It appears a second surge of coronavirus is beginning in Chicago, the city’s top doctor said Thursday.
Officials have long said they were worried about the potential for a second spike of COVID-19 in the fall. It appears Chicago could be in the early stages of such a spike, as the city is seeing sharp increases in new cases and its positivity rate.
The numbers are “of grave concern,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health. Arwady said Chicagoans need to get serious again about preventing COVID-19 spread and should wear masks, social distance and return to only seeing people in their immediate household or coronavirus “bubble.”
“I am worried that this could be the beginning of this second surge that everybody has been talking about,” Arwady said during a Thursday livestream. “This could be what folks have been concerned about. And now is the time to double down on the things that have helped keep this in control, broadly, to date.”
The surge isn’t limited to Chicago: Illinois as a whole has seen bumps in its positivity rate and daily new cases.
The state reported a record 4,015 new cases Thursday, its highest one-day case total yet. That brought the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois to 331,620.
The state also reported 53 deaths during the past day, including 11 people in Cook County. At least 9,127 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois.
Similarly, Chicago’s numbers are rising sharply. An average of 442 cases are being reported in the city per day — a 32 percent increase from just one week ago.
While part of the uptick in new cases is due to increased testing, officials have said that doesn’t explain everything and the numbers do show increased spread of coronavirus.
For example, Chicago’s positivity rate has risen to 4.5 percent, a .3 percentage point increase since last week — but the positivity rate should have fallen as more testing was done, not gone up, Arwady said.
Read more: blockclubchicago.org