Chicago averages more than 3,700 new cases of COVID per day over the past week, and city officials say a major factor behind that increase has been new cases reported among young residents.

According to the latest data from the Chicago Department of Public Health, the city’s average case rate stands at 139.4 new cases per 100,000 population. Chicago residents aged 30 to 39 are seeing the largest increases, with 194.9 new cases per 100,000 population.

Residents aged 18 to 29 are just behind this group, with 187.6 new cases per 100,000 population, and people aged 40 to 49 are reporting 158.7 new cases per 100,000 population.

The city records an average of 3,772 new cases of COVID per day, as well as 95 hospitalizations and 11 deaths per day. All three are higher than a week ago, with cases increasing by almost 50% during that time.

The lowest number of cases are among people aged 60 and over, according to city health officials. These groups still have the highest number of hospitalizations and deaths attributed to the virus, officials say.

According to city data, 74.4% of all people aged 65 and over in the city have been fully vaccinated against COVID, while 73.6% of people aged 18 and over are fully vaccinated.

During a press briefing Thursday, Dr Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said that despite the recent increase in the number of cases in children under 18, this demographic has recorded 104 new cases per 100,000 people a day, officials still feel safe when children return to in-person learning next week, stressing that schools are “not the main driver” of new cases in children.

“Case rates have increased over the past two weeks while children were out of school largely because case rates have increased in the community,” she said. “The fact that children are in school is not the main determining factor if they are infected with COVID. Where kids get infected with COVDI, overall, is when they’re indoors and really let their guard down… by not wearing masks and doing the fun things kids love. To do.

Arwady said requiring masks in schools and encouraging social distancing was helping reduce the number of reported cases in this demographic, but said she expected there would be more new cases reported and quarantines instituted. in some schools when apprenticeship resumes in January.

“They are not part of a significant spread, and (they are) where you have masks and the other mitigation measures in place,” she said. “I certainly support the CPS and all the other schools here in Chicago that are planning to open with cautious precautions.”