CBS 2's Jim Williams reports, while the city is on track to enter into the next COVID vaccination phase on Monday, the head of the CDPH said problems could be on the horizon if the numbers don't turn around.
IRIKA SARGENT: As of tonight on this Hour 18, nearly 5 million people in Illinois have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. And with more of us becoming eligible every day, it's easy to think the end is in sight.
BRAD EDWARDS: But today, a good reminder, it is not over. Statewide we've seen a 15% increase in new cases over the past week. The average positivity rate up from 2.1% 10 days ago to 2.5% today. And in Chicago there's a concerning jump among those 18 to 29. A lot of new information came out today. Just in case you missed anything, you can scan the QR code on the bottom of your screen right there. It will take you right to our web story. CBS 2's Jim Williams with a strong message from Dr. Allison Arwady.
JIM WILLIAMS: Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says she's really worried about the trend. 23% more COVID cases in Chicago compared to a week ago. 30% more cases than the city had two weeks ago.
ALLISON ARWADY: Unfortunately, we are now up to a point where we're seeing 350 cases per day. We really want to get under 200 cases per day to take us back to that lower risk.
JIM WILLIAMS: The positivity rate, she says, is 3.2% now compared to 2.7% the previous week. Arwady he points to young people, 18 to 29 years old, driving the increase in cases. The city has linked the outbreak to college gatherings and sports-related events. Arwady is asking young people to be mindful of older, more vulnerable friends and family.
ALLISON ARWADY: If you are taking some chances with COVID, please rethink that. Please wear your mask, and please be extra careful.
LORI LIGHTFOOT: Let's play ball, Chicago.
JIM WILLIAMS: This month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot touted the return of fans to Chicago ballparks. With vaccinations on the rise and reopenings underway, Dr. Arwady says there's a feeling of hope. But she warns--
ALLISON ARWADY: And as you are going out, and as you are recognizing that we have made amazing progress here in Chicago, we need people to keep their guard up against COVID.
BRAD EDWARDS: Jim Williams reporting there. Dr. Arwady says she remains optimistic that in the late spring or summer, the city will be, in her words, in good shape from COVID.