coronavirus vaccine

Health Officials ‘Anxious' About Rising COVID Metrics Across Chicago Area

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Health officials across the Chicago area said they are "anxious" about the upward trend of COVID-19 metrics over the past several weeks and watching the numbers closely.

Dr. Rachel Rubin, co-lead of the Cook County Department of Public Health, said they are following the latest coronavirus metrics and "will not hesitate to pull back" on the area's reopening plan.

"A little more worried, a little more anxious, but we are still waiting to see over the weekend how things trend," Rubin said.

The Cook County doctor said she believes vaccination shots are the only way to reduce the current surge in numbers.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, 20% of the state is fully vaccinated. As of Saturday, the state has administered over 7 million doses of coronavirus vaccine during the pandemic, while receiving 9,001,105 doses.

The state reported 175,681 vaccinations administered in the last day, according to the latest data. Friday's vaccinations brought the seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered to 122,674 doses.

"We have more vaccine available, more sites, people will come out and be vaccinated and that will help us flatten this rise in the curb and not have to clamp down more on movements and make mitigations more strict," Rubin said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot encouraged residents to receive the vaccine Saturday while attending a mass vaccination event, saying that's the only way to get to the other side of the pandemic.

"These vaccines are safe and they are necessary as a community to be able to go on and thrive," Lightfoot said.

On March 15, Illinois reported 782 cases of the coronavirus, according to IDPH data. On April 1, that number jumped to more than 3,500 infections and remained at 3,630 Saturday.

In Illinois, vaccine eligibility opens up to all residents ages 16 and older, with the exception of Chicago.

For more information on how to sign up for the COVID vaccine across Illinois, click here.

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