Chicago has raised its COVID-19 alert to medium ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, citing dropping temperatures and rising case levels as the reason for the change.
“With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away and the expected rise in winter-related respiratory virus circulation, I urge all Chicagoans to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and get their flu shot now,” Chicago’s public health commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady stated Friday as reported by the Sun Times. “Families will be traveling and gathering indoors for the holidays, and I worry about that increased circulation of COVID-19 and flu, and especially the possibility of severe outcomes for those who remain unvaccinated or not up to date,” she added.
COVID-19 transmission has risen to a medium risk level across the Chicago area, as temperatures drop and cases rise once again, health officials said Friday.
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) November 12, 2022
Illinois has seen a 24% increase in cases this month as compared to October with an average of 1,926 new cases per day not including at-home tests. Similarly, there has been a 15% increase in COVID hospitalizations with more than 1,100 patients statewide as of Wednesday according to the Sun Times.
Only 13% of eligible Chicagoans are up-to-date on their booster, which is why Arwady is rating the alarm. “For most Chicagoans, if you haven’t had a COVID vaccine since Labor Day, you’re not up to date and not protected enough against COVID heading into winter. It doesn’t matter if you have already had boosters. This is a different vaccine, and it offers better protection against current and future virus strains,” she stated per the Sun Times. (RELATED: CDC Panel Adds COVID Shot To Kids’ Routine Vaccine Schedule)