Chicago officials, Pritzker warn of 2nd coronavirus wave

Chicago officials warned Monday of “worrying trends” in increased COVID-19 cases, calling it a second wave that could trigger additional restrictions to curb the spread.

Such restrictions have already returned to other areas of the state. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, speaking Monday in Murphysboro, announced an end to indoor restaurant and bar service in part of southern Illinois, along with limits on groups of more than 25 from congregating.

In Chicago, there has been a more than 50% increase of positive cases in the past two weeks to over 500 daily cases, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Commissioner Allison Arwady said it is the most cases since late May, which was the end of the coronavirus pandemic’s first wave.

There also has been a 25% increase in hospitalizations. There are spikes across all groups of Chicagoans and parts of the city. The increase coincides with an increase statewide. The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday announced 3,113 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22 additional deaths.

“We have to be diligent and push aside the COVID fatigue,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference. “If we pretend that COVID is not the deadly virus that it is, the result, with certainty, is sickness and death.”

That weariness was noted by Pritzker and his state public health director, Dr. Ngoze Ezike. After two record-setting days late last week for new coronavirus cases in Illinois, Pritzker announced that he and Ezike would resume daily public COVID-19 updates, which he ended in June at the end of the first wave of the virus.′ spread.

Lightfoot is stressing the importance of masks, even in small gatherings. She said that in a gathering of 10 people there’s a 14% chance that someone is infected with COVID-19.

Sustained positive-test rates of greater than 8% was a factor in restrictions on social interaction in parts of northwestern Illinois starting Oct. 3.

Overall, Illinois has reported 347,161 cases, including 9,236 deaths. The state’s seven-day positive test rate is 5.4%, according to state officials.