Illinois changes its COVID-19 data reporting
Illinois is changing the way it reports on the spread of COVID-19 to comply with new Federal health recommendations. Regulators in Illinois will now pay more attention to COVID-19 hospitalization rates to determine if additional safety measures are needed to keep more people from getting sick. The change was implemented last week by officials with the Illinois Dept. of Public Health after the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) updated its guidelines in March. Before then, health officials relied more heavily on daily infection rates. At-home COVID-19 tests are more widely available and those test results are not reported to public health authorities. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden, said this past week that COVID-19 is still a threat but that the United States is transitioning out of the pandemic phase of the outbreak. A recent increase in new COVID-19 infections has not sent as many people to hospitals like it has since COVID-19 was discovered in December 2019. Infectious disease experts say that could be because more people have been vaccinated and changes in the virus’ composition.