COVID-19 cases are creeping back up in Chicago. The city is seeing a rise in lab-confirmed cases and emergency room visits. A new vaccine is expected to be ready for the fall season.
As of Aug. 30, the daily average for emergency room visits is at 1.4% for the city. A month prior, it was .74%. Lab-confirmed cases were at 150 at the end of August. At the end of July, it was 73 cases.
Dr. Susan Bleasdale, chief quality officer and medical director of infection prevention and control at UI Health, said it was anticipated that there would be an increase. She pointed to the ending of travel season, school starting and new variants driving the increase.
“I think it’s important to remember that COVID’s not gone. It’s here,” Bleasdale said.
The increase will continue, but what’s most important is keeping hospitalizations low, she said. That’s through vaccinations and protecting those who are most vulnerable.
Bleasdale said it’s pulling from the rulebook people already know from the pandemic: Don’t go to school or work when sick, get tested and mask.
The new vaccine will be available for people in about two weeks, Bleasdale said. It is meant for protection against recently circulating variants.
“It’s going to be important for us to take advantage,” Bleasdale said.