CHICAGO — Top health officials announced new efforts Tuesday to get more people vaccinated and boosted in the city of Chicago.
The Chicago Department of Public Health says now is not the time for people to become negligent as hospitalizations across Illinois remain at record highs.
“Hospitalizations remain at the highest point that we are seeing. We continue to have capacity although hospitals are very stretched,” CDPH Health Commissioner Dr. Allision Arwady said. “Eighteen percent of our non-ICU beds across the city are open. Ten percent of our ICU beds are open.”
Dr. Arwady updated the public Tuesday as the city of Chicago is at 4,793 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day, with an 18.9% positivity rate.
“We are averaging 1,562 Chicago residents hospitalized with COVID outside the ICU,” Arwady said. “For ICU, we are averaging 312 Chicagoans in the hospital with COVID in the ICU.”
The Department of Health hopes to bring numbers down by extending family vaccination clinics at City Colleges of Chicago.
“It’s all about protecting the hospital. All they need is a COVID test to say you can sit here for many hours or you can walk a block to get a COVID test,” Arwady said. “That’s where we put that kind of resource.”
The mass vaccination events will offer COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines for kids and booster doses to eligible Chicagoans. The clinics at City Colleges will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is required. Anyone 12 and up can receive a dosage at least five months following your initial series of Pfizer or Moderna and at least two months after an initial dose of Johnson & Johnson. The clinic dates are as follows:
- Saturday, January 22 – Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd.
- Sunday, January 23 – Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett Ave.
- Saturday, January 29 – Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St.
- Sunday, January 30 – Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave.
- Saturday, February 5 – Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave.
- Sunday, February 6 – Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd.
- Saturday, February 12 – Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd.
- Sunday, February 13 – Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett Ave.
- Saturday, February 19 – Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St.
- Sunday, February 20 – Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave.
- Saturday, February 26 – Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave.
- Sunday, February 27 – Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd.
Click here to register.
Arwady says especially in the colder months and through the current omicron surge, it’s vital that all eligible Chicagoans receive their covid-19 vaccine and booster.
“There are 167 people on average right now on ventilators with COVID-19 in Chicago hospitals,” Arwady said. “Almost all infected with omicron variant and almost all of them are people who are not vaccinated.”
Arwady says those on the fence about the dose can look into CDPH’s in-home vaccination program, “Protect Chicago at Home.” The program offers pediatric vaccination for all children age 5 to 11 and vaccination or boosters for anyone age 12 and up.
“We are beginning to see a flatting of the increase , let’s say, where we are looking at things like cases and positivity, and it’s important that when we are talking about cases and positivity that those are going the same way,” Arwady said. “If positivity were sky high and cases were down, it would tell me that no one was getting tested. We follow these two together, and the fact that over these last few days we’ve gone from seeing doubling, doubling, doubling huge increases in both of these to a flattening, at least of both of those, suggests that at the population level, we are not as dramatic of an increase.”