COVID-19 case numbers continue to fall this week in Chicago, but many ZIP codes remain highly vulnerable to the virus, according to city data.
Axios Chicago has a lot of correspondents in Chicago Public Schools. This week, one of them sent pictures of crowded hallways that they call "typical."
What they're saying: The source, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to take photos inside a school, sent Axios several photos along with reports of crowding and lax mask enforcement.
- They noted students wearing masks under their noses, a lack of social distancing in the lunchroom and teachers taking off their masks in class.
Why it matters: In the last five weeks, COVID has infected 1,639 CPS students and staff and put 7,005 in quarantine.
Chicago's highest COVID positivity rates this week are in ZIP codes with majority white and high income populations, with one exception:
- The ZIP codes cover parts of Lakeview (60657), Lincoln Park (60642), West Town (60607), Norwood Park (60656), Dunning (60634) and Mount Greenwood (60655).
- Only one high-positivity ZIP (60617 Pullman and South Shore) hosts a predominantly Black population.
Millions of people in the U.S. are still not eligible for a booster and reaching the half year mark on their original vaccines, when some studies show a drop in protection.
Driving the news: Last week, the FDA announced that people who got the Pfizer vaccine can receive a COVID-19 booster shot if they're over 65, have an underlying medical condition, or live or work in high risk settings.
Why it matters: It leaves ineligible folks wondering how they should modify their behavior.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot will not take the blame for Chicago Public School's COVID-19 problems. She told Axios Chicago she's "deeply disappointed" in CPS leadership for its botched rollout of COVID protocols so far this year.
Why it matters: Since Mayor Daley took over CPS from the state in 1995, Chicago mayors have effectively run Chicago Public Schools, appointing CEOs and board presidents.
COVID hot spots have moved all over Chicago in the past 18 months, but in recent weeks, the highest rates have emerged in two ZIP codes on the far Southwest and Northwest Sides, according to city data.
- 60655 covers parts of Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood.
- 60656 covers parts of Jefferson Park and Norwood Park.
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