Illinois and Chicago are reporting record lows in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since the pandemic began one year ago. Does this good news mean we are approaching the end of the pandemic? The obvious answer is we hope so, however Innovative Express Care is seeing an upward trend of cases in our own patient data.
In just two weeks, our clinic in Lincoln Park went from a 2.6% positivity rate to a 6% positivity rate. This means there are more than twice as many positive cases this week as there were two weeks ago. While still low by comparison to the peak points during the pandemic, this upward trend is making us take notice. Here’s a look at the data:
There is a lot to learn from data. If you look at the trajectory of COVID since March of 2020 until now, you’ll see there are peaks and valleys. A peak during the March/April 2021 timeframe was predicted. Many experts say the next two months are a critical time period that will determine if the United States experiences another widespread surge in cases. Others comment on how vaccination rates must continue improving in order to prevent variants from fueling COVID-19.
I agree. We must hold steady, continue wearing masks and speed up vaccination efforts in order to maintain control of the virus spread.
Innovative Express Care is currently vaccinating individuals in the 1a, 1b and 1b+ (under 65 but with qualifying medical conditions). We have administered over 28,000 vaccines in the last eight weeks. We will ramp up our efforts as soon as we can get our hands on more vaccine doses. We have the staff and space to help and we are eager to make a greater impact.
Truthfully, we won’t see the “normal” we once had for quite some time. COVID-19 has changed our lives forever. Expect to see mask requirements for many months. Many employers will continue to embrace work from home situations or hoteling in the office to limit the number of employees in one space at a time (and save on real estate). COVID-19 testing will continue and vaccines may become something we have to get annually like the flu shot. That said, things will improve. They already have to a large degree. We simply need to stay the course for a bit longer and adapt to the changes COVID has brought. As more Americans get vaccinated, we will see a sharp decline in cases.
Please get tested if you feel ill. Also, get tested if you have been exposed. It is still important to quarantine yourself if you have COVID-19.