The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Friday that the CDC is reporting nine counties in the state are at an elevated Community Level for COVID-19 this week, compared to 26 a week before. Of those, eight are at Medium Community Level, compared to 26 last week; and one county is at High Community Level, compared to none last week.
IDPH has recorded a total of 4,092,258 cases and 36,494 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. The department is reporting 8,966 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending March 12, and 63 deaths.
Last week, IDPH also announced that it is working with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to distribute HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) air purifiers to almost 3,000 schools throughout the state to protect students and schools’ staff by reducing the transmission of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The $30 million program is funded through the CDC.
“I am very pleased to be working with our partners at ISBE to help improve air quality in Illinois’ classrooms,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Data over these last three years have shown us the critical importance of good ventilation to keep children and adults safe from respiratory illnesses. These HEPA air purifiers are a significant investment in our children. They will keep kids healthy and in school, ensuring more opportunities for learning and success.”
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.
In counties at the Medium Community Level, persons who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of severe outcomes) are advised to wear a mask in indoor public places. They should also get up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or get their bivalent booster, if eligible.
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