BREAKING: Illinois Covid Cases Skyrocket 174 Percent, Masks Returning To Some Schools
BREAKING NEWS: Illinois is in the midst of a massive covid-19 resurgence, as cases are up 174 percent over the last month and the state is averaging more than 6,000 new probable and confirmed covid-19 cases per day, with hospitalizations also beginning to climb across the state.
Illinois is averaging 6,065 new cases of COVID per day over the last week, marking the first time the state has eclipsed the 6,000-case barrier since Feb. 9, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
In the last seven days, the state’s daily average of new COVID cases has gone up by 17.7%, according to IDPH officials. In the last month, cases have increased by 174%.
Cases locally in Rock Island County and Scott County likewise spiked over the last month, although those in Rock Island County have subsided to where this week, Rock Island went from the high range it was at two weeks ago, to medium last week, to low this week.
This has led to talk of a new mask mandate in the city of Chicago, and some schools around the Chicagoland area have gone back to mandating a mask mandate in classes.
The rapid soar of covid cases in the city of Evanston — pushing the community COVID level all the way to “high” status — led officials at Evanston Township High School to now require masks for all staff, students and visitors in school buildings — regardless of vaccination status. Previously, masks inside the school were only “highly recommended.”
With Evanston at the highest level of alert, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chicago isn’t far behind, and Chicago’s top doctor says she expects the city could soon reach a “high” community level.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said while masks are “strongly recommended” across the city now, if cases continue to spike upward the city could see a return to mandatory mask mandates.
“Unfortunately that is the direction that we’re heading,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook Live Tuesday, calling it a “point of concern.”
However, people are able to get free testing and help with covid.
The federal government is now offering residents double the number of free COVID rapid antigen tests during its newest round of kit availability, according to an update by the United States Postal Service.
Whereas in previous rounds of test distributions residents could only claim up to four per household, residents can now request up to eight of the tests, which will be shipped for free to their residences.
According to the government, each order may contain eight rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. Those tests will come in two separate packages, with four test kits in each package, according to the USPS website.
Statewide, Illinois officials are closely monitoring the increasing spread of the more virulent BA.2 omicron subvariant of covid-19, ready to take action should it start to hit the state heavily.
The subvariant is said to be up to 50 percent more infectious than any other variant of covid, and the BA.2 variant has ripped across Europe and pushed infections up over 40 percent in many countries. In Germany and the UK, new daily infections are setting all-time records and hospitalizations and new infections are up over 50 percent since the emergence of the new variant.
With new, FDA-approved oral COVID-19 treatments available with a prescription, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker called on Illinoisans to get the medications within five days if they do test positive.
“The world seems smaller, doesn’t it? The world just seems smaller and more connected because of COVID. So what’s happening elsewhere could possibly affect us right here,” Pritzker said. “For now, though, things in Illinois are improving.”
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