CDPH Weekly COVID-19 Update

July 12, 2022

Chicago’s COVID-19 Level is Medium; Highly infectious BA.5 subvariant very prevalent in Midwest

COVID-19 Joint Information Center    media.coronavirus@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO—The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported today that local COVID-19 case rates continue to be stable and hospitalization rates remain low, but urged continued vigilance, given the prevalence of the highly contagious BA.5 subvariant. CDPH reported weekly COVID-19 statistics and said the city remains in the Medium Level on the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) COVID-19 Community Levels index.

CDPH continues to strongly urge everyone to wear masks in indoor public settings, stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines including all recommended boosters, and avoid non-essential indoor gatherings for people who are at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, get tested and stay home. Continue to follow quarantine and isolation guidelines. Chicagoans with underlying conditions or who are older should also seek early treatment if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 to decrease the risk of hospitalization. 

“Our metrics for cases and hospitalizations remain stable, but the BA.5 subvariant is proving to be extremely contagious and leading to more repeat infections, even in some people who had an earlier Omicron subvariant infection. So I ask Chicagoans to continue to be cautious,” said Allison Arwady, M.D., CDPH Commissioner. “There is still a lot of COVID transmission in Chicago right now, so please wear your mask indoors, especially in any larger gathering, and please stay up to date with your vaccines. I hope to see more Chicagoans get up to date with their boosters, which are especially important to help prevent severe outcomes with this Omicron subvariant, and critical for people at higher risk of severe outcomes.”

The City continues to offer free Pfizer vaccines, including first and second boosters, to all Chicagoans through Protect Chicago At Home. Schedule an appointment at your home, including evenings and weekends through chicago.gov/athome or by calling 312-746-4835. All COVID-19 vaccines including boosters are offered at no cost, with no insurance and no government ID required

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in Chicago, visit Chicago.gov/COVIDvax.

COVID Deaths by Vaccination Status

Since the Omicron variant became dominant in Chicago, unvaccinated Chicagoans who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have been more than 6 times as likely to die from this infection than Chicagoans who were vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. This is independent of underlying conditions, treatments, or other factors.

COVID-19 RISK

CDPH uses CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels to gauge the level of risk here in Chicago and updates data weekly.   

Metrics
 

New Cases (per 100,000 people in last 7 days)

New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population (7-day total)

Proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients (7-day average)

  [GOAL is <200] [GOAL is
<10]
[GOAL is <10%]
City of Chicago 195 4.5 3.7%
Cook County (including City of Chicago) 193 11.4 3.9%

CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels can be Low, Medium, or High and are determined by looking at the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area; new local COVID-19 hospital admissions; and local ​hospital beds being used by COVID-19 patients. Chicago metrics are calculated based on Chicago-level data (data as of 7/11/2022). Cook County metrics are calculated by the CDC and posted on the CDC Community Levels website (data as of 7/8/2022). 

BY THE NUMBERS

Over the last week, an average of 661 Chicagoans each day had a positive laboratory test for COVID-19, down from an average of 771 new cases per day the week prior. An average of 21 Chicagoans are being hospitalized with COVID-19 each day and an average of one Chicagoan is dying from COVID-19 per week, still nearly the lowest rate of the pandemic.  

Also over the last week, an average of 2.8 percent of all emergency room visits were associated with a COVID-19 diagnosis, up slightly from 2.6 percent last week. In addition, 3.7 percent of all Chicago hospital beds were occupied by a patient with COVID-19, down slightly from 3.8 percent last week.  

To better reflect the metrics that are most instructive during the current stage of the pandemic, CDPH has updated its data dashboard summary landing page to include the percentage of local hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and the percentage of local emergency room visits associated with a COVID-19 diagnosis. General test positivity and total testing data have been moved from the summary landing page to the Testing subpage of the dashboard, where they continue to be updated every weekday. The dashboard summary landing page continues to include average case counts, new hospitalizations and deaths, and vaccination numbers.  

VACCINATION UPDATES

Recently, Chicago reached the benchmark of more than 5 million COVID-19 doses administered to Chicagoans. Currently, 77.4 percent of all Chicagoans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

CDPH has updated its vaccination coverage data portal to include children under 5, as well coverage for age groups by race/ethnicity. Booster dose coverage is also available by various metrics (age, gender, race/ethnicity). 

As of July 11, more than 8,000 children under 5, or 5 percent of Chicagoans in this age group, have received at least one dose of vaccine. 

Additional data is available on the City’s COVID-19 dashboard at https://chi.gov/coviddash.

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