Rush experts see signs of success in fight against COVID-19

Experts at Rush University Medical Center say there are hopeful trends in the fight against COVID-19, but it doesn't mean we can stop social distancing right away.

Experts in battling contagious disease at Rush were staring at some scary numbers as of March 10. Based on data from all over the world, they feared that, by today, Illinois would have had 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 100,000 by early next week, likely overwhelming local hospitals. But it hasn't happened.

“I would say 8 days ago, 9 days ago is when we really started seeing strong signs that the curve was bending,” said Thomas Webb, associated vice president of Quality Analytics at Rush. “It seems like the efforts are working.”

Webb and his colleagues at Rush are emphatically not declaring victory. That said, they note that before aggressive stay-at-home orders took effect, COVID-19 cases in Illinois were doubling every two days. It's now taking more than five days to double.

“And the difference between two and five is tremendous, absolutely tremendous in transmission like this,” Webb said.

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