Everyone Ages 5+ Urged to Get Vaccinated and to Take Steps to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission over the Holidays.
The DuPage County Health Department is raising awareness of rising cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in DuPage County and recommending that residents take action to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the holidays to protect their friends and family and to protect our limited healthcare resources.
COVID-19 activity remains at very high levels in DuPage County and continues to rise with over 642 new cases being reported on average each day and 233 individuals hospitalized in the six hospitals in the county today. The 7-day rolling average of new cases reported each day and the number of hospitalizations has approximately doubled since Thanksgiving. Vaccination is crucial to protect yourself from serious illness or death, to reduce transmission of COVID-19, and to prevent the emergence of new variants.
“As hospitalizations related to COVID-19 remain at a high level here in DuPage County, we are concerned about the next few weeks as COVID-19 cases continue to rise,” said Karen Ayala, DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) Executive Director. “We have the tools to stop the spread of these highly contagious variants. We’re encouraging everyone to use these tools including vaccinations, and booster shots, wearing a high-quality mask consistently when indoors around those you don’t live with, getting tested when you have symptoms or before you gather indoors with others, and increasing the flow of fresh air in indoor spaces to keep virus particles from accumulating inside are essential. Each of these tools provides an extra layer of protection.”
Over 95% of all hospitalized and/or deceased COVID-19 cases since December 15, 2020, in DuPage County occurred in persons not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. While being fully vaccinated currently means receiving at least 2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna or 1 dose of Johnson and Johnson, studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time. Everyone over the age of 16 years old should receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster as soon as they are eligible to ensure improved protection against getting infected with COVID-19 or developing severe illness or death as a result of infection.
COVID-19 vaccines are widely available throughout DuPage County for all residents 5 years or older. Teens aged 16-17 can get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot and everyone 18 years or older should get a booster shot. For more information on COVID-19 in DuPage County, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19. Anyone age 5 years or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and can find an appointment by going to www.vaccines.gov. No-cost testing remains available. For more information on testing locations visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19testing. ###