(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

During the past seven days, an average of 31 people have been hospitalized each day in Chicago from COVID-19, down more than 40% during the past week, according to city data last updated Wednesday.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday said the city is expected to move from a “medium” risk level for contracting COVID-19 back to a “high” risk level, likely sometime in the next week. When that happens, the city will reinstate an advisory, urging Chicagoans to mask up.

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

After a three-month hiatus, the administration is making four rapid virus tests available per household through covidtests.gov starting Thursday.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago hospitals and health care providers are also coping with sharp increases in flu cases and illness caused by RSV, a respiratory virus, officials said.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The move is likely to reduce fears, at least temporarily, of an imminent surge of COVID-19 once colder weather settled over Chicago for the duration, forcing people indoors.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago and Cook County last faced a medium risk of COVID-19 in mid-September.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago and Cook County last faced a low risk of COVID-19 on May 5. The region has bounced between a medium risk and a high risk all summer.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident for nucleic acid test at a community testing site for COVID-19 in Yunyan District of Guiyang, Sept. 5, 2022. (Yang Wenbin / Xinhua via AP)

At a press briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world has never been in a better position to stop COVID-19. The U.N. health agency said deaths fell by 22% in the past week, at just over 11,000 reported worldwide. There were 3.1 million new cases, a drop of 28%.

(WTTW News)

In its latest weekly assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. health agency said there were 5.3 million new cases and more than 14,000 deaths reported last week. WHO said the number of new infections declined in every world region except the Western Pacific.

(WTTW News)

Monday marks the first day of the 2022-23 school year, as some 300,000-plus students head back to class on one of the earliest start dates in recent memory.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

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.

Residents wearing face masks wait in line to get their routine COVID-19 throat swabs at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. Chinese authorities have closed Tibet’s famed Potala Palace after a minor outbreak of COVID-19 was reported in the Himalayan region. (AP Photo / Andy Wong)

The U.N. health agency said there were more than 14,000 COVID-19 deaths in the last week and nearly 7 million new infections. The number of new deaths rose by 19% in the Middle East, while dropping by more than 70% in Africa, 15% in Europe and 10% in the Americas.

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters after meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Waldorf Astoria Jeddah Qasr Al Sharq hotel, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci, File)

“Back to the Oval,” President Joe Biden tweeted after the White House released the latest daily update from his doctor confirming that he was clear to end the isolation period that is required after someone tests positive for the coronavirus. Biden, 79, tested positive last week.

President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media after exiting Air Force One, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden was experiencing “mild symptoms” and has begun taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug designed to reduce the severity of the disease.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

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.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

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.