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.
Experts say testing has dropped by 70 to 90% worldwide from the first to the second quarter of this year — the opposite of what they say should be happening with new omicron variants on the rise in places such as the United States and South Africa.
Chicago, Cook County and several surrounding counties have all recently been designated as being at “medium risk” of their residents contracting COVID-19.
Residents of seven northeast Illinois counties — McHenry, Lake, Cook, Kendall, DuPage, Will and Grundy — face a medium level of COVID-19 risk, according to the CDC. Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Chicagoans should consider the CDC’s medium level of risk warning as “a yellow light of caution.”
Patients are presenting with stuffy nose, nasal congestion, cough, post-nasal drip and sore throats. In the age of COVID, that leaves people worried.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has given an upbeat assessment of the current state of the coronavirus in the United States, saying the country is “out of the pandemic phase” when it comes to new infections, hospitalizations and deaths, but that it appears to be making a transition to COVID-19 becoming an endemic disease — occurring regularly in certain areas.
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.
The InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer is about the size of a piece of carry-on luggage, the FDA said, and can be used in doctor’s offices, hospitals and mobile testing sites.
Since it was first identified in November, BA.2 has been spreading around the globe, driving new surges in parts of Asia and Europe. It’s now the dominant coronavirus version in the U.S. and more than five dozen other countries.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received a positive test result for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic, her spokesman Drew Hammill said Thursday in a tweet. He said she had tested negative earlier in the week.
Top Chicago public health officials say that the BA.2 omicron subvariant will be making up most of Chicago cases by the end of the month.
Illinois will close its community, free COVID-19 testing sites within the next week. The Illinois Department of Public Health cites a “sharp increase in demand” that dropped “precipitously in recent weeks” as its reason for closing the testing locations, as well as an “anticipated end of federal funding.”
There were more than 12 million new weekly cases and just under 33,000 deaths, a 23% decline in mortality, according to the U.N. health agency’s report on the pandemic issued late Tuesday.
In the U.N. health agency’s weekly report on the pandemic issued late Tuesday, WHO said there were more than 11 million new COVID-19 infections last week — about an 8% rise — and 43,000 new deaths. The number of COVID-19 deaths globally has been dropping for the past three weeks.
According to a November study, researchers estimate that anywhere from 700,000 to 1.6 million people in the U.S., are currently experiencing chronic smell loss or distortion because of COVID-19. For several Chicago-area residents, the loss persists.
The study, published Monday in the journal “Nature,” is believed to be the largest of its kind. It found that the brains of those who had COVID-19 had a greater loss of grey matter and abnormalities in the brain tissue compared with those who didn’t have COVID-19.