Chicago (CBS) – Chicago Department of Public Health director Dr Alison Arvadi said Wednesday that her department is working to address concerns about COVID-19 safety in schools – teachers have voted to move to distance learning and As a result classes for the day have been cancelled.
Arvadi and other city officials stress the data that schools are safe, but the numbers also show how fast COVID-19 is spreading now with the Omron version. CBS 2’s Erika Sargent asked Arvadi how her department is working to ease teachers’ concerns about being in the classroom and make them feel safe.
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“So we are definitely in a big COVID surge – no question about it. However, what we have seen – time and again in the data – is that where you have taken mitigation measures and you are taking COVID seriously, its spread is low,” Arvadi said. “And I can tell you that my team is working very hard all day to support CPS in trying to build some additional testing capacity, if that will help ease people’s concerns – and even when schools don’t open. Testing is going on. Vaccination is underway. And really getting us back is my top priority.”
On Tuesday, Dr. Arvadi pushed back against concerns that individual classes could put children’s lives at risk – as some parents expressed concern that they might. Arvadi said Chicago’s children 17 and younger are being diagnosed with COVID-19 at a higher rate because of the holiday break, but added that children with COVID hospitalizations are “very rare”. live.”
Arvadi further said on Tuesday that COVID-19 is “behaving like the flu” for children who have been vaccinated, and that school districts do not close for extended periods of time for the flu.
Meanwhile, Arvadi on Tuesday had also said that his department is out of rapid COVID-19 tests. He encouraged people to buy the trial on Amazon – but acknowledged that such an offer is expensive and unrealistic for some.
“There is a move – as people have probably heard – centralize it at the federal; at the national level. I actually think it makes sense at some level, because it means you can implement the Defense Production Act.” You can actually get it,” Arvadi said, “and I was on the phone with the federal leadership, and you know, they’re saying within a few weeks, it should be available where you order online. You can call or call, and there will be free trials available fast.”
But it has a problem that in scaling up test manufacturing to 500 million, the supply chain has “really dried up.”
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“I know how difficult it has been to get a rapid test done. So I ordered some online for myself, but I know it’s not open to everyone. We are working every way we know how in case any possible test case is available,” Arvadi said. “I want people to have access to the tests they need, and we want to distribute them to the areas of highest need, which is what we were doing earlier. And we want to ensure that these exams are available in schools, as this will help ease people’s concerns.
On Wednesday, Illinois reported a record 32,279 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 – the most reported in a single day in the state. Hospitalization from the virus also set a record for the third consecutive day.
The case positivity rate in the city of Chicago alone is now 23.3%.
The sergeant asked Arvadi when she sees the current COVID-19 surge. She said she hopes and thinks it’s likely to happen this month — but the bottom line is, no one has a crystal ball.
“The problem is that we haven’t seen it go down yet, for example, Europe or the UK, which were a little behind South Africa in seeing that initial boom. We haven’t seen any signs of it in New York City yet. Which has a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent as compared to ours,” Arvadi said. “And I believe, based on what our modelers are saying, when we look at the data — 80, 90 percent, I think it’s going to peak in January. Just the question is, is it going to peak next year? Or is it going to happen sooner in two weeks, or maybe it’s a little later at the end of the month?
But since there’s no way to predict for sure, Arvadi said she feels strongly about implementing safety measures — but also maintaining in-person classes at the school.
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“Here, at some stage, we are going to live with COVID, and if we can protect against dire consequences, I strongly think it is an essential service to society, and to make people feel confident in their safety. We are doing everything for this. Measures in place, I think, are important,” she said.