COVID-19 cases in Chicago on the rise amid vaccine rollout push


CHICAGO – Two days removed from the city entering Phase 1C for vaccinations comes news of a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The vast majority of Chicagoans fall under the 1C category.

“People understand that this is lifesaving,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday. “They’ve seen people in their family, their workplace, their social network, who have gotten the vaccine and been fine as a result.”

Mayor Lightfoot labeled the rise in cases “a quantum leap in the numbers” and says she will cease further reopenings until the spike subsides.

Pushing the numbers higher are increases on the North Side, data shows.

Delving deeper, City Health Department Director Allison Arwady puts the onus on younger people who are eager to resume a sense of normalcy but fail to observe COVID-19 protocols, including proper use of face masks and social distancing.

“We’re seeing 18-29-year-olds leading the pack, followed by 30-39-year-olds.” she said.

According to Dr. Arwady, the good news is that health officials have not seen a big increase in COVID-19 cases among seniors.

Still, the citywide positivity rate was 4.5%, up a little more than the percentage point from last week.

Looking forward, federal officials promise additional vaccine supply as the city opens up two new mass vaccination sites.

“We have to have enough vaccine to meet the growing need,” the mayor said.


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