New COVID-19 case averages jump by 9% in a week, hospitalizations up by 6%

  • IDPH officials are recommending COVID-19 bivalent booster shots as cases grow. The shot was approved for children from 6 months to 5 years of age on Dec. 9.

    IDPH officials are recommending COVID-19 bivalent booster shots as cases grow. The shot was approved for children from 6 months to 5 years of age on Dec. 9. Courtesy of Kane County Health Department

Updated 12/18/2022 8:54 AM

Average new daily cases of COVID-19 rose by 9% in a week while hospitalizations increased by 6%, Illinois Department of Public Health data showed Friday.

State officials urged parents to schedule booster shots for the youngest Illinoisans before holiday gatherings.


"Illinois continues to see a dramatic rise in communities at elevated risk levels for COVID-19, including 43 counties that are now at a high risk," IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a statement.

Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties plus Chicago are at a medium transmission risk for COVID-19. Will County is at a low level, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported Friday.

Vohra noted that the CDC approved bivalent COVID-19 boosters for children ages 6 months to 5 years on Dec. 9.

For those planning or attending get-togethers, doctors are recommending testing for COVID-19 especially if you'll be in contact with seniors or people with underlying medical conditions, as well as opening windows at parties and washing hands. Flu shots are also a good idea since it's been a particularly virulent season.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady also noted Friday that "cases are on the rise in Chicago and nationwide and I expect we could reach a high (level of transmission) in the next week or two. New York City and Los Angeles are already there." And, "with people gathering for the holidays it wouldn't be surprising to see a further surge in cases," Arwady stated.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office said Friday she's tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time this year, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. She was diagnosed the first time in January.

"I am thankfully not experiencing symptoms, which I attribute to being vaccinated and fully boosted," the mayor said in a statement. "I will work from home while continuing to follow the CDC guidelines for isolation. This is a reminder to get vaccinated and boosted this holiday season to keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe."

As of Friday, the seven-day average number of new COVID-19 cases in Illinois was 3,333 compared to 3,058 on Dec. 9.

Average hospitalizations were nearly 1,636 patients a day as of Thursday in contrast with 1,546 on Dec. 8, the IDPH reported.

The average number of daily deaths from the virus as of Friday was 12 people, the highest number since Oct. 4.

Statewide, reported cases of COVID-19 came to 3,930,135 and confirmed deaths were 35,632 since the pandemic began.

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