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

July 15, 2022

Chicagoans should stay up-to-date with vaccines and boosters, and mask indoors

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

CHICAGO – Driven by the continued increase in the highly transmissible omicron subvariants BA.4/BA.5, Cook County is again in the High COVID-19 Community Level today, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national metrics. Each of the three metrics used to determine COVID Community Levels – case rate per 100,000 population, new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population, and percent of staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 – has risen in Cook County over the past week.

Cook County has fluctuated between the High and Medium COVID-19 Community Levels since late June.

The number of new laboratory-confirmed COVID cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days across Cook County was 255.9 (up from 193 last week), and the number of new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 population was 12.6 (11.4 last week). The percentage of staffed inpatient beds in Cook County in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 was 4.1 percent, just above last week’s 3.9 percent.

The City of Chicago’s COVID metrics remain somewhat better than the county and regional metrics. The City’s COVID case rate per 100,000 population is 190 (194 last week), its COVID hospitalization rate per 100,000 population is 4.2 (5.6 last week), and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 is 4.2 (down from 4.1 percent).

However, COVID-19 continues to spread in the community, driven by the highly transmissible omicron subvariants BA.4/BA.5 which now make up approximately 83 percent of the cases in the Midwest.

"What we are seeing with this fluctuation from week to week between Medium and High COVID Levels countywide,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D, “is that COVID-19 is relentless. It is adaptable and continues to mutate. We have to be just as relentless and unwavering in defending ourselves and our communities against it. We have seen that when we follow COVID-19 precautions, such as masking up indoors, holding summer gatherings outside when possible, and keeping up-to-date with vaccines and booster shots, we can bring these rates down--and importantly on a personal level, vaccines and early treatments both significantly decrease the risk from getting seriously ill if we do get COVID-19.”

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. 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 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 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 190 4.2 4.1%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 255.9 12.6 4.1%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 7/14/2022). 

 

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

Nationwide, more than three-quarters of United States counties are at either the Medium or High Level. Many southeastern U.S. states, such as Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina, are almost completely at the High Level, as are some western U.S. states, such as California, Oregon, Arizona, and Montana. The Northeast and New England, with the exception of New Jersey and the metropolitan New York City area, are largely at a Low or Medium Level.

Only eight of Illinois’ 102 counties are at a Low COVID-19 Level, with the rest Medium or High. 

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

1,143
(667 last week)

35.5% 14.7%
  Medium

1,278
(1,226 last week)

39.7% 1.6%
  Low

802
(1,325 last week) 

24.9% -16.3%

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

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