Although it is possible that Cook County may enter a threshold of high COVID-19 transmission by the end of the week, Chicago health authorities have said that a mask requirement would not instantly return.

Mask Mandate Chicago 2022
[Mask Mandate Chicago 2022]

Because serious consequences of a Coronavirus infection are "very infrequent" and the load on hospitals continues to be "minimal," the Chicago Department of Public Health has declared that the extra regulations would not be restored.

As of Tuesday, Cook County was considered to be at the "medium community level" for the spread of COVID. Despite the fact that it is not anticipated that regulations would be reinstated, the CDPH has suggested the following preventative measures to keep safe:

Put on a mask if you are inside of public buildings inside.
Make sure that you have had all of the necessary COVID immunizations and booster doses.
If you feel that you could be developing symptoms, be tested and put in quarantine.
Make an effort to congregate outdoors as the temperature continues to rise.
Patients who suffer from underlying problems should seek therapy with COVID.

"Just to be clear, if the county does move to that higher risk with the update later this week, the city of Chicago would be considered at a high risk for COVID because our cases are high and we're starting to see some impact on hospitalisations, but we would not be reinstating mask mandates, for example, until we started - unless and until - we started to see serious impact on our hospitals here in Chicago," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.

According to the standards of the CDC, as of last Friday, every county in Illinois that is a part of the Chicago metropolitan region was at a "medium community level" of COVID. However, in the impending report this week, some counties were anticipated to reach the "high" level. Boone, Lee, Stephenson, Winnebago, Champaign, Ford, and Peoria and Tazewell are the eight counties in Illinois that are already at a high community level risk for COVID. Tazewell is the eighth county in the state.

Evanston, a northern suburb of Chicago located just outside of the city, has likewise reported that it is now operating at a "high" community level.

According to the CDC, a county is considered to be at a "high community level" of COVID-19 if it is experiencing more than 200 new weekly COVID cases per 100,000 residents, and if it is experiencing either 10 or more new COVID admissions per 100,000 residents per week, or if it is experiencing 10 percent or greater of hospital beds being used by COVID patients.

According to the most recent information, Chicago has 4.9 new COVID hospitalizations per week for every 100,000 people, and coronavirus patients occupy 4.5 percent of the beds in the city's hospitals.

According to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the city of Chicago would need to see about twice the number of COVID hospitalizations before a universal mask requirement could be considered.

In addition, the counties of DuPage, Lake, and McHenry are included in that hospitalization cluster. A hospitalization cluster is a collection of counties that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies together due to similarities in health care delivery patterns and proximity.

According to authorities from the CDC, DeKalb, Kane, and Kendall counties are each experiencing 8.1 new admissions for every 100,000 people. This indicates that these three counties might also find themselves in the "high community level" area by the following week.

Some city and county health officials have indicated that a strategy like this could be implemented in the event that strain is put on medical facilities. This is despite the fact that city and county health officials have not stated unequivocally that a move to the "high community level" could trigger a new mask mandate.

The adjustment in the level of alertness would take place right before the start of the holiday weekend for Memorial Day.

"If you are able to, assemble outdoors. If you are coming together with other people, this is the simplest and safest thing to do that will considerably reduce the danger of COVID "Arwady remarked. "But you are okay to assemble; just make sure that everyone has immunizations and booster shots; do so outside whenever possible; test yourself to see if you have COVID symptoms; and be cautious."

Source : NBC Chicago 
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