CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of the Chicago Health Department said more people in the city are getting the COVID vaccine as the number of cases continues to slowly trend downward.
“One in 13 Chicago residents has now received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. One in six Chicago residents over the age of 65 has received at least that first dose of COVID vaccine are making excellent progress every day,” said Dr. Allison Arwady of the CDPH.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Mainly Clear And Not As Cold Sunday Night
She added that to put it into perspective, more than 270,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have gone to Chicagoans.
“And that is more than 30,000 more vaccine doses than the total number of people here in Chicago ever diagnosed with COVID. So we’re really pleased to be pushing out vaccine much faster than COVID is moving,” Arwady said.
Chicago’s top doctor said the city is using the supply as soon as it gets the coveted vaccine.
“As quickly as we are receiving vaccine here in Chicago, we are pushing it out. We have more than 500 providers enrolled. We have plans for even larger mass vaccination sites. We’re doing work to get outreach to seniors,” Arwady said. “All we need is more vaccine.”
Arwady cautioned while the number of people in Chicago getting a COVID vaccine looks like a lot, many more people who are currently eligible haven’t received their vaccine.
“Chicago this week received just 6,000 parts doses of vaccine per day split between Moderna and Pfizer to stretch across the whole city, “Arwady said. “There are more than 700,000 Chicagoans eligible for vaccination in Phase 1B plus the health care workers who remain eligible for one and non-Chicago residents who may come and work in Chicago.”
She said as more vaccine becomes available to the city, more people will get their shot.
“As it scales up, I’m very, very confident that we have the tech platforms in place, the providers in place, for planning in place to be able to get it all of you,” Arwady said.READ MORE: At Least 20 Shot, 2 Killed In Weekend Violence In Chicago
In terms of numbers for Chicago, Arwady said as of Wednesday, the city’s positivity rate stands at 4.7%, based on a seven-day rolling average. The city has recorded close to three million COVID tests performed. The number of cases for Wednesday, based on a seven-day rolling average, is 477. Last week the number was 607 COVID cases.
“All of our numbers look good. But it’s important that if we started to see signs of trouble, we would dial back so that we don’t get into a place hopefully, where we would need to think about closing things that we’ve already been able to reopen,” Arwady said. “As soon as we can get back down under that 400 cases per day, we’ll be back to moderate risk.”
The head of the CDPH said that’s when the city would expand indoor seating capacity to 40%.
“In looking ahead, as long as we’re able to hold at a moderate capacity, moderate risk or low risk, we will then be able to expand the 50% capacity after two weeks one incubation period,” Arwady said. “So I’m very hopeful that just over the next few weeks, if we continue to see the progress that we’ve made already, we’ll be at a point to be able to move to a 50% capacity.”
Click here for more information on Chicago’s COVID metrics.
At a news conference, Dr. Arwady was asked about concerns with non-Chicago residents coming into the city to get a COVID vaccine. Arwady said there are people who live in the city who are getting their vaccines outside the city.
“We don’t want to set up a situation where if somebody works in Chicago, we say ‘sorry, you can only get your vaccine, if you also live here,” Arwady said. “To put this in some perspective, 37% of the vaccine that the city has administered at city sites, has gone to non Chicago residents. But I also wanted to specify that of all of the Chicago residents who have been vaccinated, 25% of them had been vaccinated outside the city, for example, in suburban cuts. So it does move both ways.”
In terms of mass vaccination sites, Arwady said the city has looked at Wrigley Field and the United Center as possible places to get vaccines in the future.MORE NEWS: Boy, 11, Shot And Wounded In West Pullman; He Is Second Child Shot In Area Within Week
“We actually have plans already made to think about these really mass vaccination sites where, for example, maybe you could move 5,000 people through a day. But again, we’re only getting 6,000 doses a day here in Chicago,” Arwady said. “I do very much anticipate as more vaccine is available. And as the weather warms up, and we’re able to take some more advantage of outdoor locations, particularly for that observation time that comes after people get their vaccine, that we’ll have many more opportunities like that.”