Monica Eng
May 16, 2022 - COVID

Chicago and Cook County edge closer to high risk

Illustration of a red alarm bell with a covid virus cell in the center
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Evanston and nearby Kenosha County in Wisconsin moved into the high-risk COVID-19 category over the weekend, meaning cases and their strain on the healthcare system have risen to more dangerous levels.

Why it matters: Cook County — now at medium risk, with indoor masks recommended — is also moving closer to high risk.

Monica Eng
Apr 21, 2022 - COVID

Where to mask up in Chicago and Illinois

Illustration of a face mask lined at the top and bottom with caution tape.
Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

If recent mask rulings have left you confused, you're not alone — policies on mask-wearing are literally changing by the hour.

Monica Eng
Apr 20, 2022 - COVID

More COVID testing options now available

Two home tests
Reported cases are rising in Illinois even though most home tests can't be reported. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

COVID-19 cases are slowly climbing in the city and state, but hospitalizations and deaths remain very low.

Why it matters: Your chances of infection may be rising, but you probably won't get super sick.

Monica Eng
Apr 13, 2022 - COVID

Philly sets re-masking precedent, but Chicago's not following suit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Philadelphia officials announced the return of an indoor mask mandate starting April 18 due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Why it matters: Chicago's case rates are higher than Philly's, but local officials don't seem any closer to following suit.

Monica Eng
Apr 4, 2022 - COVID

Confusing COVID counting could skew positivity rates

Illustration of magnets on a school locker in the shape of a contact tracing chart.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

We recently explained that Chicago and Illinois officials do not count positive COVID-19 cases if they are detected through home tests.

  • This seemed odd given that the data could affect positivity rates, which help guide policy.
Monica Eng
Apr 1, 2022 - COVID

Tracking COVID-19 in Chicago proves difficult

Source: Chicago Department of Public Health. Graphic: Axios Visuals
Source: Chicago Department of Public Health. Graphic: Axios Visuals

👋 Hey, it's Monica. You know, the one with COVID.

I get that you're probably tired of hearing about my maladies. But you know who I haven't been able to tell about my disease? Chicago health authorities.

Monica Eng
Mar 29, 2022 - COVID

In search of the Test to Treat COVID program

Illustration of a pattern of covid particles and positive signs turning into each other.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

👋 Hey, Monica here. I tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after leaving the Midwest for the first time in two years.

  • Instead of sensibly resting, I started calling pharmacies offering antiviral drugs through the federal Test to Treat program.
Monica Eng
Mar 28, 2022 - COVID

CPS site now displays school-level vax rates

Source: Chicago Public Schools. Chart: Axios visuals
Source: Chicago Public Schools. Chart: Axios visuals

CPS announced last Friday that it now posts student COVID-19 vaccination rates online — including rates for individual schools.

Why it matters: School-level data — which had previously only been available through tedious public records requests — offers a window into the vast health inequities across the district.


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