coronavirus illinois

‘Gradual Increase' in Chicago COVID Cases Was Expected, but Overall Risk Remains Low: Top Doc

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Officials with the Chicago Department of public Health say that they are tracking a “gradual increase” in COVID-19 cases in the city, but that the overall risk of infection remains low for city residents.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, the city is currently seeing an increase in both its test positivity, which has risen to 1.6% this week, and its COVID cases, with the city averaging 284 new cases per day.

That represents an increase from the 214 daily cases that the city was reporting one week ago, according to CDPH data.

City officials say that the BA.2 omicron subvariant is likely driving the increases, following a nationwide trend that has seen the strain become dominant in the United States.

The state of Illinois saw its COVID test positivity rate rise to 2% on Tuesday. The state is also averaging more than 1,300 new COVID cases per day, an increase of more than 10% over the previous week, and officials reported 1,798 new cases of the virus on Tuesday.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of CDPH, says that the city is expecting the increases to continue, but cautioned that officials have not observed a “surge” in cases.

“We expect to see this gradual increase continue for the near future, but we’re not seeing signs of a major surge and there’s nothing unexpected about the outbreak right now in Chicago,” she said.

Arwady says that the city will continue stepping up its efforts to promote vaccinations and boosters, especially in Black and Latinx communities.

According to official data, 75.9% of the city’s Latinx population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, while 61.8% of Black residents have received at least one dose.

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