Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, who has been the public face of Chicago’s response throughout the continuing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the outbreak of monkeypox, said she would work from home while isolating.
Chicago Department of Public Health officials continue to recommend that residents wear masks indoors and on public transportation to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 and ensure they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
The move backs a push from progressive members of the City Council to enshrine those protections into law. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s announcement came one day after several progressive members of the City Council urged their colleagues to protect those crossing state lines to get reproductive and gender-affirming health care in Chicago.
In Chicago, 326 people have tested positive for monkeypox, according to city officials who are urging residents to educate themselves about the virus and to get tested if they have symptoms.
“While we are pleased to be receiving these additional doses, we simply need more vaccine in Chicago,” said Dr. Alison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Chicago Department of Public Health officials recommend that residents wear masks indoors and on public transportation to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 and ensure they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
The risk to Chicagoans from monkeypox remains low, according to Chicago Department of Public Health officials, who encouraged anyone who has developed a new or unexplained rash to see a health care provider.
The threat of COVID-19 eased across Chicago and Cook County Thursday, as federal officials lowered the warning level to “medium” after two weeks at “high,” according to Centers for Disease Control data. However, Chicago Department of Public Health officials continue to recommend that residents wear masks indoors and on public transportation.
People identified as close contacts to someone suspected or confirmed with monkeypox are being offered the vaccine, as well as treatment with antiviral medication for those with more severe illness, according to city health officials.
One week ago, federal officials lowered the risk warning level to high for Cook County. But even as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to drop, hospitalizations rose just enough across Cook County to trigger an increase in the warning level by federal officials.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city agencies announced the launch of the Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) program’s new data dashboard, which will provide regular updates on when and how these 911 calls are handled.
COVID-19 posed a high risk in Chicago and Cook County for 21 days, but neither state, county nor city officials imposed new restrictions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Chicagoans should consider the CDC’s medium level of risk warning as “a yellow light of caution,” Dr. Allison Arwady has said.
“While the risk in Chicago remains low, CDPH wants the public to be able to make informed choices about gathering in spaces or participating in events where monkeypox could be spread through close or intimate contact,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Thirty-two people were shot in 24 separate shooting incidents between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday night, according to the Chicago Police Department.
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.