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Latest COVID Stats, Could Mask Mandates Return? – NBC Chicago

With several Illinois counties under a “high” alert level for COVID, per guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what does that mean for mask mandates in Illinois?

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Will Mask Mandates Return? What to Know as 15 Illinois Counties Elevated to ‘High’ COVID Level

Masks are now recommended in the city of Chicago and 15 Illinois counties that have been elevated to a “high community level” status ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

In line with metrics criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suburban Cook, McHenry, Lake, DuPage, Grundy and Will counties are all at a “high community level” for COVID-19, meaning masks are encouraged regardless of one’s vaccination status.

Read more here.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 36K New Cases, 45 Deaths in Last Week With 15 Counties at High Level

Illinois health officials reported 36,843 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, along with 45 additional deaths, marking slight declines in both metrics from seven days prior as 15 counties across the state reach a “high” community level of COVID.

The previous week, the state reported 40,193 new cases and 56 deaths. The week before that, the state reported 40,026 new cases and 45 deaths were reported.

Hospitalizations across the state, however, saw an increase in the last week.

Read more here.

15 Illinois Counties Reach ‘High’ Community Level for COVID

Fifteen Illinois counties, including several in the Chicago area, have transitioned to a “high community level” of the virus just ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The designation comes from guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An additional 30 counties in Illinois are also rated at a “medium community level,” according to the CDC.

See the full list here.

As Cases Rise, Don’t ‘Try to Get COVID to Get it Over With,’ Chicago’s Top Doc Says

With cases rising and 15 Illinois counties including Cook County at “high community level” of the COVID virus, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on Thursday urged people once again to wear masks in crowded indoor settings, move Memorial Day weekend gatherings outside — and warned against trying to “get COVID to get it over with.”

“Please do not try to ‘get COVID to get it over with,'” Arwaday said.

“We are hearing people trying to do that. This does nothing to help us get over COVID as a city,” she continued. “It also is potentially dangerous given that we don’t always know who is likely to have more severe outcomes, and there are people who get long COVID. Don’t think that getting COVID means you’ll never get COVID again. We see Plenty of people get re-infected with COVID. The vaccine is the most important thing for protection.”

Read more here.

If You Think It’s Allergies, It’s Probably COVID, Top Doc Says

As high levels of mold and increased cases of COVID-19 hit the Chicago area, the city’s top doctor says to assume the symptoms are a sign of the contagious virus.

“If you think you have a cold, if you think you have allergies, there is a good chance right now with how much COVID is around that it could be COVID,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said. “No shame in being diagnosed with COVID, especially if you’ve done everything – you’re up to date with your vaccines.”

Read more here.

How Accurate Are At-Home COVID Tests? Here’s What to Know

If you think you were exposed to COVID or might have it, how accurate are the results of an at-home test?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “positive results from self-tests are highly reliable.”

Negative results, however, may not rule out infection, particularly in those with COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC states.

“If it’s positive, it’s positive, like we don’t worry about false positives,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Thursday.

Read more here.

Paxlovid: What Are The Side Effects of Pfizer’s Antiviral COVID Pill?

More and more people across Illinois are testing positive for COVID-19, and Chicago is expected to soon enter a “high” alert level under guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And, according to the CDC, the new subvariant of omicron is now the dominant strain of COVID in the United States, with BA.2.12.1 responsible for nearly 58% of new cases over the last week.

As more cases are reported and the illness continues to spread, many are turning to questions about treating the virus with Pfizer’s new Paxlovid antiviral COVID-19 pill.

Read more here.

COVID Incubation Period: How Long Should You Quarantine With Infection?

As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across Chicago ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend, there may be lingering questions about the quarantine period and how long patients are contagious.

On Tuesday, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city could reach a “high” alert level by the end of the week.

Here’s the latest information from the CDC.

Here’s What to Do If You Test Positive for COVID as Cases Climb

With cases rising and several Chicago-area counties nearing a high alert level from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what should you do if you test positive for coronavirus or were exposed to someone who has?

“I’m guessing a lot of you know somebody who has had COVID recently,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook Live Tuesday.

Here’s a look at the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what to do if you test positive or believe you were exposed to someone who has.

How Long Can You Test Positive for COVID Following Infection?

If you test positive for COVID, how long could that last?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some people who contract COVID-19 can have detectable virus for up to three months, but that doesn’t mean they are contagious.

When it comes to testing, however, the PCR tests are more likely to continue picking up the virus following infection.

Read more here.

When Are You Contagious With COVID and How Long Should You Quarantine?

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise across Chicago and the city’s top doctor said the trend will likely continue in coming weeks, sparking questions from concerned residents.

dr Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, says that the city’s positivity rate has soared to nearly 5% in recent weeks, and she expects metrics to continue to rise in the coming days.

Read more here.

CDC COVID Guidelines 2022: Symptoms to Watch for, How Long to Quarantine and More

With new, more contagious variants of COVID-19 spreading across the US and nearly all of the Chicago area rising to a higher alert level, many are wondering what to do if they experience symptoms or test positive for the virus.

If you were exposed, when could symptoms start, how long are you contagious, how long should you quarantine for and when is the best time test?

Read more here.

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