coronavirus illinois

Chicago's Top Doc Says Nearly 1-in-4 Reported COVID Tests Coming Back Positive in City

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Nearly one-in-four reported COVID tests in the city of Chicago are coming back with positive results, continuing a rapid increase in positivity rates in the city.

According to the latest information from the Chicago Department of Public Health, the city’s positivity rate as of Dec. 30, the last date for which data is available for due to lag time and other factors, stands at 23.6%, the highest rate reported since May 7, 2020.

That number represents a rapid increase in the city’s positivity rate in the last month. On Dec. 7, the positivity rate in the city stood at 3.9%, and since that date it has increased every day, according to officials.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of CDPH, says that part of the increase in positivity rates has come because of the influx of at-home testing that has been performed, with those numbers not included in test results because they aren’t being sent to state-run laboratories.

“People are more likely to be seeking those at-home tests. We already know about half of the testing happening in the US is happening through more at-home tests,” she said.

Arwady said that if residents test positive on at-home tests that they should report those results to their primary health care provider, and said that unless a resident becomes more seriously ill that they should adhere to isolation guidelines after a positive at-home test.

On Dec. 7, the city was averaging 958 new cases of COVID per 100,000 residents, and that number has increased by nearly 380%, rising to 4,591 new cases of COVID per 100,000 residents as of Dec. 30.

These numbers come as testing rates have fallen in the city. According to CDPH data, an average of 23,675 test results are being returned to laboratories each day over the last week, a decrease of 41% from a week ago.

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