coronavirus illinois

No, Chicago Hasn't Peaked Yet, But Officials Still Believe a Peak is Near

"We are making progress, but we're far from out of the woods," CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said

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Chicago health officials say the city still has not reached a peak.

According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, the city is still seeing a rise in cases, but a peak could be near.

"We're still at the stage where we're flattening the curve. We're not yet coming down," CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Wednesday.

Arwady said the city is still expected to peak in May, however.

The Chicago Department of Public Health has documented a surge in coronavirus cases in the city’s Latinx community, which now represents 37 percent of the city’s total cases, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday.

"We are making progress, but we're far from out of the woods," Arwady said.

Chicago crossed a grim milestone earlier this week as deaths due to the coronavirus topped 1,000 citywide. So far, the city has reported more than 26,000 confirmed cases with 1,096 deaths since the pandemic began.

The city's Hispanic and black communities appear to have been hit hard by the virus, officials said Wednesday, noting a sharp increase in cases among the Latinx population.

"We are seeing a surge in cases among our Latinx residents," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, adding that in the last month, numbers in the community have more than doubled.

Four weeks ago, the Latinx community represented 14% of cases and 19% of deaths. As of Wednesday, those numbers jumped to 37% and 25%, respectively.

In addition, ZIP codes with the highest number of cases in Chicago include many of the city's largely Hispanic neighborhoods.

Health officials attributed part of the surge to an increase in testing and an adjustment for numbers that may have previously been underreported.

At the same time, more than 50% of the city's deaths are among black, non-Latinx residents, data showed.

"Nothing about this is OK," Lightfoot said. "And we can never allow ourselves to think that it is."

May 6 briefing: The Latinx community in Illinois is testing positive for coronavirus at a higher rate than any other demographic group in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

The numbers in Chicago paint a similar picture to those statewide.

According to state data, nearly 60 percent of those identifying as Latinx who have been tested for COVID-19 have tested positive. That number is more than three-times the state average, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

Meanwhile, Illinois reported another 136 deaths and 2,270 confirmed cases Wednesday. That lifts the state's death toll from the virus near 3,000 with 68,232 total cases.

In the last 24 hours, nearly 15,000 tests were administered, bringing the total number of tests statewide to 361,260.

Pritzker on Tuesday announced a five-phased reopening plan for Illinois, saying the state is already in the second phase of the plan with some locations nearing the third at the end of the month.

"We have to figure out how to live with COVID-19 until it can be vanquished – and to do so in a way that best supports our residents’ health and our healthcare systems, and saves the most lives," Pritzker said Tuesday. (Read more on the plan here.)

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