IDPH reports 12 Illinois counties at elevated community level for COVID-19

Chicago, IL-(Effingham Radio)- The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today that the CDC is reporting 12 counties in the state are at an elevated community level for COVID-19 this week, compared to nine a week ago. All of these are at a medium community level. There are no high level districts compared to one high level district last week.

IDPH has recorded a total of 4,100,818 cases and 36,533 deaths in 102 Illinois counties since the pandemic began. The department reports 8,560 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ended March 19 and 39 deaths.

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said that IDPH welcomes the FDA’s action this week to approve a bivalent booster vaccine — and the CDC’s subsequent recommendation for vaccination — for children ages 6 months to 4 years when they have completed their primary series, according to the Pfizer -Vaccine with the monovalent vaccine more than two months ago.

“I am pleased that the FDA has approved and the CDC has expanded its recommendation to allow this category of young children a booster dose of Pfizer’s updated COVID-19 vaccine.” said Director Vohra. “This recommendation now means that all children in that age group are eligible to receive an updated vaccine. Vaccines remain the best line of defense to prevent serious illness from COVID-19, and these updated shots have been formulated to protect against some of the newer strains of the disease. I encourage parents to speak to the child’s healthcare provider to ensure their child is up to date on COVID-19 and other vaccines.”

IDPH is also urging the public to quickly seek treatment for COVID-19 if they test positive for COVID-19. Treatment is widespread and IDPH recently announced that SIU Medicine has partnered with the department to offer a new telehealth test for treatment of COVID-19 to ease care. The service aims to provide faster and easier access to treatment for Illinois citizens who contract COVID-19. Those who have tested positive are encouraged to call 217-545-5100 Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule a telemedicine appointment to determine if medical treatment is needed is recommended. Appointments are given on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Additional ways to get tests and treatment can be found at the Test-to-Treat site below or by contacting your doctor within 5 days of feeling ill for treatment options.

IDPH is helping Illinois residents be prepared for a future spike in COVID-19 cases by providing Illinois residents in all zip codes outside of the city of Chicago with 1 million free rapid COVID-19 antigen tests through a partnership with the public charity Rockefeller Foundation, RF Catalytic, offers Capital and its Project ACT (Access COVID Tests) program.

Through Project ACT, IDPH is distributing up to one million home antigen tests to 200,000 Illinois homes. You can request a pack of five first come, first served tests from the Project ACT website. The tests are delivered to the home address.
Free or low-cost COVID-19 testing locations are also available across the state, including in Chicago, and can be found on the IDPH website’s test locator page.

The CDC on September 1 approved two new bivalent booster vaccines that contain an mRNA component from the original strain to provide an immune response that provides broad protection against COVID-19 and an additional mRNA component containing the omicron variant BA.4 and BA have in common. 5 lines to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant.

First, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent, was approved for use as a single booster in individuals 18 years of age and older, and Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent, was approved for use as a single booster in individuals 12 years and older. On Oct. 12, the CDC approved the updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech for children ages 5 to 11 and Moderna for children and adolescents ages 6 to 17.

On December 9, the CDC expanded its approval for bivalent booster vaccines to children ages 6 months to 5 years. Children aged 6 months to 5 years who have previously completed a Moderna primary series can now receive a moderna bivalent booster vaccine 2 months after their last dose of the primary series. Children aged 6 months to 4 years who are completing a Pfizer primary series will receive a third primary dose of a bivalent Pfizer vaccine.

On March 14, the FDA extended its approval for bivalent booster vaccines to children ages 6 months to 4 years who had previously completed their entire Pfizer primary series with the monovalent vaccine. These children can now receive the Pfizer bivalent vaccine as a booster dose at least 2 months after completion of the primary course with the monovalent vaccine. The children in this age group who have completed their Pfizer primary series with the bivalent booster as the 3rd dose (after December 2022) are not entitled to a booster vaccination with a bivalent vaccine at this time.

The updated boosters are available at pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. The best way to find a vaccine supplier near you is to visit and check for the availability of bivalent booster shots.

As of last night, 810 people in Illinois are reported to have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Of these, 94 patients were in intensive care and 34 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilation. The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 67 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinois residents.

In counties on the Medium community level, people who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of serious consequences) are advised to wear a mask in indoor public spaces. They should also keep up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or get their bivalent booster if they are eligible.

IDPH has helped pharmacies and healthcare providers increase their inventory of various FDA-approved treatments. There are over 1,200 treatment locations in Illinois — including all of the major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7% of the state’s population is within 10 miles of any of these locations.
To date, a total of 26,093,521 vaccines have been administered in Illinois. The seven-day rolling average of the vaccines administered daily is 3,445 doses, including the bivalent booster and first doses. Since March 17, 24,116 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois. Of the total Illinois population, more than 79% have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, more than 71% have completed their first course of COVID-19 vaccines, and more than 19% have received the bivalent booster dose, according to Centers for Disease Control data and prevention.
The data shows that the risk of hospitalization and serious consequences from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for those who are up to date on their vaccinations. All information is provisional and subject to change. For more information and COVID-19 data, visit
Vaccinations are key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccine center near you, go to The federal government has launched a new website providing an all-purpose toolkit with information on how to obtain masks, treatments, vaccines and testing resources for all regions of the country:

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