KNOX COUNTY, Ill. — Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Knox and Fulton counties are among the 15 in Illinois now rated at "High Community Level" for COVID-19.
The levels are a measure of the impact of COVID-19 illness on health and health care systems, according to the CDC. The CDC also said an additional 30 Illinois counties are now rated at "medium" levels.
COVID transmission is also increasing on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River. Linn, Benton, Iowa, Cedar, Washington, Louisa, Davis, Appanoose, Des Moines and Henry counties are at medium levels of community transmission and Johnson and Jones counties are at high.
The CDC updated how it reports COVID transmission in March. COVID-19 Community Level is "determined by the higher of the new admissions and inpatient bed metrics, based on the current level of new cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days."
Amaal Tokars, the Acting Director at the Illinois Department of Public Health, released the following statement on Thursday:
“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.”