CDPH COVID-19 Update: Cook County Remains in Low COVID-19 Community Level Based on CDC Metrics
CDPH continues to urge Chicagoans 12+ to get updated vaccine to avoid winter surge
COVID-19 Joint Information Center firstname.lastname@example.org
CHICAGO – COVID-19 case rates continue their steady decline in Chicago and Cook County and both the city and county remain in the Low Level for the third consecutive week, according to the latest Community Level metrics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today.
Despite the declining cases, CDC and CDPH guidance regarding vaccination does not change. At the Low Community Level, all residents are reminded to stay up-to-date with COVID vaccines. For those age 12 and up that means getting the updated COVID vaccine, known as a bivalent booster, that has been available for the past month. Uptake of the bivalent booster hasn’t kept pace with the declines in new COVID cases, and CDPH officials continue to urge all eligible Chicagoans to get the booster and all Chicagoans age 6 months and older to also get a flu shot to stay healthy and avoid serious illness.
As of October 5, more than 144,000 doses of the updated booster have been administered to Chicagoans. Of those, 60 percent have gone to White/non-Latinx residents, 15 percent to Black/non-Latinx residents, 13 percent to Latinx residents, and 8 percent to Asian residents. In addition, 39 percent of doses have gone to residents age 60 or older.
Chicago has seen the highest early uptake amongst seniors, with 44 percent of eligible seniors age 60+ getting the new shot. But overall, the early uptake has been relatively slow and uneven across different demographic groups. For example, only 14 percent of eligible White residents, 9 percent of eligible Asian residents, 5 percent of eligible Black residents, and 4 percent of eligible Latinx residents have received the new booster.
“We certainly have a long way to go. The number of boosters administered is not where I would like us to be heading into the fall and winter, when we typically see a surge in all respiratory viruses including COVID and flu,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “We are so pleased to be at a Low COVID Community Level, so I ask Chicagoans to help keep us there and make COVID one less thing to worry about this fall and winter. With each Chicagoan who makes that decision to get up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and their annual flu shot, we can head into these next months feeling more protected from severe illness and more likely to maintain this Low COVID Community Level.”
The newly updated COVID-19 vaccine, known as a bivalent booster, is designed to better protect against the dominant Omicron subvariants BA.4/BA.5 that currently make up the majority of COVID-19 cases in Chicago. The updated vaccine has been designed specifically to protect against those variants, as well as to boost protection against severe outcomes from COVID-19. The bivalent booster generates a stronger immune response against current variants as well as the potential for broader protection against future variants. Details about the new bivalent booster vaccine can be found at Chicago.gov/Boost.
The City is hosting two flu/COVID-19 vaccination clinics tomorrow, Saturday, October 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Olive Harvey College and the Arturo Velasquez Westside Technical Institute. Registration is recommended, but walk-ins will be accommodated. Primary series COVID vaccines for Chicagoans 6 months and up will be offered, as well as bivalent boosters for those who are eligible. Additional flu/COVID-19 vaccination clinics at City College locations will be held throughout the fall.
In addition, CDPH has scheduled dozens of mobile vaccination events in 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. Residents can find out where to get the updated vaccine at vaccines.gov or by calling the City at (312) 746-4835.
COVID-19 By the Numbers
The number of new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days across Cook County was 91 (116 last week), and the number of new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 population was 7.9 (9.6 last week). The percentage of staffed inpatient beds in Cook County in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 was 3.1 percent (3.8 percent last week).
The City’s COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 population is 77 (86 last week), and the number of new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 population is 5.9 (6.4last week). The percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 is 3.5 percent (3.5 percent last week).
Based on the latest data from CDC, Cook County levels are as follows:
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||77||5.9||3.5%|
|Cook County (including City of Chicago)||91||7.9||3.1%|
|Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 10/6/2022).|
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.
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.
COVID-19 Community Levels in the U.S. by County
Nationwide, cases continue to decline, with fewer than three percent of U.S. counties at the High Level, and 20 percent at the Medium Level. The percentage of counties at the Medium or High Levels is at its lowest since May of this year. In Illinois, none of the state’s 102 counties are at a High COVID-19 Level, and 14 are Medium – that alone is a 58 percent decrease since last week. There are still concentrated areas of the U.S. in the High and Medium Levels, and 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 news, see CDPH’s weekly update or visit Chicago.gov/COVID.