The threat of COVID-19 rose across Chicago and Cook County in the past week, as federal officials moved the warning level to “medium” after just one week at “low,” according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
The risk level of COVID-19 has bounced between low and medium for much of the past month, as Chicago health officials warn of an imminent surge of COVID-19 as cold weather settles over Chicago forcing people indoors and holiday gatherings take place.
Chicago hospitals and health care providers are also coping with sharp increases in flu cases, “well beyond where we were at this point in previous years,” and surging cases of RSV, a respiratory virus, according to a statement from the Chicago Department of Public Health.
All Chicagoans eligible for a COVID-19 booster designed to fight the omicron variant of the virus and a flu vaccine should be inoculated as soon as possible, said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
An average of 33 people were hospitalized each day in Chicago from COVID-19 between Nov. 18 and Friday, unchanged from the previous week, according to city data.
Cook County now has 115 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, a slight increase from last week. In addition, hospitalizations ticked up across the Chicagoland region prompting federal officials to reduce the risk level, according to CDC data.
Cook County now has 10.5 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 residents during a seven-day period, according to data released by the CDC on Friday.
Residents of regions face a low risk of COVID-19 if there is a case rate of less than 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents and fewer than 10 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 residents.
Federal health officials measure the strain facing hospitals from COVID-19 by the number of new hospital admissions per 100,000 residents during a seven-day period and the percent of staffed hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients on average during the past seven days.
According to the CDC, 3.7% of staffed hospital beds in Cook County are in use by COVID-19 patients on average during the past seven days.
Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]