ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The CDC’s current map of COVID transmission levels per county continues to bear bad news for the state as more counties continue to worsen into the high community level.

The community level of a county depends on a combination of three metrics the CDC looks at:

  1. New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days
  2. The percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients
  3. Total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days

Using this data, the CDC classifies a county’s community level as being low, medium or high.

The number of counties in the high level has increased from 58 last week to 66 this week, approximately two-thirds of Illinois’ 102 counties. All of northern Illinois and much of southern and east-central Illinois is listed in the high level, including Champaign, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Ford, Edgar and Vermilion Counties; these counties were listed in the high level last week. Effingham. Macon, Moultrie and Shelby Counties worsened from the medium level to the high level during the week.

People living in these counties advised to wear a mask indoors in public, stay up to date with COVID vaccines and get tested if they experience symptoms. Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness.

31 counties are listed in the medium level. McLean County dropped from the high level to the medium level during the week while Christian, Iroquois, Livingston, Menard, and Sangamon Counties remained at the medium level. Other medium-level counties are scattered throughout west central, northeastern and southern Illinois.

People living in these counties are advised to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccination and get tested if they experience symptoms or are exposed to someone who tests positive. People at high risk for severe illness are further advised to consider wearing a mask indoors and take other precautions.

The number of counties listed in the low level has been small for the last few weeks, but the number has shrunk even more since last week, going from eight to five. DeWitt and Livingston Counties are among them, improving from the medium level. The other three are Brown, Putnam and Woodford Counties.

People living in these counties are only advised to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and, if they have symptoms, to get tested and wear a mask.