COVID Update: Numbers tick up at the first of the year
CDC, IDPH urge more people to get vaccinated
More than half of Illinois' 102 counties remain at an elevated level of COVID transmission, according to weekly reports from the state and the CDC.
Seventy-three counties are listed in the "elevated" status, up from 65 last week... with 28 at high transmission and 45 at medium.
Health officials are still recommending people get the bivalent COVID vaccine if they haven't already, as it helps protect against the Omicron variant.
More than 16-thousand new cases of coronavirus were recorded over the past week in Illinois, along with 20 new deaths.
The state's Department of Public Health says vaccinations, along with measures like washing hands, wearing masks, and staying home when you're sick, will continue to help prevent the spread of not just COVID-19, but also the flu and other respiratory illnesses.