BREAKING NEWS: Illinois has become a new “hot spot” for covid, according to CDC and Illinois Department of Health data released today, prompting officials to consider new restrictions in the state.

The Midwest is experiencing the highest surge in covid over the past month, data shows. Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin “currently have the highest rates of COVID-19 in the country per capita.”

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady called Illinois a “covid hot spot” and added, “The Midwest is the current COVID hot spot as temperatures drop and people spend more time inside, so please protect yourself and get vaccinated.”

BREAKING: Illinois A New 'Hot Spot' For Covid; Officials Consider New Restrictions

All of the Illinois health regions have shown rising numbers of covid infections this fall.

On Nov. 24, Illinois covid-19 cases hit the worst numbers they’ve seen over the last year, and with winter approaching and a new omicron variant rising worldwide, officials are looking at new restrictions for the state.

The numbers continued to be high this week, with 4,442 new cases of coronavirus per day as of Wednesday. Since the pandemic began, 1,784,900 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths reported over the past five days bring the state to 26,313 confirmed fatalities due to covid.

Over the previous three weeks, the state has seen a massive surge of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, according to Illinois Department of Health numbers, and the latest data released today showed a spike beyond those numbers.

As the numbers surge, so do the calls by some to enact even harsher mitigations statewide, with some even calling for another shutdown, particularly of schools.

Arwady also added that she expected the new omicron COVID-19 variant will likely be detected “soon” in Chicago and larger cities, and spread through the Midwest over the coming weeks.

“I have no reason to think that there are not at least a few cases over here. And I would expect us to be formally detecting it in days or weeks,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a press conference Tuesday.

In a statement Monday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city is “very engaged in the heightened discussions regarding the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, particularly with our federal partners.”

BREAKING: Illinois A New 'Hot Spot' For Covid; Officials Consider New Restrictions

Illinois has become a new covid hot spot, along with its surrounding states, new data shows.

“At this point, there are many questions which scientists across the world, and at the Chicago Department of Public Health, are actively working to address all while closely monitoring this strain,” the statement read. “While that work continues, we must as a city, and importantly as individuals, continue to follow the public health guidance: get vaccinated, and if vaccinated, get your booster; wear a mask indoors and when you’re around other people; and if you are feeling sick, stay home to save lives. The unvaccinated remain the most at risk to themselves and others so please get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that a person in San Francisco was the first U.S. citizen to have a detected case of the omicron variant. The person was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29. Fauci said the person was vaccinated but had not received a booster shot and was experiencing “mild symptoms.”

For ongoing coverage of this situation, continue to follow QuadCities.com.

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BREAKING: Illinois A New 'Hot Spot' For Covid; Officials Consider New Restrictions
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.