Passengers mask up on the CTA. Credit: CTA

CHICAGO — The city is seeing a “true increase” in coronavirus, with cases and the positivity rate rising, officials have warned.

That mirrors what’s happening around the Midwest, where many states have seen cases rise to worse levels than Chicago’s as the weather has cooled.

In Chicago, the average number of cases reported per day is up 11 percent since a week ago. At the same time, testing has fallen 6 percent — which means the increase in cases can’t be blamed on increased testing.

“It’s nothing like we were seeing last fall, thank goodness, but definitely back on the up,” Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the health department, said at a Tuesday news conference.

Because the city is averaging 465 new cases per day — including 729 cases reported in the past day — it’s considered high risk when it comes to transmission.

“I do expect to see that continue to rise,” Arwady said at a livestream.

Chicago’s positivity rate has also risen. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized per day is also increasing, Arwady said.

Deaths have gone up, but only slightly, with Chicago averaging more than three per day as of Wednesday.

Officials, including Arwady, have said they’re worried about the city’s outbreak worsening as people gather for the holidays. She urged people to get vaccinated or to get a booster before Thanksgiving to ensure they and their families have some protection against the virus.

The last day people have to get a first-dose shot is Saturday if they want to be fully vaccinated by Christmas.


• In Illinois, about 7.3 million people — or 57.32 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 61,474 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 16,553,367 vaccine doses of the 19,636,555 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.6 million Chicagoans — or 60.2 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 67 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Twenty-three Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Tuesday.

• At least 26,160 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,923 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 4,989 cases since Tuesday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,752,502.

• Since Tuesday, 122,747 tests were reported statewide. In all, 37,537,725 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 2.9 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 2.8 percent Tuesday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 3.5 percent. It was at 3.4 percent Tuesday.

• As of Tuesday night, 325 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 149 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, four deaths were reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 5,957 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than three people dying per day, up 92 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 729 confirmed cases reported since Tuesday. It’s had a total of 335,723 confirmed cases. An average of 465 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 11 percent from the week prior.

• Testing in Chicago is down 6 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 2.6 percent, up from 2.1 percent the week prior.

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