coronavirus illinois

Cook County COVID: Officials Discuss Move to Phase 2, Latest Metrics

Cook County health officials will discuss Saturday morning the area's latest COVID-19 metrics, as well as the decision to move to Phase 2 of vaccine eligibility.

Dr. Kiran Joshi and Dr. Rachel Rubin, co-leads of the Cook County Department of Public Health, will meet over Zoom at 10 a.m. Saturday to discuss recent information released on the county's coronavirus pandemic response.

This week, Rubin said she "is extremely concerned with the rise in new cases and increase in the positivity rate of COVID-19 in suburban Cook, and throughout the state of Illinois" and urged people to gather outside rather than inside.

"We are considering tightening up the required mitigations again if the trend continues, but we're not taking such actions now, not yet," she said.

As of Wednesday, Cook County Health officials said seven suburban communities had seen a more than 200% increase in the last two weeks. Those communities included Glencoe, Northridge, Riverside, Robbins, Harvey Lynwood and Berkeley.

On Friday, officials released approximately 15,000 single and first-dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments, the first such release that will allow residents 16 years of age and older to book appointments as the state expands eligibility next week.

The appointments will be for the week of April 12, the same week that Illinois officials will allow any residents 16 and older to book a vaccine appointment. Vaccinations at Cook County's sites are open to all eligible Illinois residents and remain appointment only

The appointments will include all three currently approved COVID vaccines, including the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson treatments.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only treatment of the three to be authorized for residents that are 16 or 17 years old. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for individuals 18 and older.

For more information on how to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine in your area, click here.

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