COVID-19 poses “high” risk in Chicago, Cook County: Federal Health Workers | Chicago News

(Patty Wetley / WTTW News)

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents of Cook County, including Chicago, are now at “high” risk of contracting COVID-19 and should wear a mask indoors.

This has “great potential for high public outreach and tensions in the health care system,” federal officials warned. According to federal officials, residents should wear masks indoors, limit meetings to small numbers of people, and avoid “dangerous activities, such as meetings in a crowded building.”

In Cook County, 10.9 new COVID-19s were hospitalized per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period, meeting a threshold set by federal health officials to warn residents that the risk of COVID-19 infection has increased from “moderate” to “high”. (According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, there are 100,000 people hospitalized in 7.0 new COVID-19 hospitals in Chicago over a seven-day period.)

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, COVID-19 is one of 15 states that have made high public outreach. According to federal officials, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, Grundy, Boone, Lee, Winnebago, Fulton, Knox, Henderson, Mason, Peoria and Tezwell counties were also rated high for COVID-19.

Cook County switched from a low level of COVID-19 risk to a moderate COVID-19 risk on May 5th.

Dr. Chicago Public Health Commissioner Ellison Arvadi said Thursday morning that Chicago officials will re-close closed mask mandates only if the number of COVID-19 patients threatens the ability of Chicago hospitals to operate.

“Severe outcomes in Chicago are relatively rare and the burden of COVID-19 on our local hospitals remains low,” according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

“The city of Chicago continues to monitor this closely. We take this very seriously. If COVID threatens the capacity of our local hospitals and health facilities, we will take further action and, if necessary, city-wide closed mask mandates or even tougher measures, ”Arvadi said on Thursday. does not want to. “

Chicago health officials say about twice as many Chicagoans need to be hospitalized before the city can reinstate its mask mandate.

Health officials say those at high risk of contracting a serious illness from COVID-19 include those over the age of 50, those with a basic medical condition and those with weakened immune systems.

Although the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago has increased since March 8, the number of people living with COVID-19 in hospitals in Chicago remains about a week after city and state officials lifted the mask mandate and vaccine requirements for some businesses. close to the lowest limits of all time.

The death toll from COVID-19 has never been lower, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. As of Wednesday, 11 people had died from the virus since May 1, according to the city.

This is due to the effectiveness of the vaccines, Arvadi said.

Federal health officials say the risk of contracting COVID-19 is “high” in the county, where hospitals and the health care system have become infected due to the number of people infected with the virus, according to guidelines that have been in place since February. 28.

According to the CDC, an average of 3.5% of staff hospital beds in Cook County have been used by COVID-19 patients over the past seven days. (In Chicago, according to the CDPH, 4% of regular hospital beds are used by COVID-19 patients.) If an average of 10% of regular hospital beds in Cook County are used by COVID-19 patients in the last seven days, the risk is “high” according to the CDC rises.

This strain is measured by the number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period and the percentage of hospital beds used by COVID-19 patients on average over the last seven days.

Arvadi urged residents to take additional precautions as the community spreads, including wearing masks indoors, avoiding crowded ages and indoor conditions, and limiting the amount of COVID-19 vaccines and amplifiers available to all now after 5 and 5 months. the last cover.

Kristen Tomets contributed.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]

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