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Fewer Counties Considered Risky For COVID Under Chicago’s Travel Advisory

All travelers should check the advisory so they know if they are going to an area where the COVID-19 risk is low, medium or high, according to the health department.

A CTA Blue Line train arrives at O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 9, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Just 5.1 percent of U.S. counties are considered medium or high risk under Chicago’s travel advisory.

The city’s health department released an updated travel advisory Friday, noting the number of medium- and high-risk counties for COVID-19 has fallen since last week. The advisory is based on data and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC evaluates a county as low, medium or high risk depending on the number of new COVID-19 cases in that area, as well as what toll COVID-19 is placing on the area’s health care system.

All travelers should check the map so they know if they are going to an area where the COVID-19 risk is low, medium or high, according to the health department.

Here’s the city’s guidance:

Low-Risk Areas

Travelers do not need to take additional action, but they should follow standard guidance related to travel, according to the health department.

Medium-Risk Areas

Travelers should consider wearing a mask when indoors in public places.

High-Risk Areas

All travelers:

  • Wear a mask indoors in public place.
  • People 5 and older who are not fully vaccinated should avoid travel to high-risk counties.
  • All travelers should be fully vaccinated and boosted before traveling.
  • Travelers should watch themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. They should isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms.
  • Travelers should consider packing an at-home COVID-19 test so they can use it if they develop symptoms.
  • All travelers should bring a mask with them.

Unvaccinated travelers:

  • Unvaccinated Chicagoans who are 5 or older and go to a high-risk county should stay home and quarantine for five days after returning to Chicago.
  • Those travelers should also take a COVID-19 test three to five days after returning to Chicago. If it’s positive, they should stay home and follow CDC guidance.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 8.2 million people — or 64.36 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 8,386 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 21,374,596 vaccine doses of the 25,860,545 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.8 million Chicagoans — or 68.5 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 77.3 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

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:

• Since Thursday, 17 Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.

• At least 33,394 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 4,290 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 1,413 cases since Thursday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 3,069,650.

• Since Thursday, 88,065 tests were reported statewide. In all, 57,392,864 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 1.7 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 1.7 percent Thursday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 1.7 percent. It was at 1.7 percent Thursday.

• As of Thursday night, 73 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 26 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, three deaths were reported since Thursday. There have been at least 7,334 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of less than one person dying per day, down 57 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 364 confirmed cases reported since Thursday. It’s had a total of 566,234 confirmed cases. An average of 244 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 38 percent from a week ago.

• Testing in Chicago is down 8 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 1.4 percent, up from .9 percent a week ago.

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