Chicago officials will not immediately reimpose an indoor mask mandate because the city’s hospitals are not being strained by the number of people seriously sick with COVID-19.
More than 100 cases of the virus have been reported globally, including in North America. While city officials are monitoring the situation, “at this point it has not been an explosive kind of outbreak,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
“The expansion of the CARE program will ensure residents can be connected to trained specialists in behavioral and mental health, providing better outcomes for 911 callers and communities,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Starting Thursday, Chicagoans calling the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances can be transferred directly to treatment provider Family Guidance Centers, Inc. to receive immediate medication-assisted recovery.
Since May 5, federal health officials have warned all residents of Cook County that they face a “medium” risk of contracting COVID-19. Since then, Chicago health officials have “strongly” urged Chicagoans to wear a mask when they are indoors, particularly in a crowded setting where they are unaware of the vaccination status of those around them.
Chicago, Cook County and several surrounding counties have all recently been designated as being at “medium risk” of their residents contracting COVID-19.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has vowed to ensure Chicago remains a safe haven for women seeking an abortion or other reproductive health care.
Data provided by Chicago health officials to WTTW News show fewer than 10 outbreaks at Chicago day care facilities between Jan. 2 and March 20, but officials acknowledged there were likely more outbreaks.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued the revised executive order hours after Chicago health and transportation officials told riders a state order required them to keep masking up.
State Contact Tracing Surge Center Handling Bulk of Cases
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, city and county officials hired hundreds of contact tracers to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as the sheer number of cases overwhelmed local health departments. But as the coronavirus pandemic enters an endemic phase, contact tracing will become more targeted, according to officials.
“I don’t anticipate, you know, more serious consequences in terms of work stoppages,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said, “but we will continue to work together because we have it in both our best interests to keep our community safe.”
Program pairs police with mental health professionals to respond to some calls
Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) teams — which are comprised of police officers trained in crisis intervention, a mental health professional and a paramedic — fielded 134 separate mental health crisis calls between Sept.13, 2021 and Wednesday, according to new city data.
After 182 days, Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted the statewide mandate on Monday as confirmed cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations continued to drop precipitously after the surge driven by the omicron variant.
The city will end its indoor mask mandate Monday. Plus, restaurants, fitness centers and bars will no longer require customers to show proof of vaccination for entry. We spoke with Chicago’s top doctor about recent COVID-19 metrics.
“It’s important for us to recognize this moment for what it is: a huge step forward in our effort to overcome COVID-19,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Officials with the Chicago Department of Public Health rejected the permit because of the “potential adverse changes in air quality and quality of life that would be caused by operations, and health vulnerabilities in the surrounding communities.”