Expected ‘high’ COVID alert level, masking tips – NBC Chicago

Chicago could soon reach the highest COVID alert level by standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But that won’t necessarily trigger the return of mask mandates.

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic in Illinois today:

What will trigger the return of mask mandates in Chicago?

Chicago may soon reach a high alert level for COVID, but that doesn’t necessarily mean mask mandates will return right away, the city’s top doctor said Tuesday.

While masks are “strongly recommended” across the city with cases rising, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said she’s been monitoring a different metric to determine if the mandates will return. .

Learn more here.

‘Direction We’re Heading’: Chicago Could Soon Reach COVID High: Top Doc

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, Chicago’s top doctor says she expects the city can soon reach a “high” community level.

“Unfortunately, that’s the direction we’re headed in,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook Live on Tuesday, calling it a “point of concern.”

Learn more here.

Illinois COVID Tests: Where to Find Free, Fast COVID PCR Tests Near You

COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Illinois, with the state now averaging more than 6,000 new probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases per day.

This is the first time in more than three months that Illinois has seen the daily rate this high.

The good news is that COVID testing in Chicago and Illinois remains free at many locations. And, the federal government is now offering residents double the number of free COVID rapid antigen tests during its latest round of kit availability, according to an update from the United States Postal Service.

If you have symptoms or think you’ve been exposed, here’s where you can find free COVID tests near you in Chicago and Illinois, for adults and children.

Government offers up to 8 free COVID tests per household as cases rise nationwide

The federal government is now offering residents double the number of free COVID rapid antigen tests during its new round of kit availability, according to an update from the United States Postal Service.

Whereas in previous rounds of test distributions residents could only claim up to four tests per household, residents can now request up to eight tests, which will be shipped to their homes free of charge.

According to the government, each order can contain eight rapid COVID-19 antigen tests. These tests will be presented in two separate packages, with four test kits in each package, according to the USPS website.

Here’s how to get yours.

How soon can you test positive for COVID after an infection?

If your COVID test is positive, how long could it last?

According to Centers for Disaster Control and Preventionsome people who get COVID-19 may have detectable virus for up to three months, but that does not mean they are contagious.

When it comes to testing, however, PCR tests are more likely to continue to detect virus after infection.

Learn more here.

Illinois COVID stats: State averages more than 6,000 cases a day as hospitalizations rise

For the first time in more than three months, Illinois is averaging more than 6,000 new probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day, with hospitalizations also beginning to climb statewide.

According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state is seeing an average of 6,065 new COVID cases per day over the past week. It’s the first time the state has eclipsed the 6,000-case barrier since Feb. 9, when Illinois was still descending from the heights of its omicron-induced surge over the winter.

Over the past seven days, the daily average of new COVID cases in the state has increased by 17.7%, according to IDPH officials. Over the past month, cases have increased by 174%.

On Monday, Illinois officials reported 5,447 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, with no new deaths reported.

You can find more data here.

FDA clears at-home test that can help diagnose COVID, flu and RSV

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a first-of-its-kind home testing kit that will allow individuals to collect samples and have them tested for a variety of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza.

According to a press release on Monday, the FDA has cleared Labcorp’s “Seasonal Respiratory Virus RT-PCR DTC” test.

These tests, available without a prescription, can be used by people with symptoms of a viral respiratory infection, according to the FDA.

The tests allow an individual to self-collect a nasal swab at home, similar to a home COVID-19 test. Instead of getting the results back home, these samples can be sent to Labcorp for testing.

The tests can identify and differentiate a variety of illnesses, including influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19, according to the FDA.

When are you contagious with COVID and how long should you quarantine?

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Chicago and the city’s top doctor said the trend is likely to continue in the coming weeks, prompting questions from concerned residents.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the city’s positivity rate has climbed to nearly 5% in recent weeks, and she expects the measures to continue. increase in the next few days.

Learn more here.

Low, Medium, High: What the CDC’s Community Levels Mean and What’s Required in Each

With nearly every county in the Chicago area having reached “average community level” for COVID-19 and a suburb of Chicago reaching “high” levels of transmission, according to guidelines set by the US Centers for Disease Control and PreventionWhat does this mean to you?

So what does this mean and what does it take to reach each level?

Here is an overview of the guidelines.

Tested positive for COVID and looking for treatment options? Here’s what to know about Pfizer’s antiviral pill

As more and more tests come back positive for the coronavirus in the Chicago area, many are wondering about treating the virus with the new COVID-19 antiviral pill.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill has been used in several recent high-profile cases, including that of Vice President Kamala Harris.

But as more doctors prescribe Pfizer’s powerful COVID pill, new questions are emerging about its performance, including why a small number of patients appear to relapse after taking the drug.

Here’s what we know so far.

COVID incubation period: how long should you quarantine and when are you contagious?

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Chicago and the city’s top doctor said the trend is likely to continue in the coming weeks, prompting questions from concerned residents.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the city’s positivity rate has climbed to nearly 5% in recent weeks, and she expects the measures to continue. increase in the next few days.

“In this wave…it’s likely we’ll have even more cases before we see it turn around,” she said. “And the last thing we want to do is people really see the number of hospitalizations increase significantly.”

For those who contract COVID, there may be lingering questions. Here is the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC COVID 2022 guidelines: Symptoms to watch out for, duration of quarantine and more

With new, more contagious variants of COVID-19 spreading across the United States and nearly all of the Chicago area reaching a higher alert level, many are wondering what to do if they show symptoms or test positive for the virus.

If you were exposed, when could symptoms start, how long are you contagious, how long should you quarantine yourself, and what is the best time test?

Learn more here.

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