CHICAGO — Another 595 people tested positive for coronavirus during the last day in Illinois.
The state has now seen 131,198 confirmed cases of COVID-19. And another 77 people died in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll in Illinois to 6,260.
Though the state and Chicago continue to see declines in the number of new confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19, the city’s top doctor warned people still need to take the virus seriously.
Chicago could move to Phase 4 of reopening as early as July 1, said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, but only if cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to fall.
“If people can hang in there and keep doing the things we know work, the things that have given us the progress we saw in the month of May, we will be OK to continue that cautious reopening carefully,” Arwady said during a Friday press conference. “But if people think COVID is over, we will have trouble here, no doubt about it.”
Chicago has now had 48,924 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,359 deaths. It’s seeing an average of 232 new confirmed cases and 18 deaths per day, which is “dramatic and rapid” progress from earlier in the pandemic, Arwady said.
But Chicago needs to see fewer than 20 new cases per day to be considered low-risk, Arwady said, “And we are just a long way from that here in Chicago.”
Arwady said she’s concerned Chicago could see an uptick in cases in coming weeks. The city is waiting to see what impact, if any, recent protests and gatherings have had on the spread of coronavirus here.
Arwady said she’s also worried about the fall, when officials might have to battle coronavirus on top of the annual flu season.
“My concern for the fall has as much to do when we think about hospitals with the fact that we know there will be a flu season again come fall and winter. Our hospitals are always busy with flu,” Arwady said. “If we have even a normal flu season on top of an ongoing COVID season, even at a relatively low level, that could be a major problem.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has previously said the city is preparing for more possible waves of COVID-19.
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