COVID vaccine

COVID-19 Positivity Rate Hits Record Low Since Pandemic Began, Chicago's Top Doc Says

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Chicago's coronavirus positivity rate is the lowest it's been since the pandemic began, the city's top doctor announced Tuesday.

In a Facebook Live event, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady announced the city's positivity rate is sitting at 3.2%, which is the lowest rate since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Chicago.

The announcement comes days after the city hit the second lowest positivity rate since the pandemic began on Friday, where 3.5% of tests returned were positive COVID-19 results, Arwady said.

Arwady noted that over the summer, Chicago's positivity rate dropped below 4%, but never to the level the city recorded Tuesday.

COVID-19 testing has decreased throughout the city, but Arwady said this metric would not cause the positivity rate to drop. Rather, she explained that should testing decrease, positivity rate would typically increase.

Chicago's is averaging 257 new COVID-19 cases per day, Arwady said, which is down from the over 3,000 cases a day recorded at the peak of the virus. On Friday, Chicago was recording 323 new coronavirus cases daily.

The city's daily case count is also below the cutoff that marks a "high-risk area," according to Chicago guidance, which is one factor allowing the city to resume higher capacity indoor dining.

As of last week, Chicago restaurants, bars and events can offer indoor service at 40% capacity or to a maximum of 50 people, whichever is lower. Prior to Tuesday, indoor dining was limited to the lesser of 35% capacity or 50 people per room or floor.

Chicago has continued to vaccinate residents and workers in Phase 1B of coronavirus vaccinations through several outlets.

Here's how to use it and where you can sign up.

Arwady said one of the easiest ways to receive the vaccine is through a health care provider. However, residents can also sign up for vaccinations through a platform called Zocdoc, through pharmacies, through dedicated vaccination dispensing sites or through an employer.

Chicago officials say the best way to get updates on the vaccination rollout is through "Chi COVID Coach," a platform the Chicago Department of Public Health is using to monitor symptoms, giving information on testing in the city and help you get the latest details on the city's vaccination plan - including notification when you can register to get your vaccine.

You can sign up for Chi COVID Coach here.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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