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Coronavirus Kills 24 People As 1,700 More Cases Reported In Illinois: ‘We’ve Got A New Curve To Bend’

Coronavirus is still spreading in Chicago, with more and more new cases coming up every day, said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Department of Public Health.

A patron puts on a face mask before entering Sluggers World Class Sports Bar on Clark Street in the Wrigleyville neighborhood on June 27, 2020 during the first weekend of Illinois in Phase Four of reopening amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Face masks are required for entry at the establishment. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Another 24 people were reported to have died from coronavirus during the past day in Illinois.

Chicago and the rest of the state continue to see a rise in daily cases and deaths from coronavirus. While the city still isn’t seeing as many new cases and deaths as it did during the peak of the pandemic in May, the numbers are trending in the wrong direction, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Thursday livestream.

The data shows coronavirus is still spreading around the city and not everyone who has it is being tested and showing up as a confirmed case, Arwady said.

“We are not making the right kind of progress here,” Arwady said. Later, she said, “We’ve got a new curve to bend.”

Among the latest victims were eight people in Cook County. At least 7,977 people have died from coronavirus in Illinois.

Another 1,707 cases were reported, as well, bringing the state’s total up to 227,334. Illinois’ positivity rate is at 4.1 percent.

As of Wednesday night, 1,631 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 390 people in the ICU and 151 people on ventilators.

Chicago is seeing an average of 352 new cases and three deaths per day. The city’s positivity rate is at 5.3 percent, and 13-14 people are being hospitalized with coronavirus per day here.

Those numbers are “concerning,” Arwady said. Previously, she’s said hitting 400 or more cases per day would mark a change where Chicago would need to look at bringing back more stringent restrictions to protect people.

“It’s just not turning around in the way we would want,” Arwady said.

At least 2,861 people have died from coronavirus in Chicago, and there have been 69,539 cases of the virus.

New cases are being reported in every ZIP code of Chicago, Arwady said, but communities on the southwest and northwest of the city have been hit particularly hard.

The virus continues to spread mainly through “social and household gatherings,” Arwady said said. There’s been “real spread” among people who are indoors and don’t wear masks or keep 6 feet of social distance, she said.

Previously, Arwady and other officials have said gatherings among family and friends have been problematic, as people let down their guard and don’t take proper safety precautions. Officials have asked people to not gather unless it’s necessary.

People who are more at risk from COVID, or who have a household member who’s more at risk, should think twice before doing any activity that could be riskier, like seeing people indoors or gathering in a group, Arwady said.

And people need to stay home and isolate if they’re sick — or even if they’re asymptomatic but were possibly exposed to COVID-19, Arwady said.

The virus can spread even if someone is asymptomatic, and the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends people get tested for coronavirus if they’ve been exposed, even if they’re not showing symptoms, Arwady said. People who test negative should still quarantine for 14 days if they think they were exposed.

“COVID doesn’t care how much you love this person, how much you wanna do this activity …,” Arwady said. “It’s only looking for opportunities to spread.”

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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