COVID-19, flu and RSV cases mounting, state health officials say

As the December holidays take off, public health experts advise Illinoisans to be vigilant against COVID-19 with cases rising along with other respiratory diseases.

“As we anticipated, we are seeing an increase in respiratory viruses — including COVID-19, flu and RSV — both in Illinois and across the nation,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said Friday.

New hospitalizations for COVID-19 spiked by 1,225 people or 22.3% as of Dec. 2 compared to the previous week, according to the latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control data.

Flu and RSV are also increasing across the state, the IDPH reported.

The agency also announced it was launching an infectious respiratory disease dashboard with information about hospitalizations, lab test positivity and other metrics. The dashboard is available at

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Chicago metro region remain low. Of Illinois' 102 counties, 41 are at medium levels for patients and 10 counties in west-central Illinois are seeing high hospitalizations. They comprise Brown, Cass, Christian, Knox, Logan, McDonough, Menard, Sangamon, Schuyler and Warren counties.

With multiple gatherings under way for Hanukkah and stretching through Christmas and New Year's, officials recommend testing for COVID-19 if celebrating with older family members, washing hands, providing robust ventilation at home parties, masking in crowds and staying home if you're feeling sick.

Vohra also urged residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19, flu and RSV.

Meanwhile, officials reported COVID-19 outbreaks at a number of state-run developmental centers serving individuals with severe intellectual or developmental needs.

As of Wednesday, “there were 58 residents, out of approximately 1,650 total, and 35 staff, out of approximately 3,500 total, who have tested positive for COVID-19 since Nov. 20,” the IDPH said.

The state has seven developmental centers including sites in Waukegan and Park Forest. The Ann Kiley Center in Waukegan reported 40 COVID-19 cases with 30 residents and 10 staff members testing positive.

Free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests

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