Is Illinois seeing a flattening trend in coronavirus metrics?
A look at recent data indicates declines in two numbers being monitored across the state, with one region showing particular improvement.
Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Chicago Travel Advisory Remains at 48 States, 3 Territories
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Chicago's travel advisory has remained the same this week, with 48 states and three territories on the city's warning list, the city announced Tuesday.
The advisory, which is updated weekly, did not see any states added or removed, leaving only California and Puerto Rico off the list.
"Though the national average daily COVID case rate continues a recent trend of decreasing each week, CDPH reminds unvaccinated travelers that under the advisory, they should be tested for COVID before and after travel and should quarantine upon arrival in Chicago," the city's health department said in a statement Tuesday.
Officials noted, however, that Connecticut could soon be removed, should its numbers remain below the threshold for another week.
Read more here.
COVID Vaccine and Kids: The Latest on Timing as Pfizer Submits Trial Data
The move is a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters, but authorization for COVID vaccines in kids under 12 is likely still weeks away.
COVID Booster Shots: What Illinois Residents Should Know as Extra Doses Begin
COVID vaccine booster shots are now available for millions of eligible residents, but what should Illinois residents know as they prepare for their next shot?
The CDC last week endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a series of recommendations from a panel of advisers late Thursday. However, Walensky decided to make one recommendation that the panel had rejected.
Pfizer Submits Data to FDA for COVID-19 Vaccine in Children 5 to 11
Pfizer-BioNTech has submitted initial trial data to the Food and Drug Administration to clear its COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 5 to 11, officials announced Tuesday.
The FDA is expected to take at least several weeks to analyze data collected in a trial that included more than 2,000 children before it would grant emergency use authorization.
A formal submission to request emergency use authorization of the companies’ vaccine is expected to follow in the coming weeks, officials said in a release.
Read more here.
COVID by the Numbers: Coronavirus Metrics in Each of Illinois' 11 Health Care Regions
State health officials say they are seeing a flattening trend in coronavirus metrics across Illinois, and according to the latest Illinois Department of Public Health data, those improvements are coming in the forms of declining hospitalizations and test positivity rates.
One of the most dramatic trends is the rapid decline in positivity rates on tests in Region 5, a region comprised of 20 counties in the southern tip of Illinois. According to IDPH data, the positivity rate has plummeted from 10.2% as of Sept. 16 to 6.4% as of Sept. 24.
That number had been over 10% for more than a month, with the region struggling to keep up with the influx of COVID hospitalizations and ICU admissions.
Calls for Action Grow After Mom of CPS Student Dies of COVID Complications
Parents and teachers are expressing their concerns over the handling of COVID-19 cases within Chicago Public Schools after the parents of two children at Jensen Elementary died of complications related to the virus.
According to officials, there have been eight reported COVID cases at the school, and more than 170 students are in quarantine.
Now, after the death of the parents, including 44-year-old Shenitha Curry, parents are concerned that safety measures in place are not working well enough, and some family members say that CPS did not do enough contact tracing after COVID was discovered at the school.
Read more here.
Can Kids Get Flu, COVID Shots at Same Time? Pediatricians, CDC Say Yes
With flu season nearing, doctors are encouraging individuals to get the flu shot, and are informing parents that it is safe to get both the flu and COVID vaccines at the same time.
Currently, children age 12 and older are permitted to get the Pfizer COVID vaccine under terms of the FDA’s emergency use authorization for the treatment. Experts anticipate that the vaccine will soon be approved for children between the ages of 5 and 11.
Early in the pandemic, the CDC had recommended spacing out vaccinations, but has announced that further research indicates that getting both the COVID and flu shots at the same time is safe and effective in preventing both illnesses.
Read more here.
Biden Set to Visit Chicago This Week, ‘Highlight' Vaccine Mandates
President Joe Biden is expected to visit Chicago this week to "highlight the importance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for businesses," the White House confirmed Thursday.
Biden's visit is slated to take place on Wednesday.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the visit will spotlight a Chicago business enforcing a vaccine mandate.
What Are the Side Effects, Risks of Pfizer's COVID Booster Shot?
As more people become eligible for Pfizer's COVID-19 booster shot, some are wondering about potential side effects with the next vaccine dose.
Among those who stand to benefit from a booster, there are few risks, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded.
Serious side effects from the first two Pfizer doses are exceedingly rare, including heart inflammation that sometimes occurs in younger men. Data from Israel, which has given nearly 3 million people — mostly 60 and older — a third Pfizer dose, has uncovered no red flags.
A small number of people have experienced a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine, like anaphylaxis, which would occur during the 15 to 30 minutes patients wait after the injection.
The CDC has noted that side effects with the third shot "were similar to that of the two-dose series."
More details here.
Moderna vs. Pfizer: Is One Vaccine Stronger Against Delta Variant?
With many now able to choose which COVID vaccine they receive, questions surrounding which offers better protection against the now-surging delta variant have spiked.
Several studies have been conducted to determine vaccine effectiveness, but is one vaccine actually better than the others?
According to medical experts, the three vaccines currently available in the U.S. each offer protection.