CHICAGO (CBS) – While Chicago still experiences a large number of COVID-19 infections on a daily basis, Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady said on Tuesday there were encouraging signs that cases are starting to decline, although she warned that it was too early to tell the last wave. reached its peak.
“There are signs of promise in terms of Omicron’s surge here,” she said in a regular question-and-answer session Tuesday on social media. “I want to be very clear here, we have to see signs of progress for several days here.
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Arwady said it was too early to say for sure whether the latest wave of cases had peaked.
“I continue to see signs of progress here, but it is too early to make it clear that we are turning around,” she said.
Chicago currently has an average of 4,793 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the past week, down 8% from a week ago. The city’s test positivity rate stands at 18.9%, down from 21% a week ago.
Meanwhile, Chicago averages 187 hospitalizations per day, up 37% from a week ago, Arwady said, noting that hospitalizations lag behind infections. Chicago also averages 17 deaths from COVID-19 per day, up 25% from a week ago.
Arwady said the number of intensive care beds and ventilators used for COVID-19 patients remains below levels seen in the first two waves of the pandemic in 2020, due to the number of people vaccinated, reducing the risk serious illness.
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Vaccinations have been on the rise in recent days in Chicago, with the city having an average of 11,521 doses administered per day over the past week, up 19% from a week ago.
Meanwhile, Chicago made no changes to its list of COVID-19 travel advice on Tuesday, with each state and territory remaining on the list for the second week in a row.
Case rates in individual states and territories must fall below 15 per 100,000 population for two consecutive weeks to be removed from the travel advisory.
City officials recommend that people who are not vaccinated get tested for COVID one to three days before traveling to a state or territory on the travel advisory list, and again three to five days before to return to Chicago.
Public health officials also recommend that unvaccinated people visiting a state or territory on the travel advisory list self-quarantine for at least seven days upon arrival in Chicago, even if their test is negative. Unvaccinated people who do not get a COVID test should self-quarantine for at least 10 days.
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The Chicago Department of Public Health said it had been almost a year (February 2021) since every state and territory had been the city’s travel advisory.