Chicago Coronavirus

No Indication of COVID Lockdown in Chicago During Upcoming Winter Months, City's Top Doctor Says

Should a new variant emerge, however, "all bets would really be off"

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Though concerned for an uptick in COVID-19 cases during upcoming colder months, Chicago's top doctor said there's been no indication that the city is in store for a full lockdown this winter.

"I think where settings are fully vaccinated, I see very little...there's not really an indication for doing some of those shutdowns," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said. "I'm certainly not expecting to see the major lockdowns like we saw early on."

Should a new variant emerge, however, Arwady said that "all bets would really be off," though she doesn't expect that based on the latest data.

As of the past several weeks, Chicago has been seeing an increase in COVID cases, with unvaccinated teens specifically driving that upward metric, according to Arwady.

"Unvaccinated teenagers are not only driving a lot of our outbreak right now, but they are [at a] much, much higher risk of getting COVID,” Arwday said.

Chicago's seven-day vaccination average shows the lowest percent of vaccines administered among 5 to 11-year-olds, followed by 12 to 17-year-olds.

COVID-19 cases in Chicago are up by 10% over the previous week, based on data from CDPH, with unvaccinated 12 to 17-year-olds recording the sharpest increase among people unvaccinated.

The city's top doctor said unvaccinated 15 to 17-year-olds in Chicago are seven times as likely as their fully vaccinated counterparts to have been diagnosed with COVID, and unvaccinated 12 to 14-year-olds are more than 10 times as likely.

Hospitalizations have been relatively flat among teenagers but have sharply increased among people over the age of 65.

"Unvaccinated Chicagoans of all ages are more likely to be hospitalized," Arwday said.

Chicago remains in "high transmission" for COVID-19 risk, with 455 cases diagnosed per day. Arwday expects to see the number continue to increase.

Children as young as 5 years old are now eligible for coronavirus vaccines. For adults seeking booster shots, the Cook County Department of Public Health on Tuesday said "no one seeking a booster will be turned away from a vaccination site."

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