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Chicago’s COVID Cases Are Rising, But City In ‘Good Control’ Of Its Outbreak, Top Doc Says

Chicago's seeing an average of 223 people test positive for COVID-19 per day, up 27 percent from one week ago.

Families register to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at Esperanza Health Centers, 6057 S. Western Ave., on Nov. 4, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — COVID-19 cases are rising in Chicago, but the city is in “good control” of its outbreak, according to the health department.

Chicago has begun to see a bump in its daily cases and test positivity — something the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady, had predicted when ending the city’s mask and vaccine card mandates a month ago. She’s said the increases are nothing to be alarmed about for now.

“If the increase in cases does concern people, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from severe outcomes remains the same: ensure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations,” Arwady said in a Wednesday news release.

Chicago’s now seeing an average of 223 people test positive for COVID-19 per day, up 27 percent from one week ago. It’s positivity rate has also risen to 1.3 percent, up from .9 percent a week ago.

The number of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 and dying from the virus remain low.

Similarly, Illinois has seen a bump in its positivity rate — it’s up to 1.7 percent — and the daily number of cases it’s reporting.

The bumps can’t be attributed to testing, as testing has fallen.

Cases have risen elsewhere in the world due to the spread of Omicron’s BA.2 sub-variant, which is more contagious than Omicron.

Arwady has said city officials are keeping an eye on BA.2’s spread and COVID-19 metrics in Chicago, and they’ll take appropriate safety steps if needed.

For weeks, Chicago had seen fast declines in its metrics after Omicron drove them to record highs in late December and early January. But Arwady has said she expected to see those figures rise again after ending safety mandates, people relaxing after the Omicron surge and due to the spread of BA.2.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 8.1 million people — or 64.33 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 7,028 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 21,347,013 vaccine doses of the 25,798,545 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.8 million Chicagoans — or 70.2 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 77.3 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.

The numbers:

• Since Tuesday, 10 Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.

• At least 33,358 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 4,287 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 1,324 cases since Tuesday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 3,066,645.

• Since Tuesday, 83,478 tests were reported statewide. In all, 57,205,465 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 1.7 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 1.6 percent Tuesday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 1.7 percent. It was at 1.7 percent Tuesday.

• As of Tuesday night, 64 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 27 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, two deaths were reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 7,331 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of less than one person dying per day, down 88 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 182 confirmed cases reported since Tuesday. It’s had a total of 565,504 confirmed cases. An average of 223 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 27 percent from a week ago.

• Testing in Chicago is down 10 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 1.3 percent, up from .9 percent a week ago.

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