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As Illinois Reports 25 More Coronavirus Deaths, Chicago’s Top Doctor Warns City ‘Not Immune’ To Surge

Dr. Allison Arwady said she's concerned Chicago is starting to see its coronavirus numbers rise.

Alivio Medical Center's Pilsen drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in the Lower West Side neighborhood in action on Saturday, May 9, 2020. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Another 25 people died from coronavirus during the last day in Illinois, including 12 in Cook County.

That’s a sharp jump from Monday, when officials said just six people were reported to have died. In all, 7,218 people have died from the virus in Illinois.

The last 24 hours also saw 707 more people test positive for coronavirus. There have now been 155,506 confirmed cases in Illinois.

As of Monday night, 1,416 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois, including 333 people in the ICU and 126 people using ventilators.

Illinois has seen a slight rise in daily confirmed cases over the last few weeks, as well as a slight uptick in its positivity rate. As of Tuesday, that rate was at 3 percent.

Chicago has also begun to see a slight uptick in its confirmed cases and positivity rate — and the city’s top health official warned Chicago won’t be immune to the rise that’s been seen throughout the state.

The city’s seven-day positivity rate — which measures the percent of people who tested positive for coronavirus — has risen to 5 percent as of Tuesday, said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health. The city wants that to stay below 5 percent.

The city’s average number of new cases has also risen to 188. As of Tuesday, one in 50 Chicagoans has had coronavirus and one in eight has been tested.

“It has been just very slowly creeping up. Compared to what we’re seeing around the country … Chicago has actually remained relatively flat, but we are starting to see some slight increases there, and I’m concerned about that,” Arwady said during a Tuesday livestream.

But deaths have continued to drop, Arwady said. There were 22 deaths reported last week but 41 the week before.

Arwady said the city is still seeing the biggest increase in cases among people 18-29 years old, with people 30-39 years old following that. The positivity rate among young people is 6 percent.

People in those age ranges have been more likely to travel out of state, are more likely to report being exposed to friends and not just family and “also potentially [are] just being a little less cautious” since the stay at home order was lifted, Arwady said.

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Officials worry young people could transmit the virus to their older parents and grandparents, who face serious risk from COVID-19.

And young people face risks from coronavirus, too, Arwady said.

“We absolutely do see serious outcomes, hospitalizations and even some deaths in that age group,” Arwady said.

The city is also seeing increases in cases among white and Black Chicagoans, while cases are still falling among Latino Chicagoans.

The city is “not immune” to the surges in cases and deaths that are happening across the country, Arwady said.

“If the rest of Illinois is on the way up, there’s a good chance we are, too,” she said.

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