CDPH Weekly COVID-19 Update

May 10, 2022

Chicago’s COVID-19 Level is Currently Medium, CDPH strongly recommends masking indoors

CHICAGO— The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported weekly COVID-19 statistics today and said the city remains in Medium on the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) COVID-19 Community Levels index. However, severe outcomes from COVID-19, including hospitalizations and deaths, continue to remain at or near all-time pandemic lows. This means Chicago will not move into the High Level anytime soon—which requires both higher case rates and significant impact on the health system. 

Other large cities, including Seattle and New York City, have similarly moved to Medium Level in the last few weeks. CDPH strongly recommends individuals wear a mask in indoor public settings and continue with other COVID-19 mitigations: ensure everyone is up to date with vaccines and boosters; get tested if experiencing COVID-like symptoms; continue to follow quarantine and isolation guidelines; and stay home if you are sick.  

This week, the United States is expected to exceed one million deaths from COVID-19. 

“The news is sobering and a reminder of the huge toll COVID-19 has taken on our city and our country, and we are not done with it yet. But because of the wide availability of vaccines and COVID-19 treatments, we are in a much different place than we were two years ago,” said Allison Arwady, M.D., CDPH Commissioner. “Please, if you are not yet vaccinated or boosted, do it now.” 

COVID-19 RISK

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

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 231 3.5 2.9%

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 5/10/2022). 

BY THE NUMBERS

Over the last week, an average of 893 Chicagoans each day had a positive laboratory test for COVID-19, up from an average of 723 new cases per day the week prior. An average of 14 Chicagoans are being hospitalized with COVID-19 each day, similar to last week; and an average of one to three Chicagoans are dying from COVID-19 per week, still the lowest rate of the pandemic. 

Current test positivity is 4.9%, up from 3.9% last week. As a reminder, test positivity generally has a reduced utility due to the widespread use of point-of-care and at-home tests. That is why the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels do not rely on percent positivity to measure the impact of COVID-19 illness on communities. 

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

REMINDER ON ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE GUIDELINES

As case rates increase, CDPH is reminding people to follow CDC’s current isolation and quarantine guidelines.  

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must stay home and isolate for five days regardless of vaccination status. After five days, if your symptoms are improving and you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours, you can leave your home, but you MUST continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days and avoid contact with high-risk people. If you can’t wear a mask, you should stay home for ten days. If you have a fever or are still feeling sick, continue to stay home until 24 hours after your fever resolves.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, review the quarantine protocols, which are different for those who are up-to-date on their vaccinations and for those who aren't.  If you are up-to-date on your vaccination which includes boosters, you do not need to stay home and quarantine. You should wear a mask around others for ten days. Test at least five days after you last had contact with someone with COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

If you are not up-to-date on your vaccinations including boosters, you should stay home for five days, and test at least five days after you last had contact with someone with COVID-19. After that, continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days. If you can’t wear a mask, you should stay home for ten days. If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.

CDC developed a tool to help determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19. Visit here and click "Get Started."

VACCINATION

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination remains the best way to prevent serious outcomes of COVID-19, including severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

  • More than 2 million Chicagoans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine – that’s 82.2 percent of residents age 5 and older. And 73.5 percent have completed the vaccine series. 
  • Vaccinations and boosters remain free and widely available in Chicago:
    • Vaccines are available through hundreds of healthcare providers and pharmacies across the city, often without an appointment
    • Through Protect Chicago At Home, all Chicagoans age 5 and up are eligible to be vaccinated free of charge in their own home
      • Primary vaccine doses, as well as first and second booster doses, are all available
      • Up to 10 people can be vaccinated per household, with weekend and evening appointments available
      • Call (312) 746-4835 to make an appointment or register at Chicago.gov/AtHome
    • Lastly, vaccines can be found at mobile vaccination events in partnership with community-based organizations, and at CPS locations throughout the week – a full calendar of events can be found at Chicago.gov/VaxCalendar

All COVID-19 vaccines in Chicago 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.

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