The Perfect Enemy | Illinois Coronavirus Updates: CDC Masking Recommendations, Virus Levels
February 8, 2023

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: CDC Masking Recommendations, Virus Levels

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: CDC Masking Recommendations, Virus Levels  NBC Chicago

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Health officials are urging people to mask up once again as not just COVID, but a number of respiratory viruses, spike nationwide ahead of the holidays.

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

COVID-19 Can Live on These 5 Grocery Items for Days—Here’s How to Consume Them Safely

At the height of the pandemic, Americans across the country were wiping down their groceries with antibacterial wipes for protection from Covid-19. And it turns out, we now know that doing so may not have been completely pointless. 

Actually, COVID-19 can live on the surfaces of certain groceries for an entire week, according to a new study conducted by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the U.K.

Read more here.

CDC Encourages Masking, Other Precautions as Respiratory Viruses Surge

With respiratory viruses surging, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering adding new metrics into its guidelines for certain health recommendations, like masking. But for now, the agency is encouraging everyone, particularly those at high community levels for COVID, to mask up and take added precautions in the lead-up to the holidays.

The director for the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said during a call with reporters Monday that the agency is “actively looking into” whether or not flu and RSV levels should be added to its guidance.

Read more here.

Respiratory Illness Activity ‘Very High’ in Illinois. Masks Encouraged as COVID Rises, Flu Spreads

Nationwide emergency room wait times have risen and hospitals are experiencing an increased strain on resources, with both brought on by a “tripledemic” – a term that describes a simultaneous surge in the respiratory viruses flu, COVID and RSV.

As people begin to make holiday plans, and take the viruses’ spread into consideration, here’s the latest data on each virus in Illinois and the broader picture nationwide.

Read more here.

Masks Now Recommended in 12 Illinois Counties After Reaching ‘High’ COVID Community Level

With cases increasing in Illinois as weather gets colder and residents return from holiday gatherings, 12 of the state’s 102 counties have now reached a “high” community level, according to the CDC.

The data, which monitors the community COVID level in Illinois counties each week, showed 63 counties in Illinois at an elevated COVID community level.

Read more here.

FDA Announces Monoclonal Antibody Not Authorized Due to Inability to Fight Omicron

A year after the omicron variant of COVID-19 began to upend the world and start a new stage of the pandemic, several new subvariants have originated from the variant, with reaction to treatment changing along with the subvariants.

With the recent rise of the BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. subvariants, one previously administered monoclonal antibody is no longer authorized for emergency use due to the medication’s inability to neutralize the subvariants.

Read more here.

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

If you are trying to figure out if you have COVID, you probably turn to taking an at-home COVID test. But how accurate are they?

The Food and Drug Administration says at-home COVID antigen tests are expected to detect the virus at least 80% of the time when the user is infected. So if you take one and get a positive result, you can assume it’s accurate and you are infected.

But if you take a test in the early stages of your infection, especially if you are not exhibiting any symptoms, the test can produce a false negative result, the FDA notes. That means the test may not have detected the virus in the sample, but you could very well still have it — and spread it.

Read more here.

Flu Activity Now ‘Very High’ in Both Illinois and Indiana, CDC Says

As the weather gets colder, flu season is worsening, and both Illinois and Indiana are no exception.

Influenza activity is considered to be “very high” in both states based on the most recent data from the week ending Nov. 26, according to a Weekly Influenza Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least 43 other states are reporting “high” or “very high” flu activity, according to the CDC.

Read more here.

20K New COVID Cases, 57 Deaths Reported in Last Week, Illinois Health Officials Say

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 20,495 new COVID cases over the past week, as well as 57 additional deaths, as it warned of an increase in COVID and other respiratory viruses across the state.

A total of 63 Illinois counties have been categorized at an “elevated” COVID community level as of the most recent week, ending Nov. 18, marking an increase from 46 counties the previous week.

Read more here.

New CDC Data Shows 63 Illinois Counties At Elevated Level of COVID-19 Transmission; 12 Counties at ‘High’ Level

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the state of Illinois, with CDC data released Friday reflecting the statewide increase.

Days after Illinois saw its largest single-day number of COVID-19 cases since August, community transmission level data from the CDC shows 63 of Illinois’ 102 counties above a “low” COVID-19 community level.

Of the 63 counties with elevated transmission, 12 saw a “high” COVID-19 community level over the past seven days, with 51 counties reporting a “medium” COVID-19 community level.

Read more here.

Millions Suffer From Long COVID — and It Costs Them $9,000 a Year in Health-Care Expenses, on Average

Long COVID has affected as many as 23 million Americans to date — and it’s poised to have a financial impact rivaling or exceeding that of the Great Recession. By one estimate, the chronic illness will cost the U.S. economy $3.7 trillion, with extra medical costs accounting for $528 billion.

Costs on a household and national scale are tough to quantify because the illness — also known as long-haul COVID, post-COVID or post-acute COVID syndrome — is so new. Anyone with a prior COVID-19 infection is susceptible, regardless of factors such as age, health or vaccine status.

Read more here.

What is COVID’s Incubation Period and When is the Best Time to Test?

With many Americans feeling under the weather after gathering with friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday, some are wondering how long it may take to start feeling symptoms after potential exposure.

According to the CDC, the median incubation period for the omicron variant and its numerous strains is in the range of three-to-four days, slightly less than the delta variant’s median of 4.3 days.

Regardless of whether symptoms are currently felt or not, many feel they may have recently been exposed to COVID-19, also raising questions on when the best times to test for the virus are.

Read more here.

After Thanksgiving, Illinois Sees Highest Single-Day COVID Case Total Since Summer

Amid concerns that a spike in COVID cases could occur after the Thanksgiving holiday, Illinois officials reported their highest single-day total since the summer.

According to metrics from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state reported 5,724 cases of the virus on Wednesday, the highest number of cases reported in a single day since Aug. 11.

Tuesday also saw a dramatic increase in cases over the previous days, with 2,536 cases reported.

Read more here.

Sore Throat? Cough? Here’s What to Know If You’re Ill or Were With Someone Who Was

With COVID, RSV, flu and a number of other viruses circulating heavily, chances are you’re either sick or know someone who is right now. So what should you do if you’re feeling ill or were around someone who was ill over the Thanksgiving holiday?

Experts say there are some important steps to take – no matter your symptoms.

Start by determining what you can and take necessary precautions.

Read more here.

How Many COVID Tests Should You Take to Be Confident You Don’t Have the Virus?

For those who may have been exposed to COVID over the Thanksgiving holiday week and weekend, how many tests should you take before you can be confident you didn’t contract the virus?

The first important question to ask is whether or not you have symptoms.

Read more here.

Exposed to COVID? Here’s What Experts Say About Testing Procedures

Health officials are reiterating precautions to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, especially with more gatherings planned through the end of the year.

The Thanksgiving gatherings have come and gone, but unfortunately that means that many celebrants may have been exposed to COVID-19 during their time with friends and family.

COVID cases generally rise in the colder-weather months anyway, with many gatherings occurring inside and in confined spaces. The holidays the last two years have especially seen cases go up, with the omicron variant tearing through the population in 2021 and the virus hitting some of its highest levels of infection in the winter of 2020.

Read more here.

Feeling Sick After Thanksgiving? Here’s What Experts Say You Should Do

While Thanksgiving likely felt the most normal it has since the days before the COVID-19 pandemic, considerable spread of the flu, RSV and COVID-19 has many Americans wondering what they should do if they’re feeling under the weather after a holiday gathering.

According to one public health expert, it may not be a bad idea to test even if you’re not feeling any symptoms following a Thanksgiving get-together.

Read more here.