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Illinois Coronavirus Updates: COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expands, Cook County Enters Phase 1B Plus

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Some essential workers who were not previously eligible under Illinois' Phase 1B Plus guidelines now qualify for the COVID vaccine beginning Monday.

Meanwhile, Cook County has moved to Phase 1B Plus of its COVID vaccinations, expanding eligibility to residents 16 years of age or older with specific health conditions.

That expansion comes as a fifth mass vaccination site opens in suburban Cook County on Monday.

Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Coronavirus in Illinois: 1,220 New COVID Cases, 22 Deaths, 41K Vaccinations

Health officials in Illinois on Monday reported 1,220 new coronavirus cases and 22 additional deaths, along with more than 41,000 vaccinations in the past 24 hours.

According to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the 1,220 new confirmed and probable COVID cases reported in the last day brought the state’s total to 1,223,083 cases since the pandemic began last year.

The 22 new deaths lifted the state's death toll to 21,103 fatalities related to the virus, according to health officials.

Read more here.

Illinois ‘Rapidly' Moving Toward New Bridge Phase of COVID Reopening Plan, Pritzker Says

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that Illinois is moving "rapidly" toward the "Bridge Phase" of the state's reopening plan, on track to potentially move into the new phase within days.

Pritzker unveiled the Bridge Phase last week, announcing new metrics and guidelines that will allow for higher capacity limits at places like museums, zoos and spectator events as well as increased business operations during a transitional period between the current Phase 4 and before a full reopening in Phase 5.

In order to reach the Bridge Phase, 70% of residents 65 and older statewide must have received their first dose of the vaccine, with no increase in COVID-19 metrics like hospital admissions and more.

Pritzker said Monday that about 64% of the senior population in Illinois has been vaccinated.

"We're at about 64% of our 65 and older population getting vaccinated. We'll be moving to the Bridge Phase when we get to 70% and I think you've seen that we're adding about 1% of the 65 and over population every day," Pritzker said. "So rapidly we're moving toward the next phase."

Read more, including what changes between Phase 4 and the Bridge Phase, here.

Illinois COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expands to More Essential Workers: Here's Who and When

Some essential workers who were not previously eligible under Illinois' Phase 1B Plus guidelines now qualify for the COVID vaccine beginning Monday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Friday that Illinois will expand eligibility beginning Monday to higher education staff, government workers, and media. Then, beginning March 29, food and beverage workers, construction trade workers, and religious leaders will be eligible for the vaccine.

Here's a look at the full schedule of vaccine eligibility.

Fifth Cook County COVID Mass Vaccination Site Opening in Forest Park

Cook County is opening its fifth mass COVID vaccination site Monday in suburban Forest Park. The site will be located at 7630 West Roosevelt Rd in Forest Park. S

Read more here.

Cook County Moves Into Phase 1B Plus of COVID Vaccinations

Cook County moved to Phase 1B Plus of its COVID vaccinations on Monday, expanding eligibility to residents 16 years of age or older with specific health conditions.

The county released about 12,500 first-dose appointments on Friday ahead of the eligibility expansion, all of which were booked within a few hours.

All vaccine providers in suburban Cook County have been asked to move to Phase 1B Plus beginning Monday, as have the state-supported mass vaccination sites in the area. Those sites are:

  • The Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Drive
  • South Suburban College, 15800 State St. in South Holland
  • Triton College, 2000 5th Ave. in River Grove
  • A former K-Mart at 1155 E Oakton St in Des Plaines

Those mass vaccination sites were previously only administering vaccine allocated for Cook County, but CCDPH said that beginning this week, they will receive additional vaccine supply to enable the sites to serve all eligible Illinois residents.

Registration in the future can be made on the Cook County vaccine website or by calling the county's hotline at (833) 308-1988 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Read more here.

Lightfoot, Chicago's Top Doctor to Help Register Back of the Yards Residents for Vaccinations

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago's top doctor are set to help register residents of the city's Back of the Yards neighborhood for COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday.

Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady will join community volunteers for the Protect Chicago Plus initiative at 1 p.m., according to Lightfoot's schedule. The event can be watched live in the video player above.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 1,431 New Cases, 22 Additional Deaths, 75K Vaccinations

Health officials in Illinois reported more than 1,400 new cases of coronavirus, along with 22 additional deaths on Sunday.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 1,431 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus have been reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the state to 1,221,863 since the pandemic began. In the last day, 22 additional deaths have been reported, bringing the state to 21,081 during the pandemic.

A total of 70,102 new test results were turned in to state labs in the last day, bringing the state to more than 19.6 million tests conducted during the pandemic.

The seven-day positivity rate remains near record lows, sitting at 2.5% on all tests, and at 2.8% for individuals tested over the last week, according to officials.

In the last day, 75,380 doses of the vaccine were administered, bringing the state’s seven day average to 95,171 doses per day, according to officials.

Illinois has received more than 5.7 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, with 4.7 million of those doses administered as of midnight Sunday morning.

Read more here.

Chicago Crosses Milestone of 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered

More than one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at Chicago vaccination sites, city officials said Saturday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the news in a tweet, noting the city began giving vaccinations to residents three months ago.

Recent data showed that 55% of first vaccine doses went to Black or Latinx Chicagoans, compared to 18% early in the rollout, Lightfoot stated in the tweet, adding she'll "continue to push an equitable distribution."

Read more here.

These Are the COVID Vaccination Sites Opening in Illinois This Week

With more coronavirus vaccines arriving in the Chicago area, health departments announced new vaccination clinics will open next week.

Here's a list of the vaccination sites opening next week, as well as who is eligible to receive a dose:

  • ST. ROSE CHURCH IN WILMINGTON: Beginning the week of March 22, Will County residents can begin receiving vaccine doses in Wilmington at St. Rose Church, and in Monee at the former Second Place Church starting the week of March 29. Both locations will provide vaccinations to those eligible under Phase 1B. Read more here.
  • CLAY COUNTY: Vaccinations begin March 22 at the oil belt Christian service camp, located at 555 Park Road in Flora. for Clay County residents only. To make an appointment, visit www.healthdept.org.
  • EDWARDS COUNTY: On March 24, Edwards County residents can begin receiving COVID vaccinations at 230 N. 5th St. in Albion. Appointments can be made through the Wabash County Health Department at (618) 263-3873.
  • CENTRAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN LAWRENCEVILLE: For Lawrence County residents, coronavirus vaccination shots open at 303 Buchanan Dr. in Lawrenceville on March 25. To book an appointment, call (812) 213-0199.
  • CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Though a specific location has not been determined yet, state health officials said residents of Cumberland County can begin receiving vaccinations on March 26. To book an appointment, call (217) 849-3211.
  • EDGAR COUNTY: Beginning March 27, residents in Edgar County can receive the coronavirus vaccine at an unknown location. To make an appointment, visit ecphd.org or call (217) 294-2729.

Illinois Vaccinations

Note: For COVID-19, the herd-immunity threshold is estimated to be between 60 and 90 percent. Our analysis considers herd immunity reached at 75% of the population fully vaccinated based on estimates by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

 

Illinois COVID Vaccine Eligibility Will Expand to All Adults Outside Chicago in April, Pritzker Says

Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will expand to all Illinois residents over the age of 16, except for those in the city of Chicago, beginning on April 12, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.

"At that date, all state-supported mass vaccination sites, local health departments, pharmacy partners – in short, every jurisdiction that receives vaccine from the State of Illinois’ allocation – will be instructed to move to widespread eligibility," Pritzker's office said in a statement.

All vaccinations will remain by appointment only, officials said, noting that "making an appointment to receive a shot may take time."

Pritzker's office also noted that residents who are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine cannot yet schedule an appointment for a future date, asking for patience in the days and weeks after April 12 as appointments "may be limited."

Read more here.

Why Chicago Won't Be Included When Illinois Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility

Chicago residents won't be included when Illinois opens COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to anyone age 16 and older next month. Why won't the city expand eligibility alongside the rest of the state?

Chicago receives its supply of vaccine from the federal government allocated separately from the state. As such, the city operates on its own framework and timetable.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Facebook Live broadcast Thursday morning that the city "will for sure expand to everyone" by May 1.

Read more here.

Pritzker Announces New ‘Bridge Phase' Aimed at Getting Illinois to Phase 5

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday new metrics and guidelines aimed at transitioning the state to a full reopening, unveiling what he called a "Bridge Phase" that would allow for higher capacity limits prior to entering Phase 5.

The new phase allows for higher capacity limits at places like museums, zoos and spectator events as well as increased business operations, the state announced, but masks will continue to be mandated.

The updated guidelines bridge the gap between Phase 4, which the state is currently in, and Phase 5, which would mark a complete reopening and requires a widely available vaccine or highly effective treatment.

All of Illinois will move through the Bridge Phase and Phase 5 together, once they meet the required metrics, unlike previous tiered mitigations.

In order for Illinois to advance to the Bridge Phase, the entire state must reach a 70% first-dose vaccination rate for residents 65 and older, in addition to maintaining the current required metrics of at least 20% ICU beds availability and holding steady on hospitalizations for COVID-19 or COVID-like illnesses, mortality rates and case rates over a 28-day monitoring period.

Read more here.

Are You Eligible? Here's Who Qualifies for COVID Vaccine Under Chicago's Phase 1C

As Chicago prepares to expand vaccine eligibility to more residents as it moves to Phase 1C later this month, who will become eligible?

Phase 1C, set to begin on March 29, will include those with underlying health conditions and essential workers like restaurant employees, those in personal care services, retail workers and more, officials announced Wednesday.

But the list of underlying conditions is not the same as the one being used for the state's Phase 1B Plus. Vaccinations at city-run sites will also be limited to city residents only.

For a full list of who is eligible in Chicago's Phase 1C, click here.

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