Chicago's Young People Have Highest Daily Case Rate Of COVID-19, Data Shows

By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago is now seeing an increase in coronavirus cases for young people aged 18 to 29, according to the city's top health doctor and data from the city.

Members of Generation Z and young Millennials now have the highest daily case rates in the city, mostly in Lincoln Park and New City, said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on a conference call with reporters Friday. 

However, even before July, young people have led the numbers in the city. Since May, they have accounted for the highest daily average compared to other age groups, with about 56 people testing positive daily, according to city data. They also show the highest positivity rate at 6.0%, with teenagers trailing at a positivity rate of 5.7%.

According to the numbers, there have been 10,407 confirmed totals for those in the 18 to 29 age group and over 68,000 tested. Between July 1 and July 10, there were 411 new cases and over 6,000 tests. The first few days of the month had over 60 cases per day, but on July 9 there were only 21 reported cases and no deaths. 

Arwady wants to remind young people that they still need to follow distance precautions, especially since they can transmit the disease to older people who are more at risk.  

“Younger individuals are perfectly capable of transmitting that disease to people in those older age categories, people with underlying conditions,” Arwady said in the call. 

She said the city plans to roll out marketing to target young folks in the coming days.

Despite the age group's uptick, Illinois still has one of the lowest positivity rates in the country and cases are more or less steady. The slight increases on Thursday, Friday and Saturday can be attributed to more mobile testing sites that have opened around the city, officials say. 

The state’s Department of Public Health on Saturday reported 1,195 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 24 additional deaths. 

States like Florida, Texas and South Carolina, which are experiencing a case surge among young people. Officials say the trend could be due to young people partying to celebrate recent holiday weekends, visiting bars and restaurants without properly social distancing.