Chicago’s COVID Risk at ‘Medium’ Heading Into Holiday Weekend – NBC Chicago


As New Year’s Eve festivities approach, Chicago’s community COVID level remains at “average,” with 168 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, areas with an “average” community level of COVID are advised to wear a face mask in crowded indoor areas where the vaccine status of others is unknown, follow quarantine guidelines and more.

Here’s the latest COVID summary from the city of Chicago.

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

Here is where the COVID rules change for visitors from China

Some countries have announced new COVID testing requirements for visitors from China after the mainland said it would finally relax border controls.

Japan was the first country to subsequently launch rule changes, followed by the United States and other countries. COVID-19 infections rose this month in mainland China, but there is limited data available to the public.

Here are some of the latest policy changes for travelers from China.

The United States records 100 million cases of COVID, but more than 200 million Americans have likely had it

The United States has recorded more than 100 million officially diagnosed and reported cases this week, but the number of Americans who have actually contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic is probably more than double..

COVID-19 has easily infected more than 200 million people in the United States alone since the start of the pandemic — some people more than once. The virus continues to evolve into more transmissible variants that evade immunity from vaccination and previous infection, making transmission very difficult to control as we enter the fourth year of the pandemic.

Read more here.

What are the best masks to wear for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses?

The simultaneous threat of COVID-19, RSV, and influenza continues to circulate, prompting health agencies to recommend that people start back against what was considered a mainstay during the height of the pandemic: masking.

Although face coverings are not currently recommended in the entire Chicago area, masks are recommended in some parts after an uptick in COVID-19 metrics.

Read more here.

3 signs that the ‘pandemic economy’ will end in 2022 – even though Covid is still around

By all technical definitions, the United States is still in a pandemic. As of September, the World Health Organization declared the end of the pandemic only “on the horizon,” but it’s not here yet — especially as cases of the novel coronavirus are surging and threatening another severe winter bout.

However, America’s financial habits have almost completely returned to pre-pandemic trends. After nearly two years of significant disruption – for better or worse – these are three examples of how the pandemic economy will end in 2022.

Could monovirus or fat cells play a role in prolonged COVID?

A British historian, an Italian archaeologist, and an American pre-school teacher have never met face-to-face, but they do share a notable pandemic bond.

The three women have eerily similar symptoms, and he is credited with describing, naming, and helping bring COVID long into the public consciousness in early 2020.

Nearly three years after the onset of the pandemic, scientists are still trying to figure out why some people have been infected with COVID for so long and why a small portion — including the three women — experience lasting symptoms.

Here is some of the latest evidence.

Here is where masks are recommended in the Chicago area

Although face coverings are not currently recommended in the entire Chicago area, masks are recommended in some parts after an uptick in COVID-19 metrics.

The data showed measures have risen nationwide since Thanksgiving, and will likely rise after the gatherings around Christmas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community levels update map, nearly 11% of US counties are at the high community level, while 41% are listed at the middle level.

Read more here.

88 of Illinois’ 102 counties have a high COVID-19 community level as cases remain mostly stagnant

As many Illinois families prepare for holiday celebrations, COVID-19 cases remain high across the state, with three Chicago-area counties now at “high” COVID-19 community level, according to the CDC.

CDC data shows that 88 of Illinois’ 102 counties are currently at a “high” or “medium” community level, up from 86 counties at a high level last week.

Read more here.

3 counties in the Chicago area reach the “high” COVID alert level, masks are recommended

Three Chicago-area counties are in a “high” COVID alert level from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, joining dozens of other counties across Illinois to reach the highest community level, mandating that masks are recommended for all indoor public spaces.

DuPage and Kendall counties made it to the rankings in Thursday’s update from the CDC, with DeKalb County staying in “high” status after being hit the previous week.

Read more here.

Chicago will issue a mask advisory if the city reaches its “high” alert level, Mayor says

If Chicago reaches a “high” COVID alert level from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday, the city will issue a mask warning, right before the weekend.

While the city and ultimately Cook County weren’t elevated to a high level this week, experts said they expect the transition to be coming.

Read more here.

What does “never volunteer” mean?

Not to be confused with people who have not yet contracted COVID-19, researchers believe that the section of the population with natural immunity to the virus (never exposed) will never get sick.

Not to be confused with people who have not yet contracted COVID-19, researchers believe that the section of the population with natural immunity to the virus (never exposed) will never get sick.

Watch here.

You can get free COVID tests from the government. Here’s how

Once again, US residents can get free COVID tests delivered directly to their homes.

The Biden administration announced on December 15 that it is offering families four rapid virus tests through covidtests.gov. So how can you get your test?

Read more here.

You can now get both a flu and COVID test at Walgreens. Here’s how

With the spread of highly contagious respiratory illnesses, Walgreens has announced that a rapid flu test is now available along with a COVID test at select pharmacies.

The move aims to limit the spread of viruses by helping communities identify and manage their illnesses as the holiday season approaches, the drugmaker said Friday in a press release.

Read more here.