Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief

March 2, 2023

CDPH Media Brief 03/02/2023

CDPH Media



For Immediate Release
March 2, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health 
Weekly Media Brief 

Where's Dr. Arwady?

CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D., is in Washington, D.C. this week where she attended a meeting with the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), an organization for which she is the Vice Chair. BCHC is a coalition of leaders of the nation’s largest metropolitan health departments to connect and discuss challenges and emerging trends. Dr. Arwady is also meeting with lawmakers and D.C.-based health leaders to discuss the importance of sustained public health funding.

“I’m really happy to be in D.C. and connecting with my counterparts from the nation’s largest health departments. It’s an opportunity for me to champion the work happening in Chicago, learn from others and educate members of Congress that sustained direct investment in local public health is critical for preparing for future challenges and strengthening the health of our cities every day,” said Dr. Arwady. 

On Ask Dr. Arwady next week, Dr. A will host Ayesha Jaco, Executive Director of West Side United (West Region Lead for the Healthy Chicago Equity Zones) and Theodore Crawford, Executive Director for the Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative to talk about their partnership with CDPH and how their organizations are working to improve the health, wellness and safety of Chicagoans. Tune in at 11am Tuesday or watch later on CDPH’s, Facebook or Twitter pages. 

In the new show on HBO "The Last of Us" a killer fungus wreaks havoc on humanity, but could this really happen?

No, this is very unlikely. Although here’s a fun fact: Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Cordyceps), the fungus featured on the show, is an actual fungus that can infect and kill insects, but the fungus can’t infect humans.
Also, while some fungi can be transmitted from person to person, they do not spread anywhere near as easily or quickly as viruses (like COVID-19!) do in humans.

Dr. Arwady did a deep dive on this topic during one of her regular Facebook Live shows. Watch on Facebook, or on our YouTube channel (beginning at the 9:45 mark). 

COVID-19 Update

Cook County and Chicago remain in the Low COVID-19 Community Level based on metrics from the CDC. 

CDPH updates COVID-19 data on its dashboard every Wednesday at 5:30pm if you want to follow along.

The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels are updated every Thursday after 5pm CT.

Quick Hits!

Long COVID: Long COVID is in the news again with Chicago Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews announcing he’s struggling with symptoms and taking some time off the ice. For more information about long COVID symptoms and treatment see this from the CDC. 

Connect to social services: 211 of Metro Chicago is now operational and ready to connect Chicago and Cook County residents to essential health and social service needs. Dial 2-1-1 or visit

Find mental health resources: CDPH recently announced the expansion of the City’s mental health services network to All 77 Community areas. Visit UnSpoken Chicago to learn more and find mental health providers in all Chicago neighborhoods.