For now, the city of Chicago’s community COVID-19 risk remains low, according to the city’s dashboard.
The Chicago Department of Public Health did not immediately respond to a request for a comment seeking information about whether the city of Chicago was close to the medium risk community level as well. But in a livestream Thursday, CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city would also change its risk to match the county in the event it worsened because Chicago is part of Cook County.
The CDC guidance measures community risk more by hospitalizations and deaths than by individual cases. A community is considered low risk by the CDC if there are fewer than 200 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days and fewer than 10 hospitalizations in the same time period.
In Chicago, there were 647 new daily cases on Thursday, up 32% from the week prior, and there were 11 new hospitalizations in Chicago on Thursday, down 2% from the week prior. The city is averaging fewer than one death per week, Arwady said Thursday. The city’s positivity rate sits at 3.7%, but health officials say the data point has become less reliable as many residents have switched to testing themselves at home.
CCDPH recommends suburban Cook County residents to wear masks indoors as a way to help protect high-risk individuals from becoming infected with a severe case of COVID. High-risk individuals include adults over 50 years old, those with underlying conditions and the immunocompromised.
For suburban Cook County residents, CCDPH also recommends residents socialize outdoors when possible and avoid poorly ventilated indoor settings. The department also suggests getting tested for COVID before gathering with others. Lastly, recieving COVID-19 vaccines and boosters is essential to fighting off the virus and combating rising cases, CCDPH said.
“These recommendations are not new but are being emphasized to protect our communities from further increases in COVID,” Dr. Rachel Rubin, the senior medical officer and co-lead of CCDPH, said in a statement. “As hospitalizations remain low, we want to contain further spread now.”