CHICAGO — There are early signs Chicago could be coming down from a peak in its Omicron wave of COVID-19 — but it’s too soon to say for sure, the city’s top doctor said Tuesday.
After weeks of COVID-19 spreading at an unprecedented pace, Chicago has now seen slight dips in its positivity rate and in its average number of confirmed cases per day. The drops could signal good news for Chicago’s fight against the virus, but officials said they need more time to see if the drop will continue.
“We may be seeing the beginnings of some flattening here,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday news conference. But she urged caution, saying at another point, “I can’t say for sure we are flattening or past a peak.”
Officials have said in the past that a day or a few days that see drops in metrics do not signal a trend, and it can take a week or longer to determine if the city has met a peak in cases and is coming down.
Arwady also said Tuesday that the drops could be due to the lag in testing results and data being shared since there’s been such a surge in cases and testing.
But the data does give a small sense of relief, Arwady said.
Still, Chicago’s metrics remain high: Confirmed cases and Chicago’s positivity rate are at their highest point in months. There have been fewer hospitalizations and people dying from COVID-19 during this wave, but those figures also remain higher.
Arwady said she remains optimistic the city will see its Omicron peak of cases in January, though she needs to wait and see if Chicago’s already hit that peak and is coming down or if the city is flattening.
“There are some signs of promise in terms of the Omicron surge here. … I want to be very clear here that we need to see signs of progress for a number of days here,” Arwady said during a livestream earlier in the day. “I continue to see signs of progress here, but it is too soon to be clearly saying that we’re turning around. However, let us celebrate good news where we see it, which is that we are averaging 4,793 cases a day right now, which is down 8 percent from last week.”
• In Illinois, about 7.7 million people — or 61.1 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.
• Across the state, 54,187 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.
• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 19,722,607 vaccine doses of the 22,348,645 provided to them.
• City data shows more than 1.7 million Chicagoans — or 65.2 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 72.8 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.
• Since Monday, 92 Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.
• At least 28,660 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 3,368 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
• The state reported 28,110 cases since Monday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 2,488,380.
• Since Monday, 347,053 tests were reported statewide. In all, 47,174,830 tests have been reported in Illinois.
• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 12 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 13.4 percent Monday.
• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 16.9 percent. It was at 13.6 percent Monday.
• As of Monday night, 1,152 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 664 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.
• In Chicago, 44 deaths were reported since Monday. There have been at least 6,469 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of 17 people dying per day, up 25 percent from a week ago.
• Chicago has had 3,840 confirmed cases reported since Monday. It’s had a total of 483,386 confirmed cases. An average of 4,793 confirmed cases are being reported per day, down 8 percent from a week ago.
• Testing in Chicago is down 3 percent from a week ago.
• Chicago’s positivity rate is at 18.9 percent, down from 21 percent the week prior.
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