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Rates of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 are beginning to fall in the United States after peaking in January. Over 26 million COVID-19 cases and 450,000 deaths have been reported. The pace of vaccinations has accelerated to more than a million shots a day.
As of February 4, Lake County has had over 52,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 865 deaths. Our recovery rate is 97.9 percent.
The emergence of new variants of COVID-19 across the world and in the Chicago region underscores the importance of following public health strategies to limit the spread of the virus. These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. This may put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths. So far, studies suggest that the currently available vaccines will be effective against these new strains. More studies are underway.
The Health Department continues its work with two community partnership groups—Asociacion Communitaria Latina (ACL) and the African American Community Partnership Group (AACPG) to address COVID-19 disparities along racial and ethnic lines. Both groups will be hosting culturally tailored Town Halls featuring medical professionals of color. Links to these town halls are on the Health Department website. The AACPG town hall will be held Thursday, February 11 at 6 p.m. on Facebook live. The ACL town hall will be held in Spanish on Wednesday, February 17 at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom.
Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry counties, has moved back into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, and Tier 1 mitigations have been removed. Under Phase 4 guidelines, gatherings are limited to 50 people or less, indoor dining and bar service is open for parties of up to 10 people, and most businesses are open with capacity limits and strict safety guidelines. For more details, visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a special enrollment period for health insurance will begin on February 15. People can go to healthcare.gov to find health insurance options.
For more information on Lake County’s response to COVID-19, please visit the Lake County Coronavirus website, www.lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus and sign up for email updates.