Watch CBS News

Chicago Doctors Prepare For COVID-19 Surge As The Holidays Approach

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A COVID-19 surge is coming.

That's the prediction from Chicago doctors who are already seeing the signs. The seven day average in Illinois is 3,452 new cases a day.

The last time those numbers were that high was back on September 20. As CBS 2's Jim Williams reported, from doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital said they're concerned.

That's because a sizable number of people are not vaccinated. The cold weather is here and Thanksgiving dinners are a week are away.

At Northwestern Memorial, they're getting ready for the COVID surge and they're relying on experience to guide them.

"We've been through this a number of times before and certainly this is a matter of having adequate staffing in terms of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, everyone that it takes to take high level of care of patients sick with COVID-19," said Dr. Benjamin Singer.

Singer said the number of people at the hospital with the coronavirus has jumped in recent weeks.

"Locally and here at Northwestern, we've started to see our numbers go up in the double-digit percentage over time," Singer said.

The overwhelming number of patients have one thing in common.

"Almost all of the patients needing to be admitted to the hospital and certainly those coming into the ICU are unvaccinated," Singer said.

That, as the cold weather forces people inside where transmission of the coronavirus is easier. And now a week away from Thanksgiving and large family gatherings.

"So last year, before vaccines, we saw a big surge around the time of the holidays. We saw it after Thanksgiving, we saw it after Christmas and New Year's," Singer said. "We're certainly hoping that the widespread uptake of vaccines will decrease the possibility of having that type of surge again."

Doctor Anthony Fauci said people at family dinners will face much less risk if everyone there has been vaccinated.

"If you get vaccinated, and your family is vaccinated, you can feel good about enjoying a typical Thanksgiving, Christmas with your family and close friends," Fauci said.

Doctors here remind you getting vaccinated soon would offer protection for Christmas and New Year's gatherings.

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.