CDPH COVID-19 Update: Cook County and Chicago at Medium COVID-19 Community Level based on CDC Metrics
With seasonal flu and RSV surging, CDPH reminds people not to let guard down: Get updated COVID-19 booster and flu shot now
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CHICAGO – Chicago and Cook County have shifted back into the Medium COVID-19 Community Level according to the latest Community Level metrics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Chicago Department of Public Health announced today. Combined with a surge in respiratory viruses and the onset of flu season, CDPH reminds all residents that it is critical to get the updated COVID-19 booster as well as a seasonal flu shot as soon as possible.
The CDC updates its COVID-19 Community Levels national map each week. In the past two weeks, new hospitalizations for Cook County have gone just over and just under the threshold between Medium and Low. This week Cook County is just above that threshold and back at Medium. This metric reflects a burden on the whole federally defined Health Service Area, which includes hospitals in Cook, Lake, DuPage, and McHenry counties.
In addition to COVID-19, 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.
As people spend more time indoors and more time with loved ones over this holiday season, there will be more opportunities for viruses to take hold.
The CDC reports an increase in RSV and RSV-associated emergency department visits and hospitalizations in much of the U.S., with some regions nearing seasonal peak levels. RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States.
Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000-80,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection.
Those at greatest risk for severe illness from RSV include:
- Premature infants
- Infants, especially those 6 months and younger
- Children younger than 2 years old with chronic lung disease or congenital (present from birth) heart disease
- Children with weakened immune systems
- Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including those who have difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus secretions
Both COVID-19 and flu vaccines are widely available at pharmacies across the city; find your vaccine at vaccines.gov. There is a vaccination site every Sunday at the Swap-O-Rama, at 4100 S. Ashland Ave., from 10am – 2pm. 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 Chicago.gov/AtHome or by calling (312) 746-4835.
In addition, CDPH continues to host mobile vaccination events over the coming weeks to administer bivalent booster vaccines and flu vaccines for high-risk populations such as senior centers, Chicago Housing Authority facilities and other congregate living settings, as well as general vaccination events all over the City in partnership with aldermen and community and religious organizations. Find vaccination events in your neighborhood at Chicago.gov/vaxcalendar or call the City’s COVID-19 Hotline at (312) 746-4835. Residents can find out where to get the updated vaccine at a pharmacy by visiting vaccines.gov.
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 chi.gov/coviddash 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||115||10.2||3.7%|
|Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 11/25/2022).|
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|
For additional COVID-19 information, visit Chicago.gov/COVID.