Illinois' COVID rate holds steady
Some signs of leveling off or decline, but health officials are watching for new variants
Illinois health officials say more than half of the state's counties remain at an elevated or high community transmission rate for COVID-19.
The most recent numbers put five counties at high risk. Another 56 are at an elevated rate. Those numbers are down from the previous week, when Illinois had more than 70 counties in the elevated and high risk categories.
New cases remained nearly steady, with more than 16-thousand confirmed and probable cases reported. But IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra says he's glad to see hospital capacity remaining steady, and overall transmission rates beginning to decline.
Vohra says the IDPH is monitoring a new variant of COVID - the XBB or "Kraken" variant. Cases of that variant are spreading in the northeast United States, and prompting increases in hospitalizations - but so far only low rates of that variant are being reported here.