If Illinois doesn’t bring its steadily rising coronavirus numbers down quickly, it is among the areas of the country facing a “perfect storm” of risk factors for transmitting the highly contagious disease this fall, according to a Philadelphia medical research center that is tracking COVID-19 in hundreds of counties nationwide.
The combination of some schools returning to in-person instruction, Labor Day travel and cooler fall weather would all be piled on top of a steady uptick in Illinois’ statewide test positivity rate over the last several weeks, said Dr. David Rubin, director of the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“What worries me is if you have that big reservoir of circulating cases and then you get some of those colder fall days that start to come, and then you’re also returning kids to universities and schools and the mixing goes up in the community, it’s just kind of like a perfect storm,” Rubin said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “You set yourself off on the wrong foot as we go into what’s going to be a difficult fall and winter.”
Rubin’s warning about the fall and winter echoes what other experts have been predicting for months.