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Arwady: Chicago past omicron peak

19 Jan 2022 8:47 PM | Anonymous


Chicago's top doctor said Wednesday the city has passed the peak of the current omicron-fueled COVID-19 surge, while state officials said they were "cautiously optimistic" Illinois has done so as well. [Health News Illinois 1.20.2022]

Department of Public Health Director Dr. Allison Arwady said new cases peaked on Dec. 27, while test positivity peaked on Jan. 1.

“We are a long way from being out of the woods," she said. "However, I'm really pleased to have seen this turnaround."

The seven-day average for new daily cases in Chicago is 2,819, a 50 percent decrease from the prior week. The seven-day test positivity rate is 11.9 percent, a 5.5 percentage point decrease from the prior week.

Omicron makes up 99.3 percent of new cases being reported, Arwady said.

Hospitalizations have slowly started to plateau, though she said they remain concerned with the overall high number. Chicago is averaging 203 COVID-19-related hospitalizations per day, down six from the prior week.

“I want to emphasize we probably will continue to see hundreds of Chicagoans being admitted to the hospital, so the threat is in no way over,” Arwady said.

About 78.6 percent of eligible Chicagoans have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 70.1 percent are fully vaccinated.

State officials said at a later press conference they were hopeful that Illinois has seen the worst of the current surge.

“I am cautiously optimistic in reporting the decreasing trends in the number of cases and the number of emergency department visits, as well as the number of hospitalizations over the past week,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike told reporters, noting there still are more people in Illinois hospitals during this surge than at any other point in the pandemic.

Gov. JB Pritzker said they look at hospitalization, ICU bed and ventilator usage to determine whether Illinois has passed its peak, and those "all seem to be going the right direction."

As of Tuesday, 6,507 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, down 188 from Monday and down 712 from the prior week.

Of the patients in the hospital, 1,085 were in intensive care units, down 35 from Monday and down 46 from the prior week. There were 608 patients on ventilators, down 20 from Monday and down 42 from the prior week.

There were 26,491 new COVID-19 cases and 160 deaths reported on Wednesday. The new cases bring the state total to 2,709,474, while the death toll increased to 29,510.

The seven-day average for new cases on Friday was 26,646, down 5,855 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths is 101, up eight from the prior week.

The seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests is 12 percent. The seven-day statewide test positivity using the number of COVID-19 positive tests over total tests is 15 percent.

About 78.9 percent of eligible Illinoisans ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 69.4 percent are fully vaccinated.

Illinois vaccinators have administered 20,110,501 COVID-19 vaccines, per state data, including 3,657,437 booster doses. The seven-day average of doses administered is 46,866.


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