Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, has a coronavirus update at 1 p.m. I'll live tweet.

Follow for updates and let me know if you have questions.

You can watch here: pscp.tv/w/1djGXqwoBVdJZ
Arwady: As of this Friday, Chicago's travel order will be simplified to a two-tier system. Every state but Hawaii is currently in the orange tier. And you're in the orange tier as a state if you're having 15+ daily cases per 100,000 people.
Arwady: Every other state but Hawaii, we're advising avoiding travel. But if you do travel, once you get back to Chicago, you must quarantine for 10 days or you can get a pre-arrival negative test within 72 hours and then masking, social distancing, etc. for 10 days.
Arwady: "However, I want to note: The top line, still, is please avoid travel if possible."
Arwady: "We are seeing a slight increase in cases following the end-of-year holidays; however, some of this is because we saw a significant drop in testing over the holidays, as well." This is similar to what we saw at Thanksgiving. "Nothing that is significantly concerning, ...
"and we are anticipating that this number will likely flatten, hopefully, over the next week."
Arwady: We're still well above the 400/cases per day we'd like to be at, but we're well below the November peak.
Arwady: Ideally, we should be below 5% positivity. We're currently at 10.3% test positivity.
Arwady: Deaths continue to improve, with 13 per day. It's much better than the 24 deaths per day we saw at the peak in early December.

This is not as high as we saw in our first peak, when we averaged nearly 50 per day.
Arwady: Hospitalizations continue to decline here in Chicago. Our capacity looks good. There are 619 patients either with diagnosed or likely COVID in non-ICUs and 197 patients in ICUs. "That's well down from where we were."

29% ICU capacity
25% non-ICU capacity
Arwady: 52,407 1st doses administered. Another 13,000-14,000 2nd doses administered.

Data on CDPH's dashboard does not include non-Chicago residents who are vaccinated here. About 40% of vaccines are going to non-residents . They work here. Their data isn't in the dashboard.
Arwady: We're up to 250 long-term care facilities that have been scheduled for strike teams for pharmacies.
Arwady: We have 250 vaccine provider sites (outpatient clinics, pharmacies, etc.) signed up. They're bringing on board Jewel-Osco, Mariano's, etc.
Arwady: There were some health care providers who didn't want to get vaccinated at the beginning.

"I am hopeful that many people who were perhaps waiting just a little bit to watch their colleagues get vaccinated will raise their hand to get vaccine today. This works like ...
"airplane boarding. If you've missed your call to get on the plane, you haven't missed your opportunity before the plane takes off."
Arwady: These partners will be the ones helping vaccinate older Chicagoans.

CDPH is also increasing its mass vaccination sites, adding more sites and hours. Those are by-appointment-only for 1A health care workers.
Dr. Ali Khan, executive medical director of Oak Street Health: We are nowhere close to being done with vaccinating 1A. In just 48 hours, we had over 2,600 health care workers across Chicago sign up to vaccinated by them at five sites. Within 3 hours, all 1,800 slots for ...
vaccinations filled up. And we saw dozens of people yesterday — 300 in total. "These are dentists. These are home health workers. These are therapists. These are nurses."
Khan: "There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people who are frontline workers who have yet to be vaccinated."
Arwady: "I'm excited by the possibility of being able to expand soon once we're able to make sure this, as you say, sort of silent majority of outpatient workers has had the opportunity to make their appointments."
Arwady: "I think where people get this concern about spoilage or wastage is because we've talked a lot about the logistics of this vaccine. ... There's a lot of work to make sure no doses are being wasted." The top priority is to make sure vaccine is distributed as quickly as ...
it's allocated and working with health care providers to make sure they have plans/demand so no vaccine is sitting on shelf and none is going to waste.
Arwady: "Let me tell you, every day right now, we're getting different information from the federal government. It is looking promising. But I want to see actual doses allocated to the city of Chicago."
Arwady: Biden admin is likely to push additional doses of vaccine to states/cities because they're confident they can ramp up doses. Now the Trump admin is echoing that. "I do think that it's been heard that we would like to have more vaccine available here quickly."
Arwady: 90%+ of vaccines will be given through partners, not through city-run vaccination sites.
Arwady: We will make sure that we are having that second dose available. She feels strongly about that, unless FDA/CDC guidance changes.
Arwady: We have two points of dispensing: public safety closed pod that started with Chicago Fire Department paramedics and now private EMS. They'll move to EMTs within CFD. They do a few hundred a day.

Malcolm X started at a few hundred per day and they're ramping up daily.
They anticipate doing 3,300 appointments across all pods, increasing to 4,000+ next week.

Those are by appointment only for 1A health care workers only.
Arwady: "We are already planning — and this week we are expanding to additional, large mass vaccination sites here in Chicago." Two other city colleges this week. They're looking at other sites.
Arwady: They've been working with nursing/medical/pharmacy schools to ensure their students, with appropriate supervision, can help become vaccinators.

And Chicago hasn't gotten federal vaccination funding. It's "very much needed."
Arwady: As that money comes in, "we expect to be able to grow even further."
Arwady: "Certainly, at this stage in Chicago, masks and social distancing have increased and not decreased in terms of their importance. ... I'm not backing off at all in terms of these other mitigation strategies because with the amount of COVID we are still seeing in ...
"Chicago" and because a low percentage of people have been vaccinated. There's a lot still in play. "Bottom line is the way you can protect Chicago: First, get educated so you feel confident taking the COVID vaccine when it is your turn. But second, do not let up on these ...
"things that have gotten us this far."
Arwady: A lot more Chicagoans stayed home over the holidays, according to cellphone data. They think that's why a surge will be avoidable.
Arwady: We've been in close communication with other northern Illinois public health departments. "As our top-line goals: No. 1, we want to get as much vaccine as we can. No. 2, we want to push that vaccine out as quickly as we can." No. 3: They want to ensure demand is ...
there. "This week has been a lot about making sure those outpatient 1A providers can get access." If some settings have vaccine that seems like it'll go unused, they'll be encouraged to use it on highest-risk patients.
Arwady: In 1B, there is not going to be enough baccine for everybody right off the bat. We get 32,000-33,000 of first doses per week. We have 360,000 Chicago residents 65+ and hundreds of thousands of essential workers.
Arwady: It is going to remain an appointment-based system. They won't open up first come, first served. Doesn't seem like a good way to ensure highest-risk patients are vaccinated or that there's equity.
Arwady: "Nobody in Chicago is late, at this point. ... We will let you know when we're moving. And you are welcome, if you want to use the Chi COVID Coach ... we'll be sending you text messages to keep you in the loop." But we're finishing 1A and planning 1B.
Arwady: We are following state and federal guidance on there. "Certainly, we've looked here in Chicago at the settings, including a lot of the production settings, where we've seen significant outbreaks." There are manufacturing settings that have been high-risk for COVID.
Arwady: A lot of younger, Latinx workers work in those settings. In those settings, they're in 1B.
Press conference over.

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