Cook County logo. WTIP file photo
WTIP file photo

Unvaccinated people continue to be primary source of COVID spread in Cook County

With at least 15 new cases of COVID-19 documented in Cook County in a recent report and through Nov. 8, local public health officials continue to emphasize the benefits of vaccination in slowing the spread of the virus.

“We have a large amount of COVID circulating in the community,” Cook County Public Health Supervisor Grace Grainger said during a Nov. 8 interview on WTIP. “Similar to some patterns we’re seeing elsewhere, we do see it continue to be concentrated in pockets of people who are unvaccinated. And at this point in the pandemic, the largest pocket of unvaccinated individuals is our kids, it’s folks under the age of 18.”

Grinager said local public health officials continue to work with schools in Cook County to follow up with contact tracing, including sharing information with families who may be impacted about quarantine protocols and testing. All contact tracing continues to be done at the local level, Grinager said.

The most recent data released from Cook County Public Health officials list 14 new cases reported in the past seven days ending Nov. 4. Grinager said another case came in over the most recent weekend. The COVID case count in Cook County has climbed steadily this fall, with more than 70 cases reported since early September. The total case for Cook County is now at least 273.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Grinager said having more people in the population vaccinated, including those in the 5-11 age group, is as significant milestone and goal.

“We have a lot of COVID spreading right now, and holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving are a high risk setting,” she said.

The first vaccination event for local youth between the ages of 5-11 is Friday, Nov. 12. Registration for the event is full. The next opportunity to vaccinate someone in this age group is Saturday, Nov. 20.