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Post-Memorial Day COVID continues to accelerate

Central Illinois counties continue to have rising COVID rates.
Central Illinois counties continue to have rising COVID rates according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Since Memorial Day, COVID cases around the state have risen 10%, according to Illinois Department of Public Health Acting Director Amaal Tokars. This week the CDC reported McLean County had 639 new cases of the coronavirus and one new death — a woman in her 80s, not associated with long term care. The number of McLean County cases rose 29% in the last week.

“This uptick is a cause for concern — and serves as a reminder to all of us, especially as we are approaching the coming Father’s Day and Juneteenth weekend, that we can all do our part to fight the virus and protect our friends and family who are vulnerable to severe outcomes by taking some simple actions. The most effective way to prevent severe illness is for all to be up-to date with vaccinations and boosters," said Tokars.

IDPH on Friday reported 34,001 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 73 deaths since June 3.

According to the Centers for Disease Control DC, 32 Illinois counties are now rated at High Community Level for COVID-19, an area that includes a wide swath across central Illinois including Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, Springfield, and the Peoria area, as well as Chicago. An additional 39 counties in Illinois are now rated at Medium Community Level, the CDC reported.

As of Thursday night, 1,189 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 124 patients were in the ICU and 27 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

Tokars said anyone who is sick should stay home. Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to the virus or is experiencing symptoms, should test themselves before visiting with loved ones.

The CDC recommends people in areas that are rated at High Community Level for COVID-19 transmission wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status, and consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed

Of Illinois’ total population, more than 76% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, 69% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated, and almost 53% of the vaccinated population has an initial booster according to data from the CDC.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.