News Flash

DuPage County Health Department News

Posted on: August 18, 2021

Health Department Urges Residents to Take Preventive Measures

COVID-19 News

With the continued high level of community transmission in DuPage County and to ensure the safe return to school of children across the county, DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) once again urges residents to practice the preventive measures available to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help protect essential activities in the community. Communities must take all necessary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 to ensure that schools can remain open and safe for students. COVID-19 vaccinations for people who are eligible remain the most critical tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19, especially to protect those who are not yet eligible for vaccination, including children under the age of 12. Anyone who is eligible for the vaccine and not yet fully vaccinated should visit www.vaccines.gov to find a vaccine provider.

Across the county, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to increase. Since last week, the 7-day rolling average of new cases reported in DuPage County increased three percent from 161 new cases per day to 166 new cases per day. Although hospitalizations hit a low in mid-July, with only 10 individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19 in DuPage County, those numbers have also risen dramatically over the past month.  Currently, there are 115 individuals hospitalized, and over 20 individuals receiving the most intensive healthcare services in Intensive Care Units. Notably, over 97 percent of hospitalized and deceased COVID-19 cases since mid-December 2020 in DuPage County have been in persons not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

“As we continue to experience high levels of COVID-19 transmission, it is imperative that we come together as a community to slow the spread of this virus. Keeping children safe as they return to in-person learning this school year is a top priority. But to achieve this, we must all do our part and get vaccinated as soon as possible while also practicing all preventive measures such as wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director of DuPage County Health Department. “By following these evidence-based preventive measures we will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who are vulnerable, including people who are immunocompromised and children under the age of 12 who do not yet have protection against the virus.”

According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination data, 85 percent of eligible residents 12 years and older in DuPage County have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 68 percent are fully vaccinated. Of residents 65 years and older, 100 percent have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 83 percent are fully vaccinated. However, among 12 to 17-year-olds in DuPage County, 73 percent have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and only 53 percent are fully vaccinated. 

People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial two doses, according to CDC. Individuals who believe they are eligible for a third vaccine dose should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them, and the appropriate timing of vaccination. Third dose vaccinations are available through local pharmacies or healthcare providers. At this time, DCHD is reviewing CDC information and awaiting further guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) before offering third COVID-19 vaccine doses. For more information, read the DCHD Statement on Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised Individuals

Furthermore, DCHD is monitoring federal recommendations for people who received their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to receive a booster dose eight months after their second, beginning September 20. Before then, the Food and Drug Administration must first authorize a third dose of the mRNA vaccines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must review the evidence and make recommendations. For more information, refer to the Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots

The DCHD Care Van continues to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to communities in DuPage County. The clinic is open to all people 12 years or older and offers the Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson vaccine. To learn more, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine. In addition, the DCHD Community Vaccination Clinic in Wheaton offers COVID-19 vaccines Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, please visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccineclinic.

As DuPage County residents go back to work, school, sports, and activities, it is important to continue self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. If you, or someone in your home, is exposed to COVID-19 or begins to show symptoms, testing is a critical step to protecting you and your family. DCHD encourages individuals (regardless of vaccination status) who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 including travel, attending large social gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor settings to get tested. To find testing locations in DuPage County, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19testing.

In addition, to help interrupt and prevent community spread, persons with COVID-19 infection need to self-isolate (e.g., stay home except for medical care) and their close contacts need to self-quarantine and get tested unless they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have had COVID-19 infection within three months of exposure. Fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. 

For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected].

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