IDPH has Begun Sending Vaccination & Booster Reminder Text Messages to 2.5 Million Illinoisans With Records in I-CARESPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 19,551 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 58 deaths since April 15, 2022.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 3,114,036 cases, including 33,568 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic.

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As of last night, 613 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 82 patients were in the ICU and 26 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 153 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.

IDPH officials noted that the case rate has been slowly rising in the state and that although hospitalizations and deaths are relatively stable, four Illinois counties are now rated by the CDC as having a Medium Community Level. These counties are DuPage, Champaign, McLean and Piatt. At the Medium Community Level, persons who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of severe outcomes) are advised to wear a mask in indoor public places.

The State of Illinois remains strongly positioned to respond in the event of a new COVID-19 surge. The State stockpile of tests has been replenished, with more than 1.5 million rapid tests on hand, and a half a million more on the way. In addition, hospitals, schools, and long-term care facilities have been urged to take steps to increase their current testing capacity.

The State is also supporting pharmacies and healthcare providers in efforts to increase their inventories of the various FDA-authorized treatments.

IDPH advises members of the public to talk to their provider immediately if they test positive for COVID-19 so that COVID-19 treatment can be prescribed if necessary within five days of starting to feel sick.

A total of 21,760,073 vaccines have been administered in Illinois. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 17,703 doses. Since April 15, 2022, 123,921 doses were reported administered in Illinois. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 76% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, more than 68% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated, and almost 51% of the vaccinated population is boosted according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data indicates that the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for those who are up to date on their vaccinations.

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IDPH also announced today it has started sending text messages to some 2.5 million Illinois residents in the coming weeks to remind them they are due for a COVID-19 vaccination or a booster shot. The messages are being sent to people who have their vaccination records in the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE), a web-based immunization record-sharing application developed by IDPH that allows healthcare providers to share the immunization records of Illinois residents with other physicians statewide.

The text messages say: "IDPH records indicate that you or someone in your care are due for a COVID-19 shot. For more info please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/COVIDup2date."

The link takes the recipient to a web page that provides information about how to locate a vaccination provider. If recipients would like to opt out of future COVID-19 vaccine reminder texts, they can reply “stop.”

“The most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from severe health outcomes from COVID-19 is to remain up-to-date with our vaccinations,” said IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars. “These text alerts will provide those whose records are included in I-CARE an important reminder that they are due for a vaccination shot or a booster. This is especially important for those who are at higher risk for serious outcomes.”

All data are provisional and are subject to change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html.

Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.

The federal government has established a new website that provides an all-purpose toolkit with information on how to obtain masks, treatment, vaccines and testing resources for all areas of the country at: https://www.covid.gov/.

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