CHICAGO – Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot warned residents on Monday that is coronavirus numbers in the city continue to rise restrictions may return.
“To further fight the spread of COVID-19, the City is considering additional measures in the coming days, including bringing back restrictions on businesses,” a statement from the city said.
“The data is clear – we are now in a second surge of COVID-19 and I am extremely concerned,” Lightfoot said. “Now is the time to double down on what we know works and come together as a city to flatten the curve once again. Everyone must do their part to keep themselves and others safe and help us overcome this deadly disease.”
Over the past two weeks, cases have risen by more than 50%, to over 500 per day, city health officials said. This is the most cases per day seen in Chicago since late May.
“Over the last two weeks in particular, Chicago has seen an alarming increase across COVID-19 health metrics. While this increase has coincided with an increase in testing, with close to 11,000 tests now completed each day, the test positivity rate has also increased more than a percentage point to 5.2 percent,” the statement said.
There has also been an increase in hospitalizations, which are up 25% for non-ICU COVID patients and suspected cases since September 22.
Lightfoot and the Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said all residents should wear masks or face coverings anytime they are in public or unable to maintain six feet of social distance. They also advise strictly limit social gatherings, even small ones.
In a gathering of only 10 people, there is a 14% chance that someone is currently infected with COVID-19 … present. This likelihood of someone having COVID-19 increases as gathering sizes grow – there is a 50% chance that someone in a gathering of 50 people has COVID-19. The majority of COVID-19 cases in Chicago are spread between people that know each other, so the best way to stem the tide is to avoid social gatherings and keep your bubble small.
Officials said the significant increase of COVID-19 in Chicago corresponds with a second wave of the virus throughout the entire region, across Illinois, the Midwest and the country. The City’s Emergency Travel Order currently covers 26 states and territories, including Wisconsin and Indiana.