coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Disaster Proclamation in One County, COVID Health Care Bill Pulled

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One Illinois county has issued a disaster proclamation as coronavirus metrics rise in the area.

Plus, an Illinois lawmaker who proposed a bill that would require unvaccinated resident to pay for their medical expenses should they test positive for coronavirus has decided to pull the proposal.

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

Kane County Mass Vaccination Site to Close in January

The Kane Vax Hub in suburban Batavia will close in early January 2022, the county health department announced Friday.

The last chance to receive a shot at the mass vaccination clinic will be on Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 5 p.m., health officials said.

A Pfizer second dose-only clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 29 and Wednesday, Jan. 5, both of which are solely for people who have received their first vaccine shot.

In January, the Kane County Health Department will offer vaccinations by appointment at the Aurora office, located at 1240 N. Highland Ave. Check for availability.

Could Illinois See Increased Mitigations as COVID Metrics Rise? Here's What Gov. Pritzker Said

As Illinois health officials report an increase in COVID-19 metrics statewide over the past week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker weighed in on whether the region could see heightened coronavirus mitigations.

"We're looking at everything that has been done over the last few years, always, but what we're really focused on is making sure that people are following the masking requirements indoors," Pritzker said. "Thank you to all of you who are doing that."

When asked about his response to Chicago officials considering establishing additional COVID mitigations, Pritzker said local governments should "certainly look at stricter mitigations," if warranted.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 49,668 New Cases, 266 Deaths, 509K Vaccinations Since Friday

Illinois health officials reported 49,668 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, along with 266 additional deaths and over 509,000 new vaccine doses administered.

In all, 1,884,744 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths reported over the past five days bring the state to 26,801 confirmed COVID fatalities.

The state has administered 1,160,624 tests since last Friday, officials said, bringing the total to more than 40.8 million tests conducted during the pandemic.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate on all tests increased to 5.8% this week, officials said. The rolling average seven-day positivity rate for cases as a percentage of total tests dropped to 4.3%, down from 4.7% one week prior.

Read more here.

Everything to Know About Chicago Bulls' COVID-19 Outbreak

The Chicago Bulls are off to a 17-9 start to the 2021-22 season, but of late have seen a slew of health and safety protocol entries throw their team’s well-being, schedule and rotations into flux.

As of this writing, five of the Bulls’ 19 rostered players (including two-way contracts, the 10-day signing of Stanley Johnson and inking of Alfonzo McKinnie) are in protocols. 

Here is everything you need to know about the situation.

Steps Chicago Could Take if COVID Metrics Keep Rising, According to City's Top Doc

Chicago officials detailed this week what steps health officials could take in order to curb the increasing coronavirus metrics across the city, including providing proof of vaccination and establishing capacity limits.

In a Facebook Live event, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said some private establishments have already started requiring proof of vaccination, and the city may follow.

"Might we begin requiring proof of vaccination for more activities and public spaces? Yes, I think we might," Arwady said. "I certainly am more interested in that than I am in needing to do some of the major shut downs."

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, alderman for Chicago's 35th ward, said officials might consider mitigations like limiting capacity thresholds at various establishments, similar to what the city did during a major COVID surge last year.

"One option would be limiting the number of people that can attend a bar or restaurant, ya know, capping it at 50% perhaps or less," Rosa said.

Read more here.

Winnebago County Officials Issue Disaster Proclamation Amid Surging COVID Cases, Hospitalizations

Officials in Winnebago County have issued a disaster proclamation amid increasing numbers of COVID cases and hospitalizations in the area.

In a press release, Winnebago County Board Chairman Joseph Chiarelli has declared a local disaster for a period of seven days, retroactive to Wednesday.

According to the release, the declaration will lend additional support to the Winnebago County Health Department, as well as emergency management agencies for the county and for the city of Rockford.

The proclamation also opens up funding from both state and federal sources to combat the rising number of cases and hospitalizations.

Read more here.

Illinois Rep. Pulls Bill Requiring Unvaccinated Residents to Pay For COVID Care, Says He Received Threats

An Illinois Democratic lawmaker who recently introduced legislation that would require individuals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 to pay for their own medical expenses, including hospital bills, if they contract the virus has pulled the legislation, citing "unintended" division and threats he received as reasons behind the decision.

State Rep. Jonathon Carroll had filed HB 4259 on Monday in Springfield. The legislation would impact those residents who choose not to receive COVID-19 vaccines, and would require them to cover medical costs associated with contracting the virus, even if they have health insurance.

In a statement to NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern, Carroll says that he has decided not to pursue the legislation.

Read more here.

COVID Booster Shots and the Omicron Variant: What We Know So Far

Booster shot eligibility is expanding as the omicron COVID variant spreads in the U.S.

But with some breakthrough cases already being reported, which booster shot is best for you and what do we know about their effectiveness against the new variant?

According to medical experts, the three vaccines currently available in the U.S. each offer protection against COVID, though many questions remain unanswered with the variant.

Here's a breakdown of what we know so far about the booster shots.

Despite Possible Breakthrough COVID Cases, Concern for Serious Illness From Omicron Remains Low, Says Chicago’s Top Doc

Dr. Allison Arwady said on Thursday that while the omicron COVID-19 variant could lead to breakthrough COVID cases, the concern for a serious illness for vaccinated people with a booster shot is "quite low" based on early data.

Dr. Allison Arwady said on Thursday that while the omicron COVID-19 variant could lead to breakthrough COVID cases, the concern for a serious illness for vaccinated people with a booster shot is "quite low" based on early data.

CDC, FDA Expand Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster for 16- and 17-Year-Olds

The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters, ruling that 16- and 17-year-olds can get a third dose of Pfizer’s vaccine.

The U.S. and many other nations already were urging adults to get booster shots to pump up immunity that can wane months after vaccination, calls that intensified with the discovery of the worrisome new omicron variant.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization for 16- and 17-year-olds to get a third dose of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech -- if it’s been six months since their last shot. The CDC soon followed by also expanding its Pfizer/BioNTech booster recommendation for the same ages.

Read more here.

COVID by the Numbers: All 102 Illinois Counties Experiencing ‘High Transmission' Rates of Coronavirus

All 102 counties in the state of Illinois are currently experiencing “high transmission” levels of COVID-19, while many are also experiencing dramatic growth in other metrics designed to illustrate how rapidly the virus is spreading.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a county to have a “high transmission” rate of COVID if 100 or more residents per 100,000 individuals have contracted the virus in a given week.

Currently, all 102 of Illinois’ counties have hit that threshold, according to the latest data from IDPH and the CDC, and no state is currently lower than 208 cases per 100,000 residents.

Read more here.

Which Vaccine is Best for You? What to Know as Omicron Spreads, Boosters Increase

From effectiveness against the omicron variant to booster shots and more, how do the COVID vaccines compare to each other and which is best for you?

There are various reasons why someone might choose a particular vaccine, but according to medical experts, the most important thing is getting vaccinated and getting a booster dose.

"The big difference is not which vaccine, it's vaccinated or not vaccinated," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook Live Tuesday. "So I hope if there are people who've been waiting, but are now worried with omicron, you know, now definitely is the time."

Still, it's a question many ask as they prepare for their vaccination.

According to medical experts, the three vaccines currently available in the U.S. each offer protection against COVID.

Here's a breakdown of what we know so far about each vaccine.

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