May 13, 2022 – With COVID-19 cases surging across the region and reports of outbreaks in Oak Park on the rise, the Oak Park Health Department continues to step up its efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
Earlier this week the Health Department issued new COVID-19 guidance for schools as cases among school-aged children continued to cause disruptions throughout the community.
The guidance states schools should immediately begin contact tracing after being notified of a positive case to ensure all close contacts are notified within 24 hours. The Health Department also recommends all close contacts in schools participate in COVID-19 SHIELD testing.
Click here to read the Health Department’s COVID-19 guidance for schools.
The Health Department also issued guidance for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, urging them to isolate for a minimum of five days and wear a high-quality mask upon re-entering society for 10 days post infection.
Health officials also recommend using a rapid antigen test before ending isolation as some individuals may remain infectious beyond their five-day isolation period.
Click here to read the Health Department’s guidance for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the Health Department reported 437 cases among Oak Park residents during the previous week. In comparison, four weeks ago there were 102 cases reported.
Health officials note the number of positive tests does not reflect those who test positive using a self-administered home test but did not receive a confirmatory test at an official testing site such as a pharmacy or physician’s office.
Oak Park and the rest of Cook County are in the medium COVID-19 level per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s levels framework, which defines medium as higher than 200 cases per 100,000 residents and fewer than 10 percent of staff inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.
This marks the fifth straight week Oak Park has been at the medium COVID-19 level. In the past four weeks the Health Department has responded to reports of outbreaks related to social gatherings, outdoor and indoor sports, school attendance, school trips, daycare attendance, choir, long-term care facilities and congregate housing.
Health officials caution that given the large number of COVID-19 cases, it is becoming increasingly challenging to protect vulnerable and at-risk populations from the virus.
With the weather getting warmer, health officials are urging residents to consider hosting events outdoors and asking guests to test prior to arriving.
Other recommendations include wearing a mask when around those at high risk for severe illness from a COVID-19 infection, staying home when sick, testing at the first sign of illness and staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
For more information about the Village of Oak Park’s COVID-19 response, visit www.oak-park.us/covid19 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.