Chicago's top doctor, Dr. Allison Arwady, addressed the media regarding the omicron variant on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. | Photo: Chicago Department of Public Health Live Stream

By SOPHIA TAREEN | Associated Press

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.[1][2][3]

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. His comments comes as students returned to school last week following a standoff with the teachers' union over safety protocols.

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Notes & References

  1. Tareen, Sophia. “Chicago to Require Indoor Masks for All as Covid Cases Surge.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, August 17, 2021. ↩︎

  2. Chicago Journal. “City to Require Proof of Vaccination at Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, and Others.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, December 21, 2021. ↩︎

  3. “Chicago Restarts COVID Travel Rules with Cases up in States.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, July 16, 2021. ↩︎