Chicago Department of Public Health officials say they are tracking a “gradual increase” in COVID-19 cases in the city, but the overall risk of infection remains low for city residents.
According to a press release on Tuesday, the city is currently experiencing an increase in both its test positivity, which rose to 1.6% this week, and its COVID cases, with the city averaging 284 new cases. per day.
That’s up from the 214 daily cases the city was reporting a week ago, according to CDPH data.
City officials say the BA.2 omicron subvariant is likely driving the increases, following a national trend that has seen the strain become dominant in the United States.
The state of Illinois saw its COVID test positivity rate climb to 2% on Tuesday. The state is also averaging more than 1,300 new COVID cases per day, an increase of more than 10% from the previous week, and authorities reported 1,798 new cases of the virus on Tuesday.
CDPH commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says the city expects increases to continue, but warned authorities have not seen a “surge” in cases.
“We expect this gradual increase to continue in the near future, but we don’t see signs of a major surge and there is nothing unexpected about the outbreak right now in Chicago,” she said.
Arwady says the city will continue to step up efforts to promote vaccinations and boosters, especially in Black and Latinx communities.
According to official data, 75.9% of the city’s Latinx population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, while 61.8% of black residents have received at least one dose.