CDPH COVID-19 Update: Cook County and Chicago Remain at Medium COVID-19 Community Level

January 13, 2023

CDPH urges Chicagoans to get updated booster vaccine as new Omicron subvariant XBB 1.5 could lead to increased cases in coming weeks

COVID-19 Joint Information Center

CHICAGO – Chicago and Cook County remain at the Medium COVID-19 Community Level, according to the latest Community Level metrics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

“I am very pleased that Chicago remains in the Medium Level, even as we remain prepared in case we do move to the High Level in coming weeks. The new Omicron subvariant XBB 1.5 is spreading rapidly in the U.S., and it appears to be the most transmissible yet,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “The good news is that this subvariant does not appear to cause more serious illness, and the updated COVID-19 booster vaccine works well against it. One more reason for everyone to stay up to date on vaccines and get their new booster.” 

As of January 13, XBB 1.5 made up 43 percent of cases nationwide, but just 14 percent of cases in the Midwest. However, that is nearly double the percentage of Midwestern cases from last week, when it was less than ten percent. 

CDPH continues to urge all Chicagoans 6 months and older to get their updated COVID-19 booster vaccine as soon as possible. This new vaccine, known as the bivalent booster and released in fall 2022, is designed to better protect against Omicron subvariants as well as original strains of the virus. The bivalent booster generates a strong immune response against current and future Omicron subvariants.  

As of January 11, 19.6 percent of all Chicagoans age 5 and older have received the updated COVID-19 booster vaccine, compared to 15.9 percent of all Americans. More than 529,000 doses of the updated booster have been administered to Chicagoans.  

Upcoming Vaccine Events 

In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, CDPH reminds Chicagoans that it is not too late to get an annual flu shot. Influenza can cause serious illness for younger and older people, especially those who have not gotten a flu shot.  

The City will host a Family Vaccination Clinic on Saturday, January 14 at Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski Rd., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The clinic will offer flu shots, COVID-19 vaccines, and the updated bivalent booster to all Chicagoans age 6 months and up. All of these vaccines are free at this clinic, regardless of health insurance status. Registration is recommended, but walk-ins will be accommodated as space allows. To register or find additional vaccination events in your neighborhood, visit or call the City’s COVID-19 Hotline at (312) 746-4835. 

The City also continues to operate Protect Chicago At Home, its completely free program that will bring COVID-19 and flu vaccines to any Chicagoan’s home and vaccinate up to 10 people in a single appointment. Vaccines are available for anyone age 6 months and older, and individuals 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, evenings, weekdays, and weekends. Make an at-home appointment for your family at or by calling (312) 746-4835.  

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 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 92 6.4 4.7%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) pending 13.8 6.1%
Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 1/12/2023). Cook County case data is pending from the CDC and will be updated on the website when available.

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

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

(640 last week)

13.55% -6.33%

(1,347 last week)

38.32 % -3.53%

(1,232 last week)

48.14% 9.86%

For additional COVID-19 information, visit