COVID hospitalizations on rise in Illinois ahead of Thanksgiving

Union County at low level

With hospitalizations for COVID-19 on the rise in the state ahead of last week’s Thanksgiving holiday, the Illinois Department of Public Health, IDPH, was urging the public to stay informed about conditions in their area and to take steps to get fully protected from the range of seasonal viruses as cases. 

In a Nov. 22 news release, IDPH reported that 20 counties in Illinois were listed at a medium level for hospitalizations according to the CDC’s national COVID Data Tracker as of the week ending Nov. 11. Union County was at a low level.

Across the state, 740 hospitalizations had been recorded, a 17 percent increase from the previous week. 

The uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations came as hospital data was also showing increases in flu and RSV.

“As hospitalizations for COVID-19, RSV and flu increase across Illinois, I want to encourage our residents to use all of the tools at their disposal to protect themselves and their loved ones,” IDPH director Dr. Sameer Vohra said prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Vaccines for COVID-19, flu and RSV remain the most effective tool in preventing severe illness, but we can all take proper precautions to enjoy family, food and fun while keeping those germs away.”

Vohra stressed that holiday season hosts should enhance the safety of guests by providing proper indoor ventilation, encouraging good hand hygiene and reminding guests to cover coughs and sneezes. 

If someone is feeling symptoms of a respiratory virus, such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, a runny nose or fever, it’s best to get tested and stay home if sick, he said.

IDPH also was encouraging all healthcare settings to consider masking in patient care areas, especially if caring for those with weakened immune systems as both RSV and COVID-19 are rising. 

The  federal government announced that as of Nov. 20, every household in the United States is eligible to receive four free at-home tests through the COVID.gov<https://www.covid.gov/tests> website.

Southern 7 Health Department offers vaccinations for area residents. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the health department at 618-634-2297 for clinic locations.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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