CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s top doctor said Wednesday that the nation’s third-largest city has passed the peak of the omicron-fueled wave but hospitals are still being stretched and the number of new daily COVID-19 infections remain high.
“We are a long way from being out of the woods,” Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said at a news conference. ”The threat is in no way over, but the news is good in terms of the direction that it’s turning.”
The city’s COVID-19 test positivity peaked at nearly 20% on Jan. 1 and is about 13% currently. The peak of daily cases was 8,553 on Jan. 4 and currently averaging just under 3,000 a day. Hospitalizations haven’t dropped by started to plateau.
Public health officials said the city is “nowhere near” dropping its indoor mask mandate, vaccination proof at indoor venues and no states are coming off the city’s travel advisory list, which currently covers the whole country.
Meanwhile, the head of Chicago Public Schools said there have been increases in families signing up for weekly COVID-19 testing and vaccines at school events.
More than 13,000 CPS students are currently quarantined and roughly 1,100 staff members are in isolation. The district said 42% of students ages 5 to 11 and 75% of students ages 12 to 17 have received one dose of the vaccine.