coronavirus chicago

Chicago's Top Doctor: ‘1 in 3 Chance' a Chicagoan Tests Positive in a 10-Person Gathering

Dr. Allison Arwady warned there could be as many as 105,000 active coronavirus cases in Chicago right now

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Editor’s note: A previous version of this story contained a video report with comments made by Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. She said, as stated below, that in a group of 10 people there is a 1-in-3 chance that one of those people could have the coronavirus. The previously attached video mistakenly conveyed that number as three in 10 people.

As coronavirus cases surge across Chicago, city officials are warning of the increased odds of a COVID-19 infection among residents.

On Thursday, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city is seeing an average of 1,395 cases per day along with an increase in the test positivity rate that currently stands at 10.9%.  

“Let’s turn these numbers into what this means for your life,” Arwady said during a press briefing. “Right now, if you take a random number group of people here in Chicago, you get 10 people together, there is a one in three chance that someone in that randomly selected group of 10 Chicagoans has COVID-19 right now.”

Arwady added there are nearly 15,000 cases of active and known coronavirus cases across Chicago, but because not every resident is tested daily, she and other experts estimate the number of infections to be much higher.

“We know that there are five to seven times as many cases here as those that are being tested and so we know there are actually between 70,000 and 105,000 Chicagoans with active COVID right now,” Arwady warned.

She also noted that the increase in cases has also led to an increase in hospitalizations and a "small uptick" in deaths.

The numbers, she said, are doubling, on average, every 12 days.

"If we don't slow this down... we will have hundreds of thousands of new cases by the end of the year," Arwady said.

Chicago, along with the rest of Illinois, is currently under heightened coronavirus mitigations imposed by the state as cases surge across the city and state.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state saw 9,935 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, a record high for the pandemic so far, along with 97 additional deaths, the highest daily death toll since June 4.

“My goal is that every one of you is recognizing that when we are asking you to double down on the things we know work, we absolutely mean you," Arwady said. "There is not a single person in Chicago is not in some way at risk."

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