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Peoria, Tazewell among 15 Illinois counties raised to high transmission level for COVID-19

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PEORIA (WEEK) – The Centers for Disease Control on Thursday raised the COVID-19 community transmission rating to high for 15 Illinois counties, including Peoria and Tazewell, prompting a call for people to exercise more caution to curb COVID’s spread.

Other Central Illinois counties with the high community transmission level are Fulton, Knox, Henderson, and Mason Counties. The other counties listed are in northern Illinois. They are Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, Grundy, Boone, Lee, and Winnebago Counties.

Illinois Department of Public Health Acting Director Amaal Tokars released a statement.

“With 15 counties in Illinois now rated at a High Community Level, everyone in the state should be paying close attention to the guidance from public health authorities and taking action to protect themselves, their loved ones, and friends. Everyone should make sure they are up-to-date with vaccinations and booster shots. Wearing a mask in indoor public places and avoiding crowded indoor spaces as much as possible will also make a difference. If you are at risk of severe outcomes, you should also consider avoiding indoor activities in public places. And if you test positive, promptly contact a healthcare provider to discuss which treatment is right for you. The treatments are much more effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths when they are taken early in the course of the illness.”

The state health department said the public should follow CDC recommendations for counties with high community transmission levels.

• Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings)

• If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease

– Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection

– Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed

-Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to take other precaution

– Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing)

IF YOU TEST POSITIVE: Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, and monoclonal antibodies

• If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease

– consider self-testing to detect infection before contact

– consider wearing a mask when indoors with them

• Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters

• Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible

• Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19

Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found on the state health department’s website.

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