coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Chicago COVID Update, Thanksgiving Guidance

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What should you know as coronavirus cases rise ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday?

Chicago officials are set to give a COVID-19 update.

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Watch Live: Chicago Mayor, CDPH to Give Pre-Thanksgiving COVID Update

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago's health department are expected to give a COVID-19 update Monday as the city continues to see a rise in cases ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The mayor, who will be joined by other city leaders, is set to discuss the city's vaccination efforts heading into the holiday as Chicago once again enters a state of high transmission.

A press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Northwest Side Housing Center. 

Watch live here.

COVID-19 Guidance Around Thanksgiving Travel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last month announced updated guidance around traveling for Thanksgiving this year, encouraging travelers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The guidance also suggests wearing masks in public indoor settings.

Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, regardless of vaccination status.

More on what you should know if you're planning to travel this holiday.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 28,280 New Cases, 150 Deaths, 434K Vaccinations in Past Week

Illinois health officials on Friday reported 28,280 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, along with 150 additional deaths and over 434,995 new vaccine doses administered.

In all, 1,763,866 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths reported this week bring the state to 26,227 confirmed COVID fatalities.

New cases of COVID increased 25% from a week prior, according to the latest data from IDPH. The number of deaths increased from last week, as well.

Read more here.

District 65 Cancels Classes Ahead of Thanksgiving Break Due to Staff Shortages

Citing staff shortages and the mental health of staff and faculty, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 is canceling classes on Monday and Tuesday, giving students a longer Thanksgiving break than planned.

District leadership announced the decision in a letter posted online Friday explaining the district doesn't have adequate staffing or substitute teacher coverage to "provide the necessary care or to support high quality learning next week."

"We believe this is a result of educators and support staff needing to rest and focus on mental health and also to tend to their own families," the letter from Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton stated.

Horton added the district hopes "our community can both respect and understand the unique circumstances of this situation and those we all continue to face."

"We know our staff, families, and students are all doing their best," he said. "Stress is causing burnout and people are juggling personal and professional responsibilities, and a myriad of challenges catalyzed by the pandemic."

Read more here.

COVID Booster Shots: Here's Who Is Eligible After CDC Endorsement

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster shots of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for all U.S. adults, but are you able to get one?

Under the new rules, anyone age 18 and older can choose either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine booster shot six months after their last dose. For those who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the wait already was just two months.

Federal health officials noted that people can continue to "mix-and-match" boosters from any company.

Details here.

IDPH Recommends All Residents 18 and Older Get COVID Booster Shots

Illinois' health department issued new guidance Friday recommending anyone 18 years or older get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, if they are eligible.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the announcement was made following a ruling from the Food and Drug Administration, which authorized booster shots of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for all U.S. adults.

IDPH said it now recommends residents 18 and older get a Moderna or Pfizer booster shot six months after receiving their second shot, or two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“For continued, ongoing protection, we are urging everyone who is eligible to get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to get one,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “Scientific and medical experts have reviewed the data and found booster doses are beneficial. While we need more people who are completely unvaccinated to get their first doses, we cannot risk losing some of the protection the vaccines have already provided due to waning immunity.” 

Read more here.

Cook County health officials announced Monday that all adults will be allowed to receive COVID-19 booster shots as the county prepares to step up its fight against the global pandemic, despite federal guidelines that recommend limiting eligibility to certain groups.
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