Chicago's top doctor expects city to move to 'Medium' level of Covid-19 transmission

With Chicago's rolling weekly average number of COVID-19 cases jumping by just over 100 since last week, the city's top doctor says she expects Chicago to be upgraded to "Medium" level of community risk either later this week or early next week.

"At 'Medium,' you will see more signs — these are the 'masks strongly recommended indoors' signs," Dr. Allison Arwady said Tuesday during her weekly online availability.

Arwady expects those blue signs to be widespread any day now, with Chicago about to join suburban Cook County, DuPage, and Lake — all of which have already been moved to "Medium" risk of community spread.

"Thank goodness our hospitalizations and deaths are as low as they are," Arwady said. "But there is more chance, if you're in a large gathering of people, that somebody may have COVID."

To be clear, only at "High" risk would mask requirements go back into effect, but based on the still-very low numbers of COVID hospitalizations and deaths, that's not expected anytime soon.


In the meantime, Arwady compares the upgrade to 'Medium' to a yellow traffic light — meaning proceed with caution.

"As we potentially move into 'Medium' risk, the number one thing I'd like people to do is to have everybody in their households and their networks be up-to-date with vaccines. And yes, that includes a booster," Arwady said.

Meanwhile, based on rising COVID numbers nationwide, the CDC is now recommending masks be worn on public transportation. This includes in airports, and on airplanes and trains. They recommend masks for anyone over 2-years-old.