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Some Chicago doctors are optimistic hospitals about what downward COVID-19 trend lines look like – CBS Chicago

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Some Chicago doctors are optimistic hospitals about what downward COVID-19 trend lines look like – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) – While we’re still seeing staggering numbers of new COVID cases every day in Illinois, some on the front lines are seeing a trend they call “very encouraging.”

As CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported, the trend lines are moving in a surprising direction at Rush University Medical Center — and that direction is down.

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These are numbers that are often leading indicators of the direction the overall virus count is heading across the region – and although they have already been burned, even some of the grizzled frontline vets are optimistic.

The concern last Friday inside the Rush ER was that a hospital overflow had just accelerated amid the COVID surge.

“I believe there is a worse storm ahead of us,” Dr. Edward Ward told CBS 2’s Tye just a week ago.

But this storm that Dr. Ward was preparing may have taken a positive turn.

“Things are better than they were a few days ago,” Ward said Friday. “That should encourage us.”

A week ago, the numbers were steadily increasing. But in recent days, a major slowdown has emerged.

“Fewer people are coming to the emergency room for treatment; of these people, fewer people are admitted to hospital; fewer people needing intensive care unit level of care,” Ward said. “We have less of our staff who are sick, and more of our staff who are returning after being put on sick leave.”

Dr. Ward is quick to point out that this drop in numbers may not be statistically significant, but he doesn’t think it’s limited to Rush either. In fact, other hospitals contacted by CBS 2 on Friday have similar trends.

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Loyola University Medical Center sees it, as does UChicago Medicine.

“We are starting to see a slight decrease in the number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, but we don’t know if this is a trend that will continue,” UChicago Medicine said in a statement.

But the trend is not represented everywhere.

“Unfortunately, we are still experiencing high patient volumes across our 11 hospital health systems,” Northwestern Medicine said in a statement.

Still, Ward said, “If we say we’re on the plateau now – and there’s evidence to suggest that – then this push will end faster than the previous two.”

At Rush, they’ll take the trend – understand that it can easily be reversed. But bringing COVID numbers down weeks earlier than expected offers a chance to breathe deeply, smile, and have a shred of optimism.

“That’s the most optimistic I’ve been in the last two or three months – easily,” Ward said.

The doctor is quick to point out that these first signals should in no way make you lower your guard, your mask or your responsibility to get vaccinated.

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And again, they make the point to Rush that this is only a few days worth of data and trends can reverse quickly. Still, the data brings hope, and the return of large parts of staff to work – restocking the front lines – will also help significantly.

Some Chicago doctors are optimistic hospitals about what downward COVID-19 trend lines look like – CBS Chicago

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