coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: COVID Vaccine Sites Closing, When Will Chicago Hit Phase 5?

Will Chicago join Illinois if the state fully reopens next month? According to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the answer is maybe.

Plus, Cook County Health is closing and consolidating some mass COVID-19 vaccination sites to focus on expanding community-based initiatives.

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

White Sox, Cook County Health to Offer Vaccinations During Weekend Games

The Chicago White Sox and Cook County Health are teaming up to bring a pop-up vaccination event to Guaranteed Rate Field this weekend.

The pop-up event will be held in the Patio by Gate 1 on Friday and Saturday offering single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccinations to all fans attending the games, according to the team.

Fans that receive a vaccine will also receive a $25 White Sox gift card for use inside the ballpark.

Fans can register for appointments through the Cook County Health website for time slots that begin 90 minutes prior to first pitch through the 5th inning, according to the team. Walk-up appointments are allowed but subject to availability.

Cook County to Expand Community Vaccination Sites, Consolidate Mass Locations

Cook County Health will be consolidating mass COVID-19 vaccination sites across the area to focus on expanding community-based initiatives, the department announced Wednesday.

The Tinley Park, South Holland and River Grove vaccination sites will be combined into the locations in Forest Park, Des Plaines and Matteson, according to CCH.

“It is critical that we continue to meet people where they are, either geographically or psychologically, to get them vaccinated,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “This means going into neighborhoods and working with community-based organizations to ensure that everyone has access to the vaccine and that we can address the issues that cause people to be hesitant.” 

Since opening, more than 267,000 vaccine doses have been administered at the Tinley Park, South Holland and River Grove sites, with over 800,000 administered throughout all Cook County.

How Dr. Arwady Responds to Those Worried About Long-Term Side Effects With Vaccines

Some people who are hesitant about getting one of the COVID vaccines have expressed concerns about the unknowns surrounding long-term side effects.

Chicago Department of Public Health Director Dr. Allison Arwady was asked during a Facebook Live Tuesday how she would respond to a vaccine-hesitant person "who says we don't know the long-term side effects of the vaccine."

"I usually start by saying, first of all, there are no vaccines that we know of that have long term side effects," she said. "So, there are vaccines that we have studied for years and years and years and years and years... when they're approved, they're not known to give long-term side effects. Where we really are concerned about side effects is especially right at the beginning there, and then typically where you see a problem, it will happen in the first couple of weeks, even with a brand new vaccine. I mean, when they're studying it, very, very, very rare to have anything coming after that time. And in fact, that's part of why the FDA wants the six months of monitoring because if you've monitored somebody for six months afterwards, really there's no biological reason that you would expect there to be any long-term concerns from the vaccine."

Read more here.

When Will Chicago Enter Phase 5 and Fully Reopen? Here's What Lightfoot Said

Will Chicago join Illinois if the state fully reopens next month? According to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the answer is maybe.

During a news conference following Wednesday's City Council meeting, Lightfoot was asked if the city is prepared to join the state, should Illinois enter Phase 5 on June 11 as planned.

Earlier in May, Lightfoot revealed Chicago was on track to be "fully open" by the Fourth of July holiday and said such a shift will take place when the city sees "continued improvement in COVID metrics and more widespread vaccine uptake."

"I believe that we've talked about - we meaning myself and [Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady] - that we hope to get to fully open by Fourth of July. We will see what happens by June 11," Lightfoot said Wednesday. "We're definitely trending in the right direction, but the minute I say that I worry because we've been here before. But our cases are going down, our percent positivity is going down, hospitalizations, ICU - all the metrics that we follow on a daily basis are all trending in the right direction, but we've got to keep getting people vaccinated. But my hope is that we're going to keep moving on the trajectory that we're on, and we're going to see more opportunities for opening up."

Barring a significant rise in COVID-19 metrics, Illinois is expected to lift all capacity limitations and fully reopen its economy as soon as June 11.

Millions of Americans are getting set to travel for the Memorial Day weekend, and airports are once again bustling after the summer of 2020 took place under the spectre of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. NBC 5’s Lexi Sutter has more details.

New Proposal Would Impose Permanent 10 p.m. Liquor Sale Curfew in Chicago Stores

Chicago's liquor sale curfew, which was first implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, could become permanent for some business owners under a new proposal from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

The new business relief package unveiled by the mayor Wednesday would prohibit grocery stores and convenience stores that sell packaged alcohol from making such sales between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., though supermarkets won't be able begin selling on Sundays until 8 a.m.

Restaurants and bars, however, can continue selling into the early morning hours under the proposal.

"The late night sale of package goods liquor has been a contributing factor in public safety disturbances and has had a notable impact on the quality of life in Chicago neighborhoods," the proposed ordinance states. "The mitigation of late night sales of package goods has led to a reduction in violence and other concerning incidents."

A 9 p.m. liquor sale curfew was initially put in place for stores that sell alcohol early during the coronavirus pandemic in Chicago. That restriction was eased slightly in March, allowing sales of packaged alcohol as late as 11 p.m.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 891 New COVID Cases, 42 Deaths, 63K Vaccinations

Illinois health officials reported 891 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases and 42 additional deaths in the last day, along with more than 63,000 vaccinations administered.

The newly reported coronavirus cases bring the state total to 1,379,279 cases since the pandemic began and lift the total death toll to 22,718, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In the last 24 hours, 67,705 coronavirus test specimens were returned to state laboratories, with more than 24.4 million now conducted during the pandemic.

The statewide positivity rate dropped slightly to 1.9% of all tests returning positive results, and the positivity rate for individuals tested in the last seven days also dropped to 2.5%, according to IDPH data.

The state reported 63,717 vaccinations administered in the last day, according to the latest data, bringing the seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered to 67,485 doses.

As of Wednesday, the state has administered over 11 million doses of coronavirus vaccine during the pandemic, with 66% of Illinois adults having received at least one dose and 49% fully vaccinated.

The Illinois General Assembly is considering whether to extend a bill that allows bars and restaurants to serve cocktails to go -- a lifeline for some businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. NBC 5's Kate Chappell reports.

Airbnb Issues ‘Anti-Party' Warning To Chicagoans

Airbnb is issuing an anti-party warning to Chicagoans ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

After summer troubles with parties during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the platform is extending its party ban through the end of summer 2021.

Violators could face suspension from the app or even be banned. AirBnB also said disruptive users could face legal action, if necessary.

The platform put the party ban in place in August 2020, along with removing the "Event Friendly" search filter.

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