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White House health experts concerned Cook County may be among next hotspots for COVID-19

CHICAGO (NBC) — Health experts are concerned that Cook County could be one of the nation's next coronavirus hotspots as the U.S., and Chicago, continue to battle a rising number of cases.

When asked about the country's next hotspots during a White House press briefing Thursday evening, Dr. Deborah Birx, who is on the coronavirus task force, cited Cook County among the places health experts are watching.

"We are concerned about certain counties that look like they are having a more rapid increase," she said. "Wayne County in Michigan and Cook County in Chicago."

Chicago topped 1,000 confirmed cases Thursday, nearly double the total number of cases all of Illinois was reporting less than a week earlier.

The city, which represents a majority of Cook County's cases, has so far seen nine fatalities out of 1,161 diagnoses and area officials expect that number to rise. County-wide, the total has reached close to 2,000.

Chicago's Lakefront, along with the Chicago Riverwalk and the 606 Trail, were all shut down Thursday as the city works to keep people from congregating - as they did during warmer weather Wednesday - despite a statewide stay-at-home order.

13 WREX Newsroom

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