5 Illinois counties at medium risk for COVID transmission, but what does that mean? – NBC Chicago
COVID cases are increasing in the United States, and the state of Illinois is also showing increases in many regions.
According to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, five counties in the state are currently at “medium risk” for COVID transmission, with the federal agency issuing a series of recommendations to residents living in affected communities.
So what does a “medium risk” of COVID transmission mean? Which departments are impacted? And what does the data look like in these areas? Here are the details you need to know.
Which counties are at “medium risk” for COVID transmission?
According to the CDC, five counties in the state of Illinois are currently at “medium risk” for COVID transmission. Two of these counties, DuPage and Lake, are in the Chicago area.
The other three are clustered in central Illinois, with Champaign, Logan, and McLean counties all in that risk range.
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What constitutes a “medium risk” of COVID transmission?
According to the CDC, a combination of three measures is used to determine a county’s risk factor for COVID transmission.
The first is the number of new COVID hospital admissions per 100,000 population over a seven-day period. The second is the percentage of a county’s inpatient hospital beds that are occupied by COVID patients, and the third is the number of new COVID cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.
According to CDC guidelines, counties that see fewer than 200 new COVID cases per 100,000 population will be considered medium risk if they average between 10 and 19.9 new COVID admissions per 100,000 population, or s they report between 10 and 14.9% hospitalization. use of the bed over a period of seven days.
Counties that report more than 200 new COVID cases per day per 100,000 population are at medium risk for COVID transmission. If their new COVID-19 admissions exceed 10 per 100,000 residents, or if their percentage of staffed hospital bed utilization exceeds 10%, then they would move into a “high risk” category.
What are the numbers in the affected counties?
DuPage County is currently considered at “medium risk” for COVID transmission due to its rate of cases. According to the CDC, the county is seeing 258.64 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents, putting it on a heightened alert level.
The county is seeing an average of 5.7 new COVID admissions per 100,000 residents, which is a high number but still below the number that would trigger a shift to a “high risk” category. Hospital bed utilization in the county is also low at just 1.8%.
Lake County is seeing nearly identical numbers, with 212.19 new cases per 100,000 people. In fact, its new COVID admissions (5.7) and staffed hospital bed utilization (1.8%) are identical to DuPage County’s, according to CDC data.
Further down the state, McLean County is seeing 291.52 new COVID cases per 100,000 population. Logan County is close behind with 283.04, and Champaign County has the highest number of new cases in the state with 352.9 new cases per 100,000 population.
Even still, Champaign County’s new admissions (5.3) and staffed bed utilization (1.5%) are still well below the “high risk” threshold.
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What the CDC recommends for the five counties
If you live in any of the counties currently in the “medium risk” category, the CDC still recommends staying up to date with COVID vaccines and getting tested if you have symptoms of COVID.
The main change from the low to medium risk categories is that people who are immunocompromised or at high risk of serious illness are encouraged to talk to their health care providers about whether or not they should wear a mask and take other COVID-related precautions.
If a county moves to the high transmission risk level, all residents are urged to wear masks indoors and immunocompromised individuals to take additional precautions.