City at ‘Low Community Level’ of Transmission Even as Cases Rise – NBC Chicago

Even with COVID cases increasing by 26% in the last seven days, Chicago health officials say that the city remains in a “low community level” risk of COVID transmission, with hospitalizations remaining largely steady despite the increase in cases.

According to the latest data released by the Chicago Department of Public Health, the city is averaging 585 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the last week. That represents an increase of 26% from the week prior, according to officials.

Even still, city officials say that Chicago remains in a “low” transmission risk state. That is because Chicago is averaging 151 new cases per day per 100,000 residents, below the “low community level” threshold of 200 cases.

In addition, the city’s hospitalization numbers are remaining steady, with Chicago averaging 2.8 new COVID admissions in hospitals per 100,000 residents per day. The “low community level” threshold for that metric is 10 new admissions per day, leaving the city far below that number.

Just 2.5% of the city’s hospital beds are currently occupied by COVID patients, far below the 10% “low community level” threshold.

While COVID cases are rising, city officials are expressing confidence that a severe surge isn’t likely thanks to a variety of factors, including widespread vaccination. Officials say 73.3% of eligible Chicago residents are fully vaccinated against COVID, while 82.4% of residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The widespread availability of COVID antivirals is also giving officials optimism, with more pharmacies participating in programs that will provide the critical treatments to high-risk patients if they contract the virus.

For more information on those programs, residents can visit the city’s website.