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CHICAGO — Hospitals are gearing up for the rise in COVID-19 cases. Public health officials continue to see numbers trending up. Black and brown communities are reporting the vast number of cases. In the last month, five Chicago area zip codes in Latino neighborhoods have seen the most confirmed cases in the state.

Little Village, Cicero, Brighton Park, Belmont-Cragin, Hermosa and West Lawn communities have each reported more than 2,000 cases. The 60629 zip code, West Lawn, reported the most with nearly 2,700 new cases since mid-October — about 90 COVID-19 cases a day.

University of Illinois at Chicago’s Dr. Marina Del Rios has been speaking up about the trend for months. She said it’s only getting worse. Add to that, in the Latino community, unemployment is also up with the service industry taking one of the biggest hits during the pandemic. Chicago’s Department of Public Health continues to deal with the trend.

And time may be running out. The more the virus spreads, the tougher it is to control. Already, hospitals are preparing for what comes next. 

“We are starting to run out of space,” Del Rios said, “We’ve talked about the cafeteria.  We can open up more space but we need more staff…and we don’t have where to draw from because all the other states around us are in the same situation.

There’s a group of Latino professionals that got together to create, a website and guide in English and Spanish with resources.