While hospitalizations have remained largely stable in Chicago in recent weeks, it looks like the region is at risk of moving to a “medium community level” of COVID-19 soon, the city’s top doctor has said.
Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady told viewers during his “Ask Arwady” session on Tuesday that the city will likely move to a “medium level” with the virus as soon as this week.
“I predict, really, probably this week or next, Chicago will go to that mid level,” Arwady said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cook County is seeing 190.44 new weekly COVID cases per 100,000 population, just below the 200 per week threshold that would move the county into the “average community level” category.
The city of Chicago itself is reporting that it is seeing 709 new cases per day, an 18% increase from a week ago. This represents 183.4 new weekly cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The CDC will update its data on Thursday, which could potentially place Chicago and Cook County in the “average” category, a move that Arwady says won’t necessarily mean more restrictions.
“If we go medium, it’s not like the sky is falling on us,” she said. “There won’t be any major changes coming. We just want to curb some of those transmissions.
Several communities in suburban Chicago are seeing increased transmission of COVID-19, but measures are expected to worsen significantly before mandates or protocol changes are implemented, health experts told NBC 5. Lauren Petty has the details.
Arwady says mask recommendations won’t return with a move to a “medium community level,” but said residents should consider wearing masks when congregating indoors. This recommendation would also apply to residents traveling to other locations that currently have a “medium” risk factor.
“For anyone traveling to a medium risk county, we really recommend that you consider wearing a mask in indoor locations, and if it is high risk, you should definitely wear a mask in indoor settings. interiors,” she said.
Despite the increase in cases, hospitalizations have remained stable, and have even dropped slightly in recent days. According to city officials, Chicago is seeing an average of 12 new hospitalizations a day from COVID. That’s down 4% from a week ago, and the city is seeing 0.4 new admissions per 100,000 people per day.
This represents 2.8 new admissions per 100,000 population per week. According to CDC guidelines, any area that sees 10 or more new weekly admissions per 100,000 residents would be at an “average community level” COVID transmission risk, meaning Chicago would be well below that threshold.
Health officials from other communities have warned that metrics could remain at the ‘medium transmission’ level for the foreseeable future, but that there are no observable rapid spikes in cases that could indicate a further increase. worse.
“Any increase in numbers is not the direction we want to go, but we’re not seeing a big increase and a strong sustained increase,” said Karen Ayala, director of the DuPage County Health Department.