As new Vax rules approach, city reports sharp increase in daily case rates – NBC Chicago

As the city of Chicago prepares to put in place new COVID mitigation strategies, city officials detail the rapid increases in measures that led them to put the new rules into effect.

Starting in early January, all customers at restaurants, gyms or entertainment venues where food is served will be required to show proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test within seven days of entering the building.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the new rules take effect due to the rapid rise in COVID cases, with the city seeing a 500% increase in daily case averages over the past two months and an increase in hospitalizations, which have increased each of the past 30 days.

“I haven’t been as concerned about COVID-19 since the early days of the pandemic in 2020,” she said. “The latest variant, omicron, seems to spread more easily. We have increases in positivity rates, cases, hospitalizations and deaths. “

According to the city’s COVID Statistics Dashboard, Chicago has an average of 1,776 new COVID cases per day over the past week. The figure is the highest the city has seen since December 6 of last year and represents an 86% increase in new cases in the past two weeks alone.

As of October 23, the city was recording an average of 296 new cases per day, meaning the daily average has increased by exactly 500% in the past two months.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the city has a 7% COVID positivity rate as of December 19, a significant increase from the 3.9% level Chicago was at 10 days ago.

The city is also averaging 62 new hospitalizations per day over the past week, the highest since mid-January.

Even with all of those arrows pointing upward, Lightfoot said his administration still anticipates even bigger increases due to vacation travel and gatherings, which is why authorities are imposing the new rules.

“We can expect an increase in cases after the holidays,” she said.

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