CHICAGO — Chicago has seen major improvements in its battle against COVID-19’s Omicron variant.
Cases are down, as are the number of people being hospitalized with and dying from the virus. And Chicago’s positivity rate has fallen below 5 percent for the first time in weeks.
“The news continues to be very, very good in terms of getting over this Omicron surge,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Tuesday livestream.
At Chicago’s Omicron peak, one in 40 unvaccinated Chicagoans was testing positive for COVID-19 each week, and one in 90 fully vaccinated but not boosted Chicagoans tested positive each week. Now, one in 140 unvaccinated Chicagoans tested positive last week, and one in 400 vaccinated but not boosted Chicagoans tested positive, Arwady said.
Another sign of progress: At Chicago’s Omicron peak, it was seeing about 10,000 new cases per day of COVID-19 — now, it’s reporting 1,037 cases per day.
Chicago will likely see the pace of those decreases slow down, Arwady said, but she’d “love” to see the city reporting only about 500 or 600 cases per day by next week.
The health commissioner said hospitals are not out of the surge “by a long shot,” but they’ve made progress and are resuming elective procedures.
But Arwady said it’s still too soon to lift the mask mandate or the requirement to show proof of vaccination at bars, restaurants and other venues.
But it could be gone “relatively soon,” or even “quite soon,” Arwady said at a news conference.
“We’re not going to keep the vaccination requirement just because we like it; we’re keeping it because we remain in a high risk,” Arwady said.
Arwady said at least 949 Chicagoans have died from COVID-19 in the past two months, and at least 7,410 have been hospitalized with the virus.
The risk of becoming seriously ill with or dying from COVID-19 has been much higher for unvaccinated people. The hospitalization and death rates of unvaccinated people peaked at nearly four times the rates of vaccinated and boosted Chicagoans, she said.
• In Illinois, about 7.9 million people — or 62.24 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.
• Across the state, 34,707 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.
• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 20,548,687 vaccine doses of the 23,139,445 provided to them.
• City data shows more than 1.7 million Chicagoans — or 66.9 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 75.3 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, 123 Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.
• At least 31,036 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 3,817 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
• The state reported 8,665 cases since Monday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 2,929,636.
• Since Monday, 117,671 tests were reported statewide. In all, 51,358,131 tests have been reported in Illinois.
• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 6.8 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 7.2 percent Monday.
• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 8.5 percent. It was at 9.1 percent Monday.
• As of Monday night, 669 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 402 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.
• In Chicago, 60 deaths were reported since Monday. There have been at least 6,971 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of 13 people dying per day, down 44 percent from a week ago.
• Chicago has had 558 confirmed cases reported since Monday. It’s had a total of 544,169 confirmed cases. An average of 1,037 confirmed cases are being reported per day, down 48 percent from a week ago.
• Testing in Chicago is down 7 percent from a week ago.
• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 4.5 percent, down from 7.8 percent a week ago.
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