Include boosters or COVID-19 tests in your Thanksgiving plans, IDPH says
With the new COVID-19 case count up by 17.8% in November from October, Illinois Department of Public Health officials are advising common-sense precautions during Thanksgiving celebrations.
The daily new-case average reached 1,992 this month compared to 1,691 in October, IDPH data showed Friday.
Hospitalizations also grew by 9.5% or 1,000 COVID-19 patients a day in October, contrasted with 1,095 this month as of Thursday.
"With respiratory illnesses such as RSV, the flu, and COVID-19 leading to increased illness and hospitalizations, I strongly recommend using all available strategies to stay healthy and safe," IDPH Director Sameer Vohra said in a statement.
If you're planning a big Thanksgiving gathering, experts recommend the following strategies.
• Get a COVID-19 test before the event, especially if people at risk of serious outcomes from the virus are attending.
• Ensure adequate ventilation by opening windows, for example. Consider a buffet meal where people can space out in different rooms instead of sitting together at a big table.
• Wash hands frequently.
• Offer a supply of face masks.
• Get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you haven't already and be up to date on booster shots.
• Get a flu shot.
• Stay at home if you feel ill.
Currently, 20 Illinois counties are registering medium levels of COVID-19 transmission, and Winnebago County is at a high level. Cook and the collar counties are at a low transmission risk, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported Friday.
New cases of COVID-19 totaled 1,797 Friday with 10 more people dying from the respiratory disease, the state reported.
Patients in the hospital with COVID-19 came to 1,070 as of Thursday night.