ave., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is recommended, but walk-ins will be accommodated.

Additional clinics will be held next week for National Influenza Immunization Week. Walk-ins are welcome at these vaccination clinics, but registration is highly encouraged. Create an account and register for an appointment at or by calling 312-742-3227. 

  • Dec. 5-9, 8am-4pm, Greater Lawn Clinic, 4150 W 55th St.
  • Dec. 5, 7 and 9, 8am-4pm, and Dec. 6 and 8, 9am-5pm, Uptown Clinic, 845 W Wilson Ave. 
  • Dec. 6, 9am-2pm, City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.

Primary series COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines for Chicagoans 6 months and up will be offered at all clinics, as well as bivalent COVID-19 boosters for those who are eligible.

The City continues to operate Protect Chicago At Home, its novel and completely free program that will bring COVID—and now 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. Now, 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 November 29, 15.9 percent of all Chicagoans age 5 and up have received the updated COVID booster vaccine, compared to 12.7 percent of all Americans. Among eligible Chicagoans (those who have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series), 23 percent have received their updated booster vaccine. However, there continues to be disparities by race and ethnicity. Among eligible Chicagoans, 34.8 percent of White residents have received the updated booster, compared to 25.2 percent of Asian residents, 18.4 percent of Black/non-Latinx residents and 13.5 percent of Latinx residents.  As of November 29, more than 429,000 doses of the updated booster have been administered to Chicagoans.

Everyone age 5 and up who has previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 is eligible to receive the new, updated vaccine, known as the bivalent booster, which 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 95 8.9 3.4%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 117 11.5 4.1%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 12/1/2022).

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

Nationwide, COVID-19 Community Levels have crept up over the past week, with approximately 22 percent of U.S. counties at the Medium or High COVID-19 Level, and the rest at Low. In Illinois, Cook County is one of 41 of the state’s 102 counties that are at a Medium Level (32 were Medium last week). Five Illinois counties are at the High Level (1 last week). 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

(119 last week)

5.7% +2.0%

(591 last week)

18.4 % +6.5%

(2,508 last week)

69.49% -8.5%

For additional COVID-19 information, visit