As Chicago prepares to end its COVID mask and vaccine mandates at the end of the month, metrics show that the city is still seeing significant declines in cases and hospitalizations following the omicron peak last month.
According to the latest data from the Chicago Department of Public Health, the city is averaging 283 new COVID cases per day. While that still falls under the “substantial transmission” risk category, it is still down significantly in the last seven days, declining by 37%.
Under the city’s original plans for the rollback of mandates, Chicago had to be at a “lower transmission” risk category or lower in three of the following four COVID metrics in order to move forward with the rollback: cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions.
The city’s original plan also called for those numbers to stay within the “lower transmission” range for two weeks, or a full “incubation cycle,” in order to move forward with a rollback.
As of Monday, the city is now in that “lower transmission” category in three of the four metrics, but will move forward with the rollback of mitigations even though it has not been a full “incubation cycle” since going below those numbers.
Here are the latest statistics:
Cases Per Day – 283
In order to get to “lower transmission,” the city would have to be seeing fewer than 200 new cases of COVID per day.
For context, the city was averaging nearly 7,000 new COVID cases per day at the peak of the omicron surge in early January.
Positivity Rate – 1.5%
This metric is well within the “lower transmission” risk category, which requires positivity rates to drop below 2%.
The positivity rate in the city peaked at a weekly rate of nearly 15%, and hit 20% as a daily rate on several occasions during the omicron surge.
Hospitalizations – 227
Hospitalizations in Chicago have continued to decline, albeit at a slightly slower rate, in recent weeks, with new admissions declining by 29%.
The statistic is also in line with the “lower transmission” risk category.
ICU Admissions – 68
ICU patient census numbers indicate that fewer people are becoming severely ill with COVID, with the number also well within the “lower risk” category.