COVID-19 risk in Chicago, Cook County improves to ‘medium’

Decreases in new cases and hospitalizations prompted the rating change.

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Terrell Hallom, 15, gets a COVID-19 vaccine last year at an Englewood site.

Chicago’s and Cook County’s risk ratings for COVID-19 has improved from “high” to “medium.”

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times file

Chicago and suburban Cook County were shifted from “high” risk to “medium” risk for COVID-19.

The change, announced Thursday by the Chicago Department of Public Health, is based on the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reflects a decrease in new cases and hospitalizations in the region.

“We have been trending in the right direction of late with lower case rates and very few hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, so we’re happy to see this,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, who heads Chicago’s Public Health Department.

“But COVID-19 is still with us. We continue to recommend masking indoors and that the medically vulnerable, in particular, continue to take precautions to protect themselves from infection. We’re not close to being out of this yet.”

Based on CDC data as of Thursday, Cook County reported 221 new cases per 100,000 people in the previous seven days; the goal is less than 200. New hospitalizations were 9.8 per 100,000 people; the goal is less than 10.

The CDC determines COVID-19 community levels as low, medium or high based on the number of new local COVID-19 cases, regional COVID-19 hospital admissions and COVID-19 hospital capacity in the prior week.

Travelers should review CDPH’s travel guidance and check the CDC map to know the risk level for areas they are visiting and take proper precautions.

Visit for the Chicago COVID-19 daily data dashboard.

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