coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: CPS Remote Learning, Chicago Vaccine Appointments

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Chicago Public Schools announced that students will continue with remote learning on Thursday as no agreement has been reached with the Chicago Teachers Union in negotiations over a return to classrooms.

Meanwhile, Chicagoans looking to find or book coronavirus vaccine appointments can now schedule them online using the city's new website.

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

Illinois Reports 3,328 New COVID-19 Cases, 69 Additional Deaths Thursday

Health officials in Illinois on Thursday reported 3,328 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus, along with 69 additional deaths attributed to the virus.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Thursday's new cases bring the state to 1,137,559 cases of the virus in the state, with 19,444 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year.

Over the last 24 hours, 101,307 test specimens have been turned in to state laboratories, bringing the statewide total number of tests performed to 16,359,655.

The seven-day positivity rate declined slightly on Thursday, falling to 3.4% from 3.5% the day before. The positivity rate on individuals tested during that time stands at 4.4%.

As of Wednesday night, there were 2,341 coronavirus patients in Illinois hospitals. Of those patients, 513 were in intensive care units, while 265 were on ventilators.

The total number of vaccine doses administered thus far is sitting at 1,156,453 doses, including 178,848 at long-term care facilities through the federal partnership with pharmacies.

A total of 2,125,650 doses have been sent to Illinois, with the 7-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily standing at 46,709 doses.

80 New COVID Vaccination Locations Open in Illinois, State Announces

The state of Illinois has added 80 new COVID-19 vaccination sites, according to a news release from state health officials Thursday.

More than 3.2 million of the state's residents are eligible for vaccinations under Phase 1B, which includes people age 65 years and older as well as "frontline essential workers."

In all, 390 vaccination sites have opened across the state.

The newly-established sites include 78 additional Walgreens locations, as well as two Illinois National Guard locations in Cook and St. Clair counties.

Current vaccination sites in the state are available by appointment only, but the state plans to launch walk-in locations in the coming weeks, officials previously said.

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

All of Illinois Now in Phase 4 After Last Region Loosens Coronavirus Restrictions

All of Illinois is now under Phase 4 coronavirus guidelines after the last of the state's 11 regions still in tighter mitigations loosened some of those restrictions to the same level as the rest of the state on Thursday, health officials announced.

Region 4, also known as the Metro East Region in southern Illinois, moved from Tier 2 mitigations directly to Phase 4, skipped Tier 1 entirely. That move means all 11 of the state's regions are now in Phase 4 after the state allowing regions to move forward in mid-January following the holiday season.

Regions 8 and 9 - which include DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties in the Chicago area - were able to further loosen restrictions Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Region 10, which holds suburban Cook County, moved to Phase 4 while Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, returned on Monday. The city of Chicago entered a modified version of the phase over the weekend.

Chicago Public Schools Remote Learning Thursday as Negotiations Continue

Chicago Public Schools announced that students will continue with remote learning on Thursday as no agreement has been reached with the Chicago Teachers Union in negotiations over a return to classrooms.

The district tweeted the decision at around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night, writing, "We are disappointed to report that at this time, no deal has been reached between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union leadership. We will extend the cooling off period for the final time through the end of the day on Thursday to allow for further negotiations tonight."

The district had called for a 48-hour "cooling off period on Monday, lasting through Wednesday night, noting that the two sides had made progress in their discussions

CPS also reversed course on Monday, saying that as negotiations continue, teachers would not be locked out of their virtual classrooms like district officials had initially warned they would if they did not return to schools this week.

CPS and CTU appear to have reached tentative agreements on testing, workplace requirements, personal protective equipment and a safety committee, sources close to the negotiations told NBC 5.

According to a bargaining document from sources, CPS and the teachers union agreed to provide 1,500 vaccine doses per week to members. The two groups have not yet reached an agreement on health metrics or health accommodations.

Read more here.

Walgreens in Illinois to Get 39K More Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Each Week Through New Federal Program

Walgreens locations in Illinois will soon receive 39,300 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine each week under a new federal program announced Tuesday.

The additional doses will be distributed under a new Federal Retail Pharmacy Program that the White House announced Tuesday. Illinois and Chicago are two of the 15 jurisdictions in which Walgreens will offer these additional doses.

Approximately 450 Walgreens locations across the state will receive roughly 39,300 additional doses, the company said. Walgreens selected the participating stores "based on their proximity to socially vulnerable and medically underserved areas" in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the retail pharmacy giant said.

These thousands of additional doses are on top of the supply that Walgreens already receives through the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Walgreens, based in suburban Deerfield, said only the Moderna vaccine will be used in this effort, one of two vaccines federally approved for use. Walgreens also noted that this new effort does not change any eligibility requirements or open doses up for those who do not yet qualify, saying vaccines will still be given only in accordance with state and local guidelines.

Read more here.

How to Sign Up for COVID Vaccine Appointments in Chicago Using Zocdoc

Chicagoans looking to find or book coronavirus vaccine appointments can now schedule them online as the city launches a new site in partnership with Zocdoc, officials announced Tuesday.

The new platform will offer a real-time look at appointment availability from city POD sites, as well as from "care organizations" like AMITA Health, Erie Family Health, Innovative Express Care and Rush University Medical Center.

The new site aims to create "a central marketplace to help Chicagoans access vaccinations," officials said.

The Zocdoc Vaccine Scheduler will be free of charge and "is designed to streamline vaccine scheduling," the city said in a release. Chicago is the first city to implement the service.

Here's how it works:

  • To begin, Chicago residents can visit
  • Once there, users will be asked to confirm their location and eligibility.
  • If eligible under Illinois guidelines, Zocdoc will show nearby vaccination locations and their real-time appointment availability.
  • Eligible patients will then be able to select a date, time, and location, and instantly book an appointment online. If no appointments are available, residents can sign up to be notified when new options come online.
  • There will be embedded translation support for more than 100 languages, including Spanish.
  • NOTE: Officials are still asking residents to be patient as vaccine rollout continuesAppointments are expected to be added as the city continues to receive doses.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said Chicagoans are still encouraged to seek a vaccine appointment first with their primary care providers, if they have one, and also through local pharmacies or their employers, if available.

Read more here.

BBB Says Think Twice Before Posting a Photo of This After Getting Your COVID Vaccine

Excited about getting your coronavirus vaccine? You might want to think twice before you post about it on social media.

The Better Business Bureau issued a warning that sharing images of vaccination cards on social media could make you vulnerable to identity theft. It could also lead to scammers creating fake vaccination cards.

“Unfortunately, your card has your full name and birthday on it, as well as information about where you got your vaccine," Steve Bernas, president and CEO of BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois said in a statement. "If your social media privacy settings aren’t set high, you may be giving valuable information away for anyone to use.”

nstead, those getting vaccinated are being encouraged to share their vaccine stickers instead.

"If you want to post about your vaccine, there are safer ways to do it," the BBB said.

For advice on how to keep your identity safe, click here.

Contact Us