CHICAGO — Covid cases are on the rise in Chicago and Cook County but hospitalizations and deaths remain low.

Vaccines continue to be effective and younger children are just one step away from a booster. The FDA gave the OK for Pfizer’s booster shoots for younger children ages 5 to 11. The CDC is expected to give the green light Thursday.

Omicron and it’s highly contagious sub variants continue to infect people — right now Chicago is at a medium risk level but there is likely an undercount of cases due to at home testing — still hospitalizations remain low and deaths are at just 1 or 2 a week now in Chicago.

Health officials credit vaccines for keeping those numbers low. 

Evanston Township High School reinstated its indoor mask mandate earlier this week due to rising Covid numbers but right now it doesn’t appear Chicago is on the same path. Health experts say now is the time to start thinking about distancing yourself from people in an indoor setting and keeping your mask handy.

“At the medium level masks are strongly recommended indoors and if Cook County move high level which I think they might in the next few weeks if that were to happen we would only do a mask requirement if our hospital numbers in Chicago is threaten,” Dr. Allison Arwardy, Chicago Public Health Commissioner, said.

For that to happen, Arwardy said hospitalization would have to double from where they are now.