The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Friday that the CDC is reporting 26 counties in the state are at Medium Community Level for COVID-19 this week, compared to 14 a week ago.
No counties were reported at High Level, compared to four the previous week.
IDPH has recorded a total of 4,083,292 cases and 36,431 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. The department is reporting 10,320 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending March 5, and 45 deaths.
IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra warned that cases of group A strep throat leading to severe complications are on the rise in Illinois, with more cases reported in 2023 than in any of the past five years.
“As COVID-19 cases and community levels remain stable, I want to share my concern about the growing number of strep throat cases in Illinois that are leading to severe complications,” Vohra said. “These cases, known as invasive Group A strep, are the result of disease spreading from the throat to blood, muscle and lungs. I urge parents to contact their health providers when their children start showing early symptoms. These symptoms include sudden onset of sore throat, pain when swallowing and fever. Early detection is critical as strep can be diagnosed with a simple test and treated with antibiotics. If able, please make sure everyone in the house is up to date with flu and chickenpox vaccines. Having either the flu or chickenpox can increase your risk of contracting invasive Group A strep.”
Parents and others can get more information about Group A strep at this CDC resource page.
IDPH is also urging the public to seek treatment for COVID-19 quickly if they test positive for COVID-19. Treatment is widely available and IDPH announced recently that SIU Medicine has made it easier to obtain care by offering a new telehealth test to treat service for COVID-19, in partnership with the department. The service is aimed at providing faster and easier access to treatment for Illinoisans who contract COVID-19. Those who test positive are encouraged to call (217) 545-5100 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays to schedule a telehealth appointment to determine if medical treatment is recommended. Appointments will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Additional options for obtaining tests and treatments can be found at the following test to treat site or by contacting your provider for treatment options, within 5 days of feeling ill.