Watch CBS News

'No Evidence': Chicago's Doctor Arwady Says Lolla Wasn't A Super Spreader Event

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There are growing concerns surrounding COVID-19.

What the new surge is doing to hospitals here. CBS 2's Jackie Kostek has a bit of good news to report.

Chicago's top doctor said that Lollapalooza does not appear to have been a super spreader event.

There were cases in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people who attended the festival but nothing that could be described as a surge.

"We would have seen a surge if we were going to see a surge at this point."

Chicago's top doc Allison Arwady said 203 people who attended Lollapalooza tested positive in last two weeks.

"There's no evidence of a super-spreader event," Arwady said.

While Lolla may not have had a big impact, city data shows COVID markers are on the rise - with cases up 39% since last week and deaths up 29%.

But the numbers remain significantly lower than last April and November.

While other parts of the country are seeing hospitalizations surge once again, Chicago is only seeing a slight uptick.

COVID patients occupy just over 5% of the city's ICU beds and 1.6% of its ventilators. Statewide, there are more than 5,500 ventilators. About 4,100 are in use - only 145 are being used by COVID patients.

Still, that doesn't tell the whole story.

"We were kind of preparing for surges later in the winter and fall and I think this came as a complete surprise."

Doctor Jonathan Pinsky is the medical director of infection control and prevention at Edward Hospital in Elmhurst. He said over the past two weeks, they've seen an acceleration of admissions.

In mid-July, they were averaging fewer than 10 new COVID patients a week. The first week of August, they had 24. In the past four days, 20 more. The average age of patients? 50.

"We're not seeing as many older patients get admitted now because most of them are protected with vaccines. We're predominantly seeing younger patients and across the board, unvaccinated."

Pinsky said this new wave of patients is serving as a lesson, perhaps a reminder that we can't expect COVID to just go away.

"Eventually we all will get exposed to COVID and it's just a question of when you're exposed to COVID, do you want to be vaccinated or unvaccinated? Do you want to be protected or unprotected?"

In terms of ICU beds and ventilators, Doctor Pinsky said Edward Elmhurst Hospital still has plenty of capacity but that doesn't mean this rise in patients isn't a concern.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.