Cook County warns of virus surge among the young

  • VNA Nurse Practitioner Michelle Sexton prepares a shot as new mass vaccination site opened Thursday in the former Carson Pirie Scott store at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora.

    VNA Nurse Practitioner Michelle Sexton prepares a shot as new mass vaccination site opened Thursday in the former Carson Pirie Scott store at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/4/2021 9:46 AM

Suburban Cook County COVID-19 test positivity rates are highest among people under age 20, officials said Saturday, warning people to think of protecting their families as they celebrate Easter this weekend.

"It's a holiday weekend. What's important is family. People have to be safe," said Cook County Department of Public Health Senior Medical Officer Dr. Rachel Rubin.

 

She counseled wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding large gatherings and continuing to maintain six feet of social distance, especially in enclosed areas.

Rubin said daily case counts in suburban Cook County have climbed steadily from 414 last weekend to 650 on Friday after falling to around 200 a few weeks ago as the winter surge subsided. The positive test rate peaks at 6% for people under 20, declining quickly among people over age 60, who are most likely to have had the vaccine, to a low of 2% for those over age 80.

She said the county is evaluating whether to roll back recent loosening of some restrictions, and will make a decision in a few days. She said the warm, sunny weather this weekend is conducive to outside celebrations and outdoor dining, which have proved less risky than indoor gatherings.

The Illinois Department of Public Health Saturday reported 2,839 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease and 13 additional deaths. Both numbers were lower than in recent days.

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The dead included six people in Cook County and one person in Lake County.

A total of 145,315 doses of vaccine were administered Friday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 110,057 doses.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from March 27-April 2 is 3.8%, up from 3.5% the day before.

As of Friday night, 1,426 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 325 patients were in the ICU and 132 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

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