CHICAGO- On Thursday, Illinois announced 2,268 new cases of COVID, including 19 recent deaths.
“Daily deaths reported on weekends and at the beginning of the week may be low,” the Illinois Department of Public Health warns, adding that “such deaths will be documented in the following days.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the Chicago area has had some of the lowest rates of COVID transmission between people. Each bordering county is also in the green, low-transmission category, including Cook County.
There have been at least 3,782,251 cumulative COVID cases in the state since the start of the pandemic and at least 35,111 related deaths.
The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Illinois reached 996 as of Wednesday night. Of those, 109 patients were in the ICU, and 41 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
“We get those people who are extremely thrilled and say, ‘I’m ready to let me get it,'” Dr Rene Roberts of Oak Street Health said. We have to put in more effort with those who say, “I’ve already gotten a couple of boosters; I’m good.”
With the winter and holidays looming, White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr Ashish Jha urged Americans to receive the new vaccination rather than wait. Here is the most astounding fact: if you are fully vaccinated and receive treatment for a breakthrough infection, your risk of dying from COVID is zero, as Dr Jha stated.
Even though it has taken longer than expected, only about 15% of the people in Chicago who were first eligible for the new rate have gotten it. If we look at the population of Chicago by race, we see that Latinos make up the smallest percentage (3.9%), followed by blacks (5.5%), whites (14.3%), and Asians (8.7%). The daily case rate per 100,000 population is around 12.
For over a month, we have had access to upgraded protection against COVID-19. But in Chicago, few people are getting the new vaccinations-and the city’s top doctor thinks that if we don’t raise those numbers, we could see a new variant.
The Omicron-specific booster shot has been available for more than a month, but doctors say it’s hard to get for their patients.
The head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Dr Allison Arwady, has said that all populations need a three-to-fourfold increase.
“So, if we don’t receive a lot of people this update vaccination this autumn, we truly are set up in a terrific way for the chance of a new variety,” Arwady added.
Dr Arwady has a strong interest in the health of the Latino and African American communities. Those two demographics will bear the brunt of any COVID outbreak this winter.
Oak Street Health Clinics are in the minority of their neighbours. Dr Rene Roberts has found that trust is the key to getting her patients to take the bivalent vaccine, even though vaccine hesitancy has been an issue throughout the pandemic. “My observations lead me to believe I need to have this conversation thrice.”
As doctors and the Chicago Dept. of Public Health continue to market the new vaccination, they advise individuals to get the flu shot simultaneously. According to public health experts, the current flu season is expected to be one of the worst in recent memory.