Cook County is now at the lowest level of COVID-19 risk, under new guidance set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This new framework looks beyond cases and test positivity to determine risk, and instead focuses on hospitalizations and hospital capacity.
It’s a more reliable measure of what’s happening in the community and what’s putting a strain on the healthcare system, said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, medical director of infection prevention and control at UI Health.
For example, Lake County is also at the lowest COVID risk under the new guidance. And that’s reflected in how some hospitals are feeling after the height of the omicron surge.
Dr. Michael Bauer, medical director at Northwestern Medicine at Lake Forest Hospital, said his hospital is seeing the effects of the precipitous decline. As little as three weeks ago, the hospital had over 40-50 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. But Tuesday morning, they were down to eight hospitalizations.
“What these metrics really help reflect is the level of severity of the disease in the community,” Bauer said.