Counties at elevated COVID risk down |

The number of counties at increased risk of COVID-19 fell from 61 in Illinois to 28 last week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 20 of Indiana’s 92 counties are currently at increased risk, none of which are in Northwest Indiana.

Indiana had 2,960 new coronavirus cases and 74 deaths last week, according to the CDC. The seven-day moving average of Hoosier state hospitalizations was 69.14.

Last week, Illinois had 10,967 new COVID-19 cases and 78 deaths. The seven-day moving average of new hospital admissions for Lincoln State for coronavirus was 173.43.

Cook, Will, and Kankakee counties, just across the Northwest Indiana state line, all currently have a moderate risk of COVID-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“I’m encouraged to see the number of COVID-19 communities across Illinois continue to decline,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Rates of the XBB variant ‘Kraken’, which is spreading throughout the East Coast, are slowly increasing in the Midwest and we continue to monitor this new variant closely. However, we are fortunate not to see an increase in hospital admissions at this time. The IDPH continues to focus its efforts on maintaining hospital capacity and protecting Illinois residents who are most at risk from serious illness from COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.”

The CDC estimates that 61% of Indiana residents over the age of 5 and 75% of Illinois residents have completed their first series of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Currently, Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Starke, and Pulaski counties in northwestern Indiana are considered at low risk of COVID-19 transmission, according to the CDC.