WASHINGTON (CBS) — White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah L. Birx on Thursday named Cook County as one of the counties in the country that has drawn concern due to “a more rapid increase” in coronavirus cases.
Birx noted that 55 percent of all new coronavirus cases have come out of the New York City metro area – in both New York and New Jersey. But she said there are concerns about rapid increases in cases in Cook County, as well as in Wayne County, Michigan, which includes Detroit.
“We have integrated all of our information to not only look at where the cases are today, but how they’re moving, so we can alert (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to where we think the next hot spot is,” Birx said.
Earlier, Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said there were 673 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday alone, including seven new deaths, according to. Illinois now has 2,538 total cases in 37 counties, and 26 total deaths.
A total of 1,161 confirmed cases are in the city of Chicago, and 743 more are in suburban Cook County.
Wayne County has fewer total cases than Cook County – 851 within the city of Detroit and 538 for suburban Wayne County. But other neighboring counties also have high numbers, and Michigan has more confirmed cases than Illinois at 2,856, and more confirmed deaths at 60.
Ezike said earlier in the day that fortunately, Illinois so far is falling under early predictions for the number of cases expected here, but she said that can only continue if people continue following the advice of staying at home, except to go out for essentials like food and medicine. She thanked Illinois residents who have been obeying the governor’s “stay at home” order, and following advice to stay six feet away from others, and avoid crowds of more than 10, but she chided those who have not.