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DuPage County Board

DuPage County Board Briefed on County’s Response to COVID-19

Yesterday DuPage County’s top health official provided a COVID-19 update to the DuPage County Board.

The presentation marked the one-year anniversary of when the first vaccine against COVID-19 was administered in Illinois. Since then, the county is reporting that 71% of its population is fully vaccinated.

DuPage County Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala touted the county’s response to COVID-19, saying there are more than 50 healthcare providers administering vaccines.

COVID-19 Cases

Despite the availability of vaccines, DuPage County is seeing an uptick in the number of hospital admittances and patients in intensive care units. Health officials continue to stress the importance of people getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of yesterday, the county is reporting a seven-day rolling average of new cases at 484 per day. Health officials anticipate that figure will continue to rise.

Why Now?

Of the 2,886 hospitalized or who have died dating back to December 2020 through December 6, 2021, 95.3% were not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. There are currently nearly 200,000 residents who are eligible but have yet to receive a dose of the vaccines.

Health and Safety Precautions

Ayala emphasized the importance of people wearing masks to help slow the spread of the virus. She has a theory about why the metrics appear to be trending upward comparably to where the numbers were reported earlier this year, despite the availability and uptake of vaccines.

“There’s two very likely reasons for that: one is that we now have the Delta variant that is circulating which is extraordinarily transmissible and virulent,” Ayala said. “And then, also I’d like to remind you—and I hope we all would like to forget the days of a year ago—of the many of the prevention strategies that we had in place—whether that be shelter-in-place, masking, social distancing.”

Ayala acknowledged the debate people are having about masks, their effectiveness and whether there should be mandates.

When asked if there are harms to masking, Ayala said the answer is simple: “masks are effective—mic drop.”

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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