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Chicago’s Top Doctor Says City Is Taking Patient Approach to Masks, Duty to Vaccinate As Cases Die – NBC Chicago

With coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continuing to decline rapidly after peaking in the omicron variant, the Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner said she was hopeful that the mask and vaccine regulation could be lifted. removed, but be aware that doing so too soon will hinder efforts to fight the virus.

During Tuesday’s news conference, Dr. Allison Arwady said that the city has seen its positivity rate and hospitalizations drop significantly in recent weeks, and she’s excited by the emerging data.

“Things are looking pretty good,” she said.

According to Arwady, the city’s positivity rate for COVID tests is now down to 4.5%, the lowest among Illinois’ 11 healthcare regions. On New Year’s Eve, that positivity rate peaked at 20.5%.

Even so, Arwady said that removing masks and vaccination missions in the city is something she wants to do, but also wants to practice patience when doing it because of fears that the number of cases will explode. with so many people still gathered in the house.

“Things are looking pretty good,” said Arwady. She did not give an exact date when that would happen.

Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady discussed what to know about the different mask options — cloth, surgical, KN95, and N95 — and which masks you should wear.

“I want to be able to lift it, I want to be able to lift it at a time when we’re confident it won’t lead to a major rebound,” Arwady said.

Chicago has mandated the wearing of masks for indoor spaces since the fall, and in the new year introduced a requirement for people attending events at indoor venues, as well as customers at certain locations. Facilities such as restaurants and museums, must present proof of a COVID vaccination.

The city also provides updates on its immunization mandate to employees, with Arwady announcing that nearly 84% of all city employees are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Arwady has said that individuals who are unvaccinated and who do not have medical or religious exemptions, may face termination or other disciplinary action.

“At this point, people are really running out of time,” she said.

The next question for city employees is whether they will be required to get a booster dose of the COVID vaccine. Chicago Public Schools has asked staff to submit information about their booster status by March 1, but says they are not officially required to receive the shot at this time.

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronavirus/chicagos-top-doc-says-city-is-taking-patient-approach-to-mask-vaccine-mandates-as-cases-dip/2746276/ Chicago’s Top Doctor Says City Is Taking Patient Approach to Masks, Duty to Vaccinate As Cases Die – NBC Chicago

DUSTIN JONES

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