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

September 9, 2022

Updated vaccines designed specifically to target the current omicron subvariants are now available in Chicago

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

CHICAGO – COVID-19 case rates are holding steady in Chicago and Cook County and the city remains at the Medium Level 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. Also this week, CDPH has been distributing the new, updated COVID-19 vaccines, known as “bivalent boosters,” which are designed to better protect against the dominant Omicron subvariants BA.4/BA.5.

CDPH encourages all residents 12 and older to get the new bivalent vaccine two months after their most recent vaccine or booster. CDPH is hosting flu/COVID-19 vaccination clinics at City College locations beginning this weekend and continuing throughout the fall. Primary series vaccines for Chicagoans 6 months and up will be offered, as well as bivalent boosters for those who are eligible. Registration is recommended, but walk-ins will be accommodated.

Details about the new bivalent booster vaccine can be found at Chicago.gov/Boost. Residents can find out where to get the updated vaccine at vaccines.gov or by calling the City at (312) 746-4835

“While we have certainly seen higher rates in peak times of the pandemic, we are still averaging 37 Chicagoans hospitalized with a positive COVID-19 test and 1 in 20 of all Chicago hospital beds are occupied by a patient with a positive COVID test,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, MD. “This is a reminder of how important vaccines are and why getting the updated vaccine now is so important to protect yourself against severe illness and hospitalization ahead of the fall and winter. The new bivalent booster vaccines boost protection against the original coronavirus strain, as well as protecting against the dominant omicron subvariants for which it is a really perfect match. They also could offer broader protection against future variants. So if you’re eligible, please make plans to get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

The number of new laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days across Cook County was 129 (down from 158 last week, 167 two weeks ago), and the number of new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 population was 10.2 (11.3 last week). The percentage of staffed inpatient beds in Cook County in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 was 4.2 percent (4.5 percent last week).

Case rates in Chicago remain relatively steady, while percentage of staffed beds occupied by COVID-19 patients has declined slightly. The City’s COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 population is 135 (132 last week), and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 is 4.1 percent (4.2 percent last week).

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 135 9.7% 4.1%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 129 10.2% 4.2%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 9/8/2022).

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 a more than 10 percent shift in counties that are either at the Medium or High Level from last week – 68 percent – to this week – 57 percent. In Illinois, 29 of the state’s 102 counties are at a High COVID-19 Level (one less than last week), while the rest have moved back to Medium or Low. 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.  

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

555
(830 last week)

17.23% -8.53%
  Medium

1,279
(1,355 last week)

39.7% -2.35%
  Low

1,388
(1,038 last week)

43.08% 10.87%

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

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