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Chicago’s Top Doctor Warns People Shouldn’t ‘Let Their Guard Down’ As Coronavirus Kills 27 More People In Illinois

Another 1,740 cases were also reported, bringing the total number of confirmed cases up to 209,594 in Illinois.

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 — Coronavirus killed another 27 people over the past day in Illinois.

Ten of the victims were in Cook County, including a man and a woman in their 40s. The state has seen at least 7,782 people die from COVID-19.

Another 1,740 cases were also reported, bringing the total number of confirmed cases up to 209,594 in Illinois. The state’s positivity rate ticked up slightly to 4.3 percent.

As of Monday night, 1,510 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 335 people in the ICU and 128 people using ventilators.

Chicago is seeing, on average, 307 new confirmed cases per day as of Tuesday, said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, during a press conference. Overall, there have been 66,417 cases reported here, and the city’s positivity rate is at 5 percent.

The city is also seeing an average of two deaths per day. At least 2,830 people had died from coronavirus in Chicago.

Hospitalizations and deaths have been stable in the city, Arwady said, which is “good news.”

But Latino Chicagoans are still seeing disproportionately high numbers of new cases of COVID-19, Arwady said. That’s “not unexpected” because people in Chicago’s Latino community are more likely to have close community ties, be essential workers and live in multi-generational homes, she said, but it does cause her concern.

The health department is focusing on outreach and educational work on communities with large Latino populations to help prevent that spread, Arwady said.

And the bulk of the city’s new cases are still coming from people age 18-29, but Arwady said she is less concerned about that group since younger people are at less risk from COVID-19.

The majority of new cases are coming from people spreading the virus to people they live with or attend small gatherings with, Arwady said. Workplaces and large gatherings, like protests, have not seen significant outbreaks.

About 58 percent of new cases come from spread among family members, Arwady said, but in communities hit hard by coronavirus that number gets as high as 81 percent.

Chicagoans should “think hard” about the members of their household and who they could be putting at risk with their actions, Arwady said.

Young people might be less at risk from coronavirus, but if they live with someone who is older or has underlying conditions — thereby making them more likely to have severe symptoms or to die from coronavirus — then they should be taking precautions to protect those people, Arwady said.

That means wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands.

“As you are thinking about your own COVID-19 risk here in Chicago, if you live in one of those areas … that is less of a risk, it does not mean that COVID is gone,” Arwady said. “We continue to see people diagnosed with COVID in every ZIP code in Chicago. We continue to see people who get very sick with COVID. We see people admitted to the hospital.

“And we’re still seeing, on average, two to three people dying, every day, just among Chicago residents. So I don’t want people to let their guard down, no matter what part of the city you live in.”

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