coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: CPS, CTU Reach Tentative Agreement on Return to Classrooms

The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have reached a tentative agreement to return children and teachers to classrooms, officials announced Sunday.

Meanwhile, the first case of the COVID-19 variant has been identified in Lake County.

Here are the latest COVID-19 headlines from around the state:

Illinois Reports 1,747 New Coronavirus Cases, 35 Deaths, 16K Vaccinations Monday

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported just over 1,700 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus on Monday, with 35 additional deaths attributed to the virus.

According to the latest IDPH data, 1,747 cases have been reported over the last 24 hours. Those new cases bring the statewide total to 1,148,088 since the pandemic began.

The 35 additional deaths bring the state to 19,668 deaths during the pandemic.

The state’s seven-day rolling positivity rate for all COVID tests dropped to 3.3%, while the positivity rate on individuals tested held steady at 4.1% over the last seven days.

As of Monday, 1,358,967 have been administered statewide during the pandemic. On Sunday alone, 16,110 doses were administered.

Read more here.

Tentative Agreement Reached Between CPS, CTU as In-Person Learning Set to Resume

After weeks of negotiations, the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have reached a tentative agreement to return children and teachers to classrooms, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Sunday.

The deal, which will need to be ratified by the CTU's House of Delegates, will allow teachers and students to return to classrooms in the coming weeks, with pre-K and cluster students expected to return this week.

"We are here to announce the very good news that our children will be returning to in-person learning this week," Lightfoot said. "These past 11 months have been a whirlwind for our entire city, pushing us to limits countless times. We’ve lost jobs, we’ve lost loved ones. We have all been on a nonstop emotional rollercoaster that we have individually and collectively tried to navigate."

Lake County Reports First Case of COVID-19 Variant

The first case of the COVID-19 variant was identified in Lake County, health officials announced Saturday.

The Lake County Health Department reported the first case of the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, which is the strain more commonly circulating the U.K. in recent months.

The individual infected with the variant had traveled internationally and was in contact with a sick person before leaving to return back to the U.S. in late December, health officials said.

According to the department, the individual did not experience any symptoms of the coronavirus.

“We expect to see more cases of these new variants in Lake County as they seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants,” Dr. Sana Ahmed, Medical Epidemiologist for LCHD, said. “It is extremely important that you follow quarantine recommendations and get tested if you have traveled or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19."

Health officials reminded that studies suggest the currently available COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the new strains.

For more on the new coronavirus strain, click here.

Kroger to Pay Workers $100 to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine

Kroger is offering a $100 incentive for employees who receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to encourage associates to become vaccinated, the Cincinnati-based grocery retailer announced Friday.

The vaccine payment will be offered to all associates who present proof of vaccination to their human resources representative, according to a news release from the company.

Employees who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons will have the option of completing an educational health and safety course to receive the payment.

The company also announced an additional $50 million investment to thank and reward employees, including a $100 store credit and 1,000 fuel points for hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates. 

Chicago-area grocer Mariano's is a subsidiary of Kroger.

For a complete look at ways you can make an appointment or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.

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