CDPH COVID-19 Update: Cook County and Chicago Move to Medium COVID-19 Community Level Based on CDC Metrics
CDPH continues to urge all Chicagoans 5+ to get updated bivalent booster vaccine as soon as possible
COVID-19 Joint Information Center firstname.lastname@example.org
CHICAGO – Chicago and Cook County have moved from the Low into the Medium COVID-19 Community Level according to the latest Community Level metrics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDPH is reminding residents that with winter approaching, it is critical to get the updated COVID-19 booster as well as a seasonal flu shot as soon as possible.
“With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away and the expected rise in winter-related respiratory virus circulation, I urge all Chicagoans to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and get their flu shot now,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “We are already seeing influenza surging in the southern U.S., COVID is back on the increase as we move back into a Medium COVID level locally, and Chicago’s pediatric hospitals are already bursting with children seriously ill from other respiratory viruses, like RSV. Families will be traveling and gathering indoors for the holidays, and I worry about that increased circulation of COVID-19 and flu, and especially the possibility of severe outcomes for those who remain unvaccinated or not up to date.”
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 recommends the following at Medium Community Level:
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
- Wear a face mask in indoor public settings where vaccine status is not known
- Get tested if you have symptoms
- If you test positive for COVID-19, follow all isolation guidance, including wearing a face mask
- If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions
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 dominant Omicron subvariants currently circulating as well as original strains of the virus. The bivalent booster generates a stronger immune response against current and future variants. In addition, CDPH officials continue to urge all Chicagoans age 6 months and older to also get a flu shot to stay healthy and avoid serious illness. Young children and older adults are both at higher risk of severe outcomes like hospitalization and death from influenza (flu).
Only 13 percent of all Chicagoans age 5 and up have received the updated COVID booster vaccine so far, compared to 10 percent of all Americans. Among eligible Chicagoans (those who have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine series), 19 percent have received their updated booster vaccine. However, there continues to be disparities by race and ethnicity. Among eligible Chicagoans, 29 percent of White residents have received the updated booster, compared to 21 percent of Asian residents, 15 percent of Black/non-Latinx residents and 10 percent of Latinx residents. As of November 8, more than 350,000 doses (up from 317,000 last week) of the updated booster have been administered to Chicagoans.
“For most Chicagoans, if you haven’t had a COVID vaccine since Labor Day, you’re not up to date and not protected enough against COVID heading into winter. Everyone age 5 and above needs to get the Fall 2022 updated booster vaccine for COVID-19 now. It doesn’t matter if you have already had boosters. This is a different vaccine, and it offers better protection against current and future virus strains,” said Dr. Arwady. “And I really want to see everyone 6 months and up getting their annual flu shot, especially children and seniors who are much more vulnerable to severe outcomes. Vaccines remain the single best thing we can all do to protect our families and communities. Of the 7,920 Chicagoans who have died from COVID-19, 87% have been unvaccinated.”
Both COVID and flu vaccines are widely available at pharmacies across the city; find your vaccine at vaccines.gov. CDPH is hosting a free flu/COVID-19 vaccination clinic tomorrow, Saturday, November 12 at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is recommended, but walk-ins will be accommodated. Primary series COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines for Chicagoans 6 months and up will be offered, as well as bivalent COVID boosters for those who are eligible. CDPH will host weekend flu/COVID-19 vaccination clinics at City College locations through December.
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.
COVID-19 By the Numbers
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.
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
|Cook County (including City of Chicago)
|Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 11/10/2022).
COVID-19 Community Levels in the U.S. by County
Nationwide, COVID-19 Community Levels are trending up slightly. Approximately 24 percent of U.S. counties are at the Medium or High COVID-19 Level. In Illinois, there are no counties at the High Level, however 32 of the State’s 102 counties are Medium (31 last week), including Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties. 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.
|Number of Counties
|Percent of Counties
|% Change from Prior Week
For additional COVID-19 news, see CDPH’s weekly update or visit Chicago.gov/COVID.