Chicago’s 7-Day Average Of COVID-19 Cases Recently Jumped Past 200. Will The City Tighten Restrictions?

coronavirus testing
Chicago has recently seen a 7-day rolling average of more than 200 COVID-19 cases a day. Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press
coronavirus testing
Chicago has recently seen a 7-day rolling average of more than 200 COVID-19 cases a day. Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press

Chicago’s 7-Day Average Of COVID-19 Cases Recently Jumped Past 200. Will The City Tighten Restrictions?

Ths short answer is not right now.

Chicago Health Commissioner Allison Arwady has said recently that if the city starts exceeding 200 COVID-19 cases a day (among a 7-day-average), the city may need to consider new restrictions.

The city says it is basing that 200-number on CDC guidelines, which say going over 200 cases per day on a 7-day rolling average puts Chicago in a high incidence state of COVID-19 spread.

The city has seen those average case numbers in recent days, with 200-plus averages on July 10, 11 and 12.

But, Chicago officials told WBEZ that’s not the only measure they’re using to make calls about the city’s restrictions.

“This does not mean an automatic tightening of restrictions or roll-back of reopening guidance,” public health department spokesman Andrew Buchanan said in an email.

Buchanan said the city is considering several other factors when deciding whether to increase restrictions. For instance, if the city sees a lot of cases associated with bars, the city might reimpose limits there.

The city is also using several other public health metrics, including positivity rate and hospitalizations, to determine next steps.

“We are talking about this every day, watching the case rate as well as other metrics, and will take action as appropriate,” Buchanan said.

Mariah Woelfel is a reporter at WBEZ. You can follow her on Twitter @MariahWoelfel.