According to multiple news outlets, Illinois is seeing its highest numbers of COVID infections, hospitalizations, and deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Metrics are surpassing even last spring's peaks in most areas of the state. In response, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a stay-at-home advisory for the city on November 12, which was in turn echoed by Cook County officials the following day, who said the city has reached a “critical point” in its second surge of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The gains we have made this past year have been the result of our willingness to work together,” says Lightfoot, referencing the city’s ability to substantially reduce its spring numbers prior to this more recent second wave of infections. “Even in this difficult moment, we will continue to unite as we always have for our city in order to halt the rise we’re seeing, shake out of the fatigue we’ve been experiencing, and make the crucial difference in what our future is going to look like.”
State data reveal that as of November 16, when the stay-home advisory took effect for the city and suburban Cook County, 5,581 Illinois residents were hospitalized with coronavirus-like illnesses; 1,144 of those patients were in intensive care units; 514 were on ventilators. All three statistics are the highest metrics the state has seen in their respective categories since the first peak in COVID-19 cases earlier this year, reports NBC 5 Chicago.
“We’re in the midst of an absolutely abysmal second wave of this pandemic,” says Dr. Robert Citronberg, executive medical director of infectious disease and prevention for Advocate Aurora Health, a hospital system with care centers in Illinois and Wisconsin. “We’re seeing numbers that were not even imaginable just a few weeks ago.”
Considering these factors, Chicagoans are strongly advised for at least the next 30 days to: