coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Cook County Mask Mandate Takes Effect

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Cook County's new mask mandate begins Monday, requiring everyone age 2 and older to wear masks in all indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

Meanwhile, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and his wife, Jacqueline, remained hospitalized after contracting COVID-19.

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

FDA Grants Full Approval to Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid Shot

The Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer and BioNTech full U.S. approval of their Covid-19 vaccine – becoming the first in the U.S. to win the coveted designation.

Up until now, the mRNA vaccine was on the U.S. market under an Emergency Use Authorization, which was granted by the FDA in December. Since then, more than 204 million of the Pfizer shots have been administered, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Details on the FDA approval of Pfizer's vaccine.

Cook County's New Indoor Mask Mandate Takes Effect Monday

Cook County's new mask mandate, which states that everyone over 2 years old must wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status, begins Monday.

Under the new requirements, masks must be worn inside multi-unit residential buildings and public places, including restaurants, movie theaters, retail establishments, fitness clubs and on public transportation, the Cook County Department of Public Health said.

The mandate applies to everyone who can medically tolerate a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Details on the Cook County mask mandate.

Jesse Jackson and Wife Remain Under Observation for COVID-19

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, and his wife, Jacqueline, remained under doctors’ observation Sunday at a Chicago hospital and were “responding positively to treatments” for COVID-19, their son told The Associated Press.

The couple, married for nearly six decades, were admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital a day earlier. Doctors were “carefully monitoring their condition” because of their ages, Jonathan Jackson, one of the couple’s five children, said in a statement.

Jesse Jackson is 79, and Jacqueline is 77.

Read more here.

IDES Reminds Illinoisans Enhanced Federal Unemployment Benefits End Next Month

The Illinois Department of Employment Security publicly reminded residents Friday that federal unemployment programs will come to an end on Sept. 4, 2021. 

The state noted that "the expiration of these programs has no impact on the state’s regular unemployment system or the claimants receiving regular unemployment benefits."

Expiring programs include the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provided access to 100% federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals not traditionally eligible to receive unemployment benefits, such self-employed workers.

Read more here.

Pritzker Won't Say What Metric Could Trigger New Mask Mandate in Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday declined to give a specific metric at which the state might impose another indoor masking mandate, leaving the door open for further mitigations but deferring to local authorities to take action, even as he called the current COVID-19 surge fueled by the delta variant a "very dangerous moment."

When he was asked about his stance on another statewide mask mandate, on the same day a new Chicago order requiring masks in all public indoor spaces took effect, Pritzker demurred.

"Well as you know, I've not been reticent to act when I think it's appropriate to do so on mitigations. And we're always considering every day what next we need to do," he said.

"I applaud the city of Chicago in taking proactive efforts here. I encourage other local governments, whether they be cities or townships or counties to also take proactive steps and we will look at the state level, whether that's an appropriate thing at some moment," he continued, adding that he looks at the state's metrics and talks to the state's top health official every day.

Read more here.

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