Coronavirus cases in the city of Chicago were up 30% Thursday afternoon compared to the same point one week earlier, according to Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of Chicago's Department of Public Health.
During a news conference with members of the city's Latinx Coronavirus Prevention Task Force on the Near West Side, Arwady said cases have increased among all race and ethnicity groups, almost all age groups and all parts of the city.
Not only Chicago, but Illinois and the Midwest have also reported surges in COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Arwady said while she knows people are tired of COVID-19, residents need to continue to employ mitigation strategies like wearing masks in public, practicing social distancing and washing hands regularly.
"Right now we need people more than ever to do things that we know work," she said.
Overall in the city of Chicago, the positivity rate was at 4.5% Thursday. In some of the city's Latino communities on the Southwest and Northwest sides, positivity rates were as high as 8-9% and even 13-14% percent, Arwady said.
The city continues to see approximately 400 to 500 new daily cases, compared to its peak in May, when more than 1,000 cases were reported daily.
Illinois as a whole, however, has exceeded the number of cases that it saw in May, Arwady added.
As of Thursday, a total of 331,620 cases and 9,127 deaths have been reported statewide, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The majority of the cases in early May, Arwady added, were the result of spread in congregate facilities such as longterm care facilities, jails and homeless shelters.
"We actually have made, I think, very significant progress in a lot of those areas that were part of the initial surge," she said.
Currently, more than 90 percent of cases of COVID-19 are associated with spread among family members, close friends and neighbors, Arwady said, citing specific examples of transmission like a group sitting down for dinner, playing a board game or having a conversation.
"It's very natural to let your guard down among people who you love and who you feel comfortable with," she stated. "But COVID is just looking for any opportunity to spread."