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

July 8, 2022

Chicagoans encouraged to remain vigilant, continue masking indoors, to keep case levels down

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

CHICAGO – Cook County is back at a Medium COVID-19 CDC Community Level, based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) metrics, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today.

For the past two weeks, Cook County had been in the High COVID-19 Level, as both COVID-19 cases and regional hospitalization metrics remained just above the threshold for the Medium Level. This week, as the CDC reported Thursday afternoon, the number of new COVID cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days across Cook County is 193, down from 207 last week. (200 being the threshold to drop out of the High Level). The number of new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 population has risen slightly in the past week for Cook County, from 10.7 last week to 11.4 this week (the goal to drop out of the High Level is under 10). Will County has also moved from High to Medium this week, while Lake and DuPage Counties remain at a 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 case rates and hospitalizations than the county as a whole. Chicago has had 195 new cases and 5.5 new hospitalizations reported over the last week, per 100,0000 population. Nearly 4 percent of hospital beds are occupied with COVID-19 patients across Chicago’s hospitals. As of this week, more than 5 million vaccinations have been administered to Chicagoans.

"It’s encouraging to see the County COVID-19 Level drop to Medium again, but I ask Chicagoans to remain cautious as we remain near the High Level threshold,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “Our continued vigilance, which has included making the most of outdoor summer activities, where air ventilation concerns aren’t as much a factor as they are indoors, wearing masks indoors, and ensuring our families are fully vaccinated and boosted, has been a big part of moving the needle back. But this is not a green light to forget about COVID-19. Rather, it’s more a flashing yellow, to continue to be cautious, be aware, be alert, and not to let your guard down.”

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 Medium 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 194 5.6 4.2%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 193 11.4 3.9%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 7/7/2022). 

 

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 increased over the past week, from 55 percent to 59 percent. The bulk of counties in the Medium or High COVID-19 range has shifted from the Northeast and Upper Midwest to the Western states such as California, Oregon, and Montana, and Southern states including Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

A total of 28 of Illinois’ 102 counties are now at a High Level, the same as last week. The largest cluster of counties in Illinois at the High Level are at the southern end of the state. Another 43 Illinois counties are at Medium COVID-19 Level (down from 71 last week). 

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

667
(627 last week)

20.7% 1.3%
  Medium

1,226
(1,142 last week)

38.1% 2.6%
  Low

1,325
(1,452 last week) 

41.2% -3.9%

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

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