COVID rises after holidays

After new cases of COVID-19 and related hospitalizations were down locally in the weeks leading up to the new year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that 73 counties in Illinois are at an “elevated” COVID-19, up from 55 counties per last week’s report.

Monroe County is listed in the “medium” category with Randolph County returning to the “high” designation. Both counties carried “low” community levels last week.

“As we enter the new year, IDPH continues to closely monitor levels of COVID-19, the flu, and other respiratory illness in communities throughout Illinois,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “After the holidays, we are once again experiencing a rise in counties at elevated COVID-19 community levels. As we monitor emerging variants, including a new, more transmissible strain spreading in the northeastern U.S., I continue to recommend our residents take steps to prevent the spread of infection, protect those most vulnerable to serious illness and preserve our hospital capacity. It is not too late to get your COVID-19 bivalent booster or yearly flu shot. And if you are sick, please stay home if you are able and reach out to your provider about treatments for COVID-19 and the flu.” 

IDPH is helping Illinoisans prepare for the winter surge of COVID-19 cases by offering 1 million free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to Illinois residents through “Project ACT.”

Request one package of five tests on a first-come-first-serve basis at the Project ACT website, The tests will be delivered to the home address entered.

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