Coronavirus cases in the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago have surged sharply in the last week, jumping by about 20%, according to state measures and local health authorities, after declining for many months following a delta variant-driven surge over the summer.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state has seen an average of 2,651 new coronavirus infections every day during the previous seven days. This represents a 19.7 percent increase over the state’s average of 2,215 new cases per day on November 2.
The number of new instances of the virus has climbed by 27.7%, from 2,076 new cases per day, since Oct. 24, when the state set a low watermark in new cases.
While testing has increased in recent days, it does not entirely account for the increase in instances. According to official data, the average number of tests per day has increased by 7.5 percent in the past week to 120,627. According to IDPH statistics, the state’s positive rate has increased by over 17% on all tests and by 13.6 percent on persons tested.
Similar patterns are being noted in Chicago, according to Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Dr. Allison Arwady. According to Arwady, the city now has an average of 382 new cases per day, up 22% from a week earlier and putting it in the CDC’s “substantial transmission” threshold.
The state of Illinois reports that Chicago’s test positive rate has risen from 1.7 percent to 2% in the previous ten days, echoing a statewide trend. While Arwady acknowledges that the spike in instances isn’t ideal, she points out that it’s nowhere near the levels seen last fall, when the city had more than 3,000 cases each day.
“This is nothing like what we witnessed in October and November of last year.” “That tremendous increase, where we were up to over 3,400 new cases per day, we’re down to 10% of that now,” she added. “We’ll keep an eye on things, but the main risk factor for still being diagnosed with COVID, (being) hospitalised, or dying from COVID here in Chicago and throughout the country is not getting vaccinated,” she says.
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