By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner
**This piece has been updated as of 12/6/20. The data and graphics have been changed to reflect total homicides among Chicago youth, instead of just gun-related homicides. Wirepoints has now properly characterized deaths as general homicides and not as gun-violence.**
Chicago youth are at far higher risk of dying from homicide than they are from COVID-19. That’s been the case since the start of the pandemic.
As of December 1, four Chicago youth have died from COVID but 99 have died as a result of homicide. That’s 25 children dead from homicide for every COVID death.
The numbers are far worse than they were five months ago when Wirepoints laid out the facts about reopening Chicago Public Schools to in-class learning. One of the more revealing points we covered was that the virus was far less a threat to Chicago children than homicide.
Data from the Cook County Medical Examiner showed 3 children had died from COVID-19 between Mar. 1 and Jul 22. In comparison, over 50 had already died from homicide.
It’s hard for us to know just how many fewer youth would have died if CPS had opened up months ago, but we’d venture to guess it would have been fewer.
With more experts agreeing that schools are not a COVID-spreading threat, and the negative impacts of keeping students out of school on the rise, CPS should proceed with its reopening plans with all speed.
Read more about COVID-19 in Illinois:
- The right COVID policy for Illinois? Obsess about the elderly and infirm.
- Seven facts parents and teachers should know about the risks of reopening CPS
- Every Illinois school parent, teacher should know these COVID-19 facts
- Illinois’ own COVID-19 data reveals the state’s coronavirus policy is upside down
P.S. The statistics for young adult and middle-aged Chicagoans are only “better” when compared with Chicago’s children. Homicide is still responsible for 60 percent more deaths than COVID-19. Since March 1, 418 Chicagoans aged 20-49 have died from homicide while 264 died with COVID as their primary cause of death.