Chicago COVID: Hospitals and Coronavirus Testing Sites Prepare for COVID-19 Outbreak After Thanksgiving After Holiday Weekend

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CHICAGO (WLS) – Some travelers at O’Hare International Airport have said they had no problems flying during a pandemic, which is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year in the airports. “I felt completely safe,” Alicia Gerin said on Sunday.
“The planes were full. Everyone was respectful. Everyone had their mask, ”added another traveler.

Public health officials fear coronavirus cases will skyrocket in the coming weeks after Thanksgiving trips and home gatherings.

Dr Anthony Fauci is one of many doctors urging people not to let their guard down.

“We can see a surge. You know, we don’t want to scare people, but that’s just the reality, ”he said. “We said these things would happen when we get into the cold and start traveling. ”

COVID-19 test sites prepare to be inundated with people this week, like the days leading up to Thanksgiving, just as Chicago-area hospitals prepare for a post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 spike after the long weekend vacation,

“We are concerned that there is an increase in cases,” said Dr Bala Hota of Rush University Medical Center. “The incubation period for developing symptoms is about five to seven days, so it would be in the middle of next week when people might have some symptoms of the disease, and that’s when we we would expect more cases to arrive at the hospital. ”

RELATED: Should You Quarantine After The Thanksgiving Gathering Amid Growing COVID Cases? Yes, says the expert“We really feel like there’s going to be a big spike because of the rallies. We are very worried that there will be a spike in positivity rates, and spread throughout our community, unfortunately, ”added Innovative Express Care CEO Dr Rahul Khare.

Health officials have said the number of Thanksgiving trips is a clue the positivity rate may start to climb again.

AAA has predicted that over 50 million people intend to travel for the holidays. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport is just one that has also welcomed a steady flow of travelers.

“If there is to be a peak, it will be a little late next week until about 2-3 weeks after that,” Dr Hota said. “Even if it’s stable for about 7-10 days, we’re going to see a real increase in admissions. We are prepared for it. ”

That’s why Dr Khare recommends waiting at least a few days before getting tested.

“Three to five days is really important if you’ve done it, go see the people, and we’re unmasked, we know it’s happening. What if that’s what happened. Please get tested three to five days after your meeting, ”Dr Said Khare.

Currently, the statewide positivity rate in Illinois remains just above 12%, but with fewer people being tested for COVID-19 over the holiday weekend, the data could be misleading.

“Even though it has been somewhat stable, it translates into a number of illnesses, and it also shows that there is quite a significant spread in the community,” he added.

RELATED: Illinois Coronavirus Test: Where To Get Tested For COVID-19 In The Illinois, Chicago Area

In the past three weeks, coronavirus hospitalizations in Rush have tripled.

“What we’re seeing now is 10 to 25 admissions a day,” Hota said.

Many of these patients are now in intensive care.

Still, doctors are asking people to practice social distancing and watch their symptoms to avoid another flare.

RELATED: Respiratory Therapists Struggle To Keep Up With Demand As COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise

“(In) December we might see a drop in cases, but it depends on what we do – If we wear masks, we wash our hands and walk away,” Hota stressed.

If you’ve been to a rally, watch for symptoms and limit contact with others until you have a COVID-19 test result.

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