Arwady: Chicago likely avoided COVID-19 variant-driven surge

Arwady: Chicago likely avoided COVID-19 variant-driven surge

Chicago’s top doctor told reporters Thursday the city has likely avoided the latest COVID-19 surge.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said that while they have seen their COVID-19 metrics increase since mitigations were lifted just over a month ago, they have yet to see a spike driven by the BA.2 subvariant of omicron seen in other countries and some states like New York.

“With every passing day, I am more confident that in the very short term we will avoid a major increase like we saw with the omicron surge,” she said.

Roughly half of the city’s cases are of the BA.2 variant, Arwady said. She credited vaccination uptake and the omicron-fueled surge over the winter for protecting Chicagoans against another one.

The seven-day average for new daily cases in Chicago was 312, up 27 percent from the prior week. The seven-day test positivity rate is 1.7 percent, up 0.3 percentage points.

Chicago is averaging just under six daily COVID-related hospitalizations, down six from the prior week.

Statewide, COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases continue to slowly increase.

As of Wednesday, 517 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, up two from Tuesday and up 56 from the prior week.

Of the patients in the hospital, 57 were in intensive care units, down 15 from Tuesday and down one from the prior week. There were 22 patients on ventilators, down two from Tuesday and the same as the prior week.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,496 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths on Thursday.

The new cases bring the state total to 3,078,124, while the death toll is at 33,454.

The seven-day average for new cases on Thursday was 1,412, up 223 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths is 11, down one from the prior week.

The seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests is 2 percent. The seven-day statewide test positivity using the number of COVID-19 positive tests over total tests is 2.2 percent.

About 81.2 percent of eligible Illinoisans ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 72.6 percent are fully vaccinated.

Illinois vaccinators have administered 21,487,432 COVID-19 vaccines, including 4,313,363 booster doses. The seven-day average for doses administered is 19,597.

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