'Viruses love the holidays': City's top doc urges people to get COVID boosters

Arwady gets booster shot
Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago health commissioner, gets her latest COVID booster. Photo credit Bernie Tafoya

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The city’s public health commissioner says this is the first holiday season since the pandemic began in which COVID is not top-of-mind as we gather with family and friends.

Still, Dr. Allison Arwady on Tuesday got her latest COVID booster and encouraged everyone to get it if they haven’t.

She said it’s a much different situation compared to last year, when Omicron hit and Chicago saw its worst COVID numbers ever.

“In December last year, we had a peak of 10,000 Chicagoans every day being diagnosed with COVID with a lab-confirmed test. Today, that’s around 400 a day,” Arwady said at a West Lawn pharmacy.

The health commissioner had COVID in August and waited until now to get the new COVID booster.  She encourages everyone over the age of five to get their shots.

“I love the holidays but viruses love the holidays, too. They love it when it’s cold weather, when we’re all indoors and gathering, when we’re traveling,” she said.

Arwady expects we’ll need COVID shots every year, just like flu shots.

She also says the city could run out of good hospital capacity this winter if there’s a significant surge in a combination of COVID, the flu and RSV.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Bernie Tafoya