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

July 1, 2022

Chicagoans encouraged to enjoy outdoor activities, where COVID-19 transmission risk is lower, for the holiday weekend

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

CHICAGO – Cook County remains at a High COVID-19 CDC Community Level, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today.  

"Chicagoans are looking forward to celebrating the Independence Day weekend, as am I,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “If you can hold holiday weekend gatherings with family and friends outdoors, where ventilation is better and the risk of COVID transmission is lower, take advantage of the warm weather and do so. Please remember though, if you are in any crowded, indoor spaces, to wear your mask.” 

Both COVID-19 case and regional hospitalization metrics remain just above the cutoff for the High COVID-19 Level. The number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days across Cook County is 207 (the goal to drop out of the High Level is under 200). The number of new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 population is 10.7 (the goal to drop out of the High Level is under 10). Will, DuPage, and Lake counties are also at the High Level.  

With the newer and more contagious Omicron subvariants BA.4/.5 now making up the majority of COVID-19 cases in the region,  case rates have increased slightly since last week--though the City continues to see lower COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations than the county as a whole. Chicago has had 192 new cases and seven new hospitalizations reported over the last week, per 100,0000 population. Other Chicago indicators, including Emergency Department encounters, have also seen some slight increases. Wastewater monitoring continues to remain stable and hospital capacity is not threatened. Less than four percent of hospital beds are occupied with COVID-19 patients across Chicago’s hospitals. 

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.   

At a High COVID-19 Level, people should mask indoors, test in the case of any symptoms or known exposures, and ensure they are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. 

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. The CDC recently announced that international travelers to the U.S. are no longer required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test before boarding their flight to the U.S. 

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 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.

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 192 7 4.0%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 208 10.7 3.6%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 6/30/2022). 

 

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

Nationwide, the percentage of U.S. counties at either the Medium or High Level has jumped in the past week, from 43 percent to 55 percent this week. The Northeastern U.S. is now predominantly at the Low Level, while Florida, California, Arizona, and Oregon are now predominantly at the High Level.  

A total of 28 of Illinois’ 102 counties are now at a High Level, up from 20 last week. Another 71 Illinois counties are at Medium COVID-19 Level (40 last week). 

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

627
(392 last week)

19.5% 7.3%
  Medium

1,142
(997 last week)

35.5% 4.5%
  Low

1,452
(1,832 last week) 

45% -11.8%

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

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