CHICAGO (WMBD)– The Illinois Dept. of Public Health and the CDC reported 12 counties in Illinois are at an elevated community level for COVID-19, up from nine the previous week.

Those 12 counties are at a medium community level, including Stark County Locally. No counties are at high level.

In counties 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.

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said that IDPH welcomes the action by the FDA this week to authorize a bivalent booster shot for children aged 6 months to 4 years old if they completed their primary vaccination series of the Pfizer vaccine with the monovalent vaccine more than two months ago.

“I am pleased that the FDA has authorized and the CDC has expanded its recommendation to allow this category of young children to receive a booster dose of Pfizer’s updated COVID-19 vaccine,” Director Vohra said. “This recommendation now means that all children in this age group are eligible to receive an updated vaccine. Vaccines remain the best protection to prevent serious illness from COVID-19, and these updated shots are formulated to protect against some of the more recently circulating strains of the disease. I recommend that parents speak with the children’s health care provider to ensure that their child is up to date on their COVID-19 and other vaccines.”

Free or low-cost COVID-19 testing locations are also available throughout the state and can be found on the IDPH website’s testing locator page.