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Even Fully Vaccinated People Should Get Tested If They’re Exposed To COVID, CDC Says

The updated advice comes as COVID-19 is surging in various states. Chicago's numbers are going up, too.

People walk through the Loop while wearing masks on May 3, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Even people who are fully vaccinated should get tested for coronavirus if they’ve been exposed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.

That advice applies to people who have had contact with a COVID-positive person, even if they’re not showing symptoms, according to the CDC. The agency said people who are fully vaccinated but are exposed to the virus should wear a mask in public indoor places, then get tested three to five days later.

If the test comes back positive, the person should isolate for 10 days, according to the CDC. If the test is negative, the person doesn’t need to wear a mask unless otherwise recommended.

The federal agency made the recommendation at the same time as it revised its masking guidelines. The CDC now suggests even fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in some places, and all people should wear them in schools.

The updated advice comes as COVID-19 is surging in various states. Chicago’s and Illinois’ numbers have gone up, too, with local officials saying they’re ringing alarm bells.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned a mask mandate could return to Chicago if the city consistently starts reporting more than 200 cases per day. As of Wednesday, the city’s seeing an average of 176 confirmed cases per day, a 69 percent jump from a week ago.

RELATED: Any Chicagoan Can Get Vaccinated At Home — And They’ll Get A $25 Gift Card

Officials have blamed the latest wave on the more contagious Delta variant, not enough people getting vaccinated and people letting down their guard.

Local officials have urged people to get vaccinated to be protected against COVID-19. The three vaccines used in the United States are widely effective at preventing serious illness and death from the virus, including the Delta variant.

People should also continue to take safety precautions, like wearing masks in public spaces and avoiding large gatherings if they’re not fully vaccinated, officials said.


• In Illinois, about 6.4 million people of all ages — or 50.55 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 17,982 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 13,139,579 vaccine doses of the 14,685,385 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.39 million Chicagoans — or 52 percent of all residents — have gotten fully vaccinated. About 58.1 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Six Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Tuesday.

• At least 23,420 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,473 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 2,082 cases since Tuesday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,415,572.

• Since Tuesday, 42,363 tests were reported statewide. In all, 26,720,724 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate was at 4 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 3.7 percent Tuesday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 4.4 percent. It was at 4.2 percent Tuesday.

• As of Tuesday night, 184 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 74 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, two deaths were reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 5,500 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of less than one death per day, a 33 percent decrease from the week prior.

• Chicago has had 276 confirmed cases reported since Tuesday. It’s had a total of 289,205 confirmed cases. An average of 176 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 69 percent increase from the week prior.

• At the same time, testing has decreased 6 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 2.8 percent, up from 1.5 percent the week prior.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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