The Illinois Department of Public Health issued a warning Thursday about rising cases statewide, advising residents to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and take necessary precautions.
The health department said residents “should pay close attention to conditions in their local communities” and urged vaccinations and boosters for eligible populations.
The Chicago Health Department also recently reminded residents what to do if they test positive for the coronavirus, with cases continuing to rise as the BA.2 omicron subvariant takes hold.
“REMINDER: Regardless of vax status, if you test positive for COVID, you must self-isolate for 5 days, then you must wear a mask in public for days 6-10,” the health department wrote on Saturday. Chicago public on Facebook.
The warning and recalls come as the so-called “stealth omicron” subvariant continues to spread rapidly in the Midwest, accounting for more than 80% of recent COVID cases, according to CDC estimates.
This rapid growth in subvariant cases is part of a trend of increasing cases in the state of Illinois. Since early April, Illinois has seen its daily case rate climb by at least 45%.
“While COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths remain stable at this time, we are seeing a slow increase in cases in many parts of the state,” said IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars, in a press release. “This reminds us that we all need to remain vigilant and stay up to date on our vaccination status. This is especially important for those who are at higher risk for serious outcomes.
Here’s what the CDC recommends following exposure to COVID.
If you are exposed to COVID and are not vaccinated or not up to date on booster shots
-Quarantine at home for at least five days. If you must be around other people in your household, wear a mask.
-Even if you do not develop symptoms, get tested at least five days after close contact. According to CDC guidelines, the day you are exposed to COVID is considered Day 0, and the first full day after that exposure is Day 1.
If you are vaccinated and received your booster injection
-The CDC does not recommend quarantine unless you develop symptoms.
– Wearing a mask is recommended for 10 days after exposure, even for people fully vaccinated against COVID.
-If you develop symptoms, get tested. Otherwise, the CDC does not explicitly recommend post-exposure testing for vaccinated patients.
If you have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 90 days and are exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient
– No quarantine is recommended.
-Continue to monitor symptoms for 10 days. If you develop symptoms, get tested and begin isolation until results are returned.
-The CDC recommends that these people wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.