Doctors also said a home test could not even detect the virus if the symptoms are mild.At the moment, Chicago officials do not require masks, but they recommend wearing them, especially indoors.
Chicago counties and suburbs are now at the “average” community level, with more than 200 new cases per 100,000 in the last seven days.
As of today (6/5/22), Chicago’s COVID community level is “average” according to the CDC. Therefore, we now strongly recommend the use of a mask in indoor public spaces.
– CDPH | Chicago Department of Public Health (@ChiPublicHealth) May 6, 2022
“You want to be very careful,” said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, director of infection prevention at UI Health. “If you visit your mother and someone is vulnerable, if you go to visit her, you can choose to wear a mask for as long as you visit together.”
If Chicago goes from a medium to a “high” community level, more mitigations would be possible, but that would require a sharp increase in hospitalizations, which have increased, but only moderately.
Illinois COVID Cases
Illinois reported 7,709 new COVID cases and seven deaths on Friday, with the CDC saying nine counties in the Chicago area have reached a “medium” risk of transmission.
There were at least 3,169,315 total cases of COVID as of Friday, including at least 33,660 state-related deaths since the pandemic began.
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As of Thursday night, it was reported that 808 patients in Illinois were in the hospital with COVID-19. Of these, 66 patients were in the ICU and 24 patients with COVID-19 were with ventilators.
A total of 22,018,536 doses of vaccine have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday and 64.76% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. The average of seven days of vaccines given daily is 14,163.
Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage, Will, DeKalb, Kendall and Winnebago counties have “average” levels of COVID risk, according to the CDC.
“You know, especially the 0-19 age group, that they report most cases every day,” said Chris Hoff of DuPage County Health Department. “But we’re seeing increases in all age groups in the community.”
In an email to Chicago public school families and staff, General Manager Pedro Martinez said the district would continue to “strongly encourage the use of masks in our schools, especially among our unvaccinated students, and especially as cases increase. ” But the school system followed the city’s example by running for office.
“As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, CPS will continue to follow the recommendations of the Chicago Department of Public Health in making decisions about how this change will affect our schools,” Martinez wrote in the email.
In recent months, the district has been fighting the efforts of a group of parents and a candidate for the Attorney General of the Netherlands to get rid of all COVID-19 precautions in schools. Martinez announced that CPS would step down from its mask mandate in March just one week after reaffirming the school system’s commitment to masking. Although his announcement cited a sharp drop in cases, he later hinted that the measure was intended to prevent a pending court ruling that would have blocked CPS ‘ability to impose masks in the future. However, he assured families that CPS would reinstate the requirement if the cases increased again.
Although masks are not yet required, the district will continue its isolation policy for unvaccinated students and staff, requiring those exposed to COVID-19 to work or learn from home for five days. and then wear a mask to school for the next five days.
Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.
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