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Coping with COVID: Vitamin D deficiency possibly link to COVID-19 susceptibility

Study finds link to vitamin D deficiency, COVID-19 susceptibility. Homewood surpasses 400 cases. State data processing slowdown contributes to spike in cases and tests reported Friday. 

Vitamin D deficiency could increase COVID-19 vulnerability. A University of Chicago Medicine study “found an association between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of becoming infected with the coronavirus,” according to a news release from the health system. “The research team looked at 489 UChicago Medicine patients whose vitamin D level was measured within a year before being tested for COVID-19. Patients who had vitamin D deficiency that was not treated were almost twice as likely to test positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus compared to patients who had sufficient levels of the vitamin.”

The news released noted that half of all Americans are deficient in Vitamin D, especially African Americans, Hispanics and anyone who lives in areas where it’s difficult to get sufficient sunlight.

Homewood surpasses 400 cases. Homewood added 18 cases in the past week for a total of 403 as of Friday. Flossmoor added 11 cases for a total of 179, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health. No additional deaths were noted for either village by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Cases spike after test backlog cleared. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported on Friday that earlier in the week, a slowdown in data processing affected how many tests were reported. 

“Two system upgrades were put in place and the systems now have significantly faster processing capacity,” IDPH officials said in a statement. “Although the slowdown did delay the reporting of some additional aggregate numbers, it did not affect the reporting of positive or negative results to individuals.”

When the backlog was cleared, the result was a spike in case and test numbers, including a record one-day new case total of 5,368on Friday. The previous record was 4,014, set on May 12.

On Friday the number of test specimens reported was 149,273, nearly three times the previous record of 56,766, set on Aug. 22.

Cook County no longer at warning level. On Friday, IDPH released the names of counties at the warning level for nearing the threshold of COVID-19 metrics that could lead to additional mitigation restrictions. Cook County, which had been on the list for the past week, was no longer listed. The county recently surpassed 130,000 cases and 5,000 deaths, making it fourth in the nation in both categories, according to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine COVID-19 Resource Center.

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