Region’s coronavirus caseload has stalled, leaving experts worried: Are we dropping our guard too soon? | Metro

But they haven’t been so far, he said.

Still, there are some concerning signs.

Area health officials this week said they’ve seen a small rise in the rate of positive coronavirus tests.

“It’s a little bit concerning that we’re creeping up with this number,” he said. “This is usually a leading indicator for other things, such as hospitalizations.”

Dramatic spikes in infections can be found in some other places around the country, like Michigan, New Jersey and New York. Areas of Illinois — especially in the northwestern part of the state — are also experiencing a rebound of the virus and associated hospitalizations.

Last week, Illinois officials announced a targeted plan to accelerate vaccinations in the affected region, in order to “quickly blunt increasing trends.”

Experts say the virus’ persistent levels of transmission illustrate the importance of masks, social distancing, and hand-washing.

As certain populations — particularly older residents — have gotten vaccinated, risk has shifted toward younger age groups, who now account for a rising percentage of virus-related hospitalizations statewide, Garza said at a briefing this week.

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