Could the delta variant spark a surge in coronavirus cases in Chicago? Chicago's top doc weighed in on the topic.
Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,120 New COVID Cases, 54 Deaths, 288K Vaccinations Over Past Week
Health officials in Illinois reported 2,120 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus since last Friday, along with 54 additional deaths and more than 288,000 new vaccine doses administered.
In all, 1,392,552 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began. The additional deaths reported this week bring the state to 23,245 confirmed COVID fatalities.
The state has administered 234,527 tests since last Friday, bringing the total to more than 25.8 million tests conducted during the pandemic.
Gov. Pritzker, Lightfoot to Visit Small Business Impacted by Pandemic
Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined the U.S. Small Business Administration to stop by a small business impacted by the pandemic in Chicago. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also attended along with Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.
The group went to La Catedral Cafe & Restaurant for the event "to meet small business owners who benefitted from state and federal programs and highlight economic recovery throughout Chicago."
Could Delta Variant Lead to Another Surge in Chicago? Here's What City's Top Doc Thinks
As concerns surrounding the delta variant rise globally, with the new variant believed to be behind multiple surges, could it lead to another surge in Chicago?
The city's top doc says it's possible, but due to vaccinations, she doesn't believe a potential rise in cases will be like the surges seen in 2020.
"The good news is with vaccine here, you know, I'm not expecting the major surges like we saw in one or two because they remain protective against variants," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.
While Arwady and other officials have predicted the delta variant will become the dominant variant in Chicago and Illinois in the coming months, "that in and of itself is not necessarily a cause for alarm," she said.
"My worry is if we see a surge it would very much [be] concentrated in unvaccinated portions of Chicago, but I don't think, unless we see a new variant, we would be set up for the kind of major surge that threatens to overwhelm the health system where we need to do the big major shutdowns," she said. "You know, the hope is that we would be able to control it and really keep pushing vaccine. I'd of course rather avoid that and just try to get folks vaccinated now, but that's where I think we're headed."
Arwady noted, however, that new variants continue to emerge and could threaten vaccine efficacy.
More on the delta variant and Chicago.
Delta Variant: What to Know About the New Version of Coronavirus Sparking Concern
Concerns surrounding the delta coronavirus variant are rising in both Chicago and Illinois, but what is it about the new variant that has some worried?
Here's an exhaustive list of what we know so far about the variant itself and what is being seen in Chicago and Illinois.
Chicago Laboratory Keeping Close Tabs on Spread of Delta Variant COVID Cases
As concerns grow over the delta coronavirus variant, which is spreading rapidly across the United States, a Chicago laboratory is tracking cases in the city and providing a glimpse into just how quickly the variant has taken hold.
Scientists at the Regional Innovative Public Health Lab at Rush have been contracted by the city of Chicago to analyze coronavirus samples, tasked with finding out which strains of coronavirus are spreading in the city.
“We just need to know what’s in the city, (to examine) if there is a change in the dominant strains that are here,” Dr. Stefan Green, director of Genomics and Microbiome Core Facility at Rush, said.
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