This illustration reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is urging residents to work from home, only participate in essential activities and limit travel and gatherings through Dec. 2 to decrease the positivity rate of COVID-19 in the state, currently 12.4%.

Data from the Chicago Department of Public Health shows the situation continuing to worsen in the city as well as in and around Hyde Park:

  • In Zip Code 60653, covering North Kenwood and Bronzeville, there were 89 confirmed cases of COVID-19 from Nov. 1-7, the same as the week before, but two deaths, up from zero the week before. There was an 8.5% positivity rate out of 1,051 tests performed, up from 8.3% the week before.
  • In 60615, covering northern Hyde Park, southern Kenwood and northern Washington Park, there were 106 confirmed cases, up from 67 the week before, but no deaths, the same as the week before. There was an 5.1% positivity rate out of 2,070 tests, up from 3.1% the week before.
  • In 60637, covering southern Hyde Park, southern Washington Park and Woodlawn, there were 145 confirmed cases, up from 86 the week before, and one death, up from zero the week before. There was a 3.3% positivity rate out of 4,329 tests, up from 2% the week before.
  • In 60649, South Shore, there were 117 confirmed cases, up from 72 the week before, but no deaths, the same as the week before. There was a 10.8% positivity out of of 1,087 tests, up from 5.3% the week before.

Citywide, there were 12,729 cases of COVID-19 over the week ending Nov. 7, up from 10,016 the week before, and 40 deaths, the same as the week before. There was a 13.3% positivity out of 95,900 tests performed, up from 10.1% the week before.

For the next three weeks, IDPH is urging Illinoisans to work with their employers to plan to work from home unless it is necessary to be in the workplace, and the department is asking employers to make accommodations to accomplish this. The goal is to reduce transmission ahead of the holiday season so that businesses can remain open.

The IDPH is asking Illinoisans to stay home as much as possible through Dec. 2, only leaving for necessary and essential activities like work that must be performed outside of the home, COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy and buying groceries.

And the IDPH is asking Illinoisans to only travel when necessary, to avoid small gatherings that mix households or to travel to areas that are experiencing high rates of positivity.

The city's website for free COVID-19 testing is Testing is available in Hyde Park and Kenwood at:

Together with partners New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church and Peer Plus Education and Training Advocates, CVS Health has opened a new, free testing site for individuals showing symptoms at the Chicago Baptist Institute, 5120 S. King Drive, that provides results within 30 minutes.

Patients need to register in advance at 844-826-2838 to schedule a time slot before coming to the center for testing. Testing is walk-up, and results will be given on-site.

“We are extremely thankful for the partnership with CVS Health, their staff, along with Peer Plus, as we bring about a proactive approach, in helping to meet the needs of our communities,” said Pastor Walter Turner of the New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church, 7566 S. South Shore Drive, in a statement.

“At a time when we are dying the most, but are being tested the least, this program will allow us to serve our communities, when at most times they are the most neglected.”

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