As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the country and locally, DuPage County Health Department’s Executive Director Karen Ayala gave an update Tuesday morning to the county board.
DuPage County COVID-19 Metrics
In her presentation, Ayala highlighted the increase of severe COVID-19 cases over the past month, which accounts for hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) admittances within the county.
“On July 15th, we had a total of 20 individuals in our hospitals, none in the ICU unit,” said Ayala. “We contrast that with the 17th of August, and you see that we now have 115 individuals in the hospitals with 24 in the ICU.”
The county is currently under a high transmission level, and Ayala said she expects that to continue.
She added that 58.3% of DuPage County residents are fully vaccinated, and 68% of eligible residents, 12 years or older, are fully vaccinated.
How to Slow the Spread
Ayala emphasized that getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the biggest tool in the fight against COVID-19.
“We see that of the new cases identified, over 91% are in persons who are not fully vaccinated,” Ayala said. “Over 95% of hospitalized cases were in persons not fully vaccinated. … We see that over 90% of cases of individuals who have died were in persons not fully vaccinated.”
Other measures to take are masking indoors and staying at home when feeling ill.
Pending approval and guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the county expects those vaccinated will become eligible for a third dose of the vaccine in the fall.
Ayala also said the county anticipates pediatric doses for residents 12 years or younger will be available in the fall.
“We’re making plans,” Ayala said. “We’re working with our community partners. We are exploring ways of reinstituting our mass vaccination clinic for these efforts.”
To watch the rest of the presentation, visit the county’s website.
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead and Christian Canizal report.
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