Lake, McHenry counties encourage vaccination amidst high community transmission

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Region 9


For Immediate Release

Date: August 24, 2021

Lake, McHenry counties encourage vaccination amidst high community transmission

The Lake County Health Department and the McHenry County Department of Health want to remind residents that the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection and severe illness is to get vaccinated.

Health officials are urging residents to follow recently updated Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines which recommend every person, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in public indoor settings where community transmission levels are “substantial” or “high.”

Both Lake and McHenry Counties are experiencing high levels of community transmission as defined by the CDC following significant increases in cases over the past month.

“While it is important that we all take increased precautions during this time, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and others is to get vaccinated” said Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister. “The increases that we are seeing in hospitalizations and ICU bed use are being driven primarily by unvaccinated individuals.”

“We’re just a couple of months away from flu season. With COVID-19 cases increasing, we cannot afford to overburden our health care systems,” said Melissa Adamson, Public Health Administrator of McHenry County Department of Health. “The recommendation to mask up will stay in place until we see a substantial drop in community transmission of COVID-19.”

According to CDC guidance, in addition to masking indoors, fully vaccinated individuals who have been around someone who has COVID-19 should get tested three to five days after exposure, even if they don't have symptoms. Those who test positive should isolate for 10 days.

Health officials encourage anyone 12 years of age or older to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Vaccines are safe and effective at reducing the risk of severe illness and death.

To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, please visit

As a reminder, people with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic or have a wide range of symptoms - from mild to severe illness. Symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus and may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Individuals experiencing severe symptoms such as trouble breathing, chest pain, inability to wake or stay awake, or pale or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, should seek emergency care immediately.

For trusted information on the COVID-19 pandemic from reputable state and federal sources, visit the State of Illinois, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.

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Media Contacts:

Lake County Health Department: Emily Young, (847) 377-8226, 

McHenry County Department of Health: Lindsey Salvatelli, (815) 236-3238,

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Lake County Health Department
3010 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
(847) 377-8000