Months after the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the United States it is still a part of our daily reality. Here is the latest data on the state of COVID-19 in Illinois and beyond:
Where data comes from
Information on the latest confirmed cases of COVID-19 and coronavirus-related deaths is reported to the State of Illinois by testing centers, area hospitals and healthcare providers, and then released on a daily basis.
It should be noted that there is likely a significant number of people who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 and recovered on their own, and as such are not reflected in the numbers.
Tracking some of these statistics can be confusing because different entities define things like “positivity rate” differently. Here are some definitions for Illinois
When are we “flattening the curve?”
The goal of social distancing measures is to “bend” and then “flatten” the curve reflecting the number of new infections reported by healthcare providers and keep them from being overwhelmed by patients.
One key metric in measuring infections in the state is its “positivity rate,” which typically represents the percent of COVID-19 tests which came back positive over a 7-day period. While this rate was relatively stable through the summer, it began to climb again at the beginning of October.
The State of Illinois also estimates around 97% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 recovered after 42 days.
Additionally, health officials track how many patients are currently hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Hospitalizations are considered a “lagging indicator” of the spread of the virus, since not all people require hospitalization and someone can be admitted several days after they contracted the virus.
In addition to total hospitalizations, officials track how many patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in intensive care or on ventilators, to track the severity of infections.
Statistics from State of Illinois also reflect the spread of the virus in Chicago, with the same caveat that many people have not been tested and recovered at home.
Still, a large portion of the state’s confirmed cases have been found in Chicago. Similar to the rest of the state, the infection curve has largely flattened in Chicago.
Demographic data also shows the virus’ impact on people of different ages, ethnicities and medical histories.
Recent statistics show an increase in the number of cases among young people, especially since Illinois and Chicago entered Phase 4 of reopening at the end of June.
In Chicago, a disproportionately high percentage of infections are among Latinos and African Americans, while the number of deaths in the African American community is high as well.
Data on the locations of infections in Chicago also shows areas of the west and south side which contain many majority-minority communities have seen a higher number of coronavirus cases than other areas.
Data shows how Latinos in Chicago represent a disproportionate number of cases in the city, accounting for more than a third of cases even though they represent 29 percent of its population.
Additionally, African-Americans made up about 32 percent of Chicago’s population as of 2010 but over 40 percent of people who die from COVID-19 related causes in the city are black.
African Americans are not more susceptible to this virus than other groups. They are being infected at a greater rate, and due to high levels of co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension and lung disease, they are dying at a greater rate.
Additionally, older individuals and people with underlying health conditions make up the majority of coronavirus-related deaths.
Data in Chicago mirrors statistics from around the world in showing that the number of cases of COVID-19 are spread relatively evenly among different age groups, but the virus is particularly deadly among older individuals.
The vast majority of those who ultimately die from COVID-19 usually have at least one underlying chronic condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, or lung disease.
According to the latest city data, about 90 percent of individuals who died from COVID-19 had some kind of “co-morbidity,” or underlying health condition.
Stay-at-home orders are having a devastating impact on economies across the world, and Illinois is no exception.
One of the main concerns of health officials is a spike in patients at area hospitals, especially in intensive care units, as the coronavirus spreads. This is the main reason officials are encouraging people to stay at home to “flatten the curve.”
Here is the latest data from health officials on available health resources in Illinois.