coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Latest Data on New COVID Cases, Vaccinations

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Health officials in Illinois reported 1,744 new cases of coronavirus last week, along with 66 additional deaths and more than 201,000 new vaccine doses administered.

Meanwhile, Chicago is seeing the lowest positivity testing rate since the pandemic began, according to the city's top doctor.

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

Coronavirus in Illinois: 1,744 New COVID Cases, 66 Deaths, 201K Vaccinations Over Past Week

Health officials in Illinois on Friday reported 1,744 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus in the past week, along with 66 additional deaths and more than 201,000 new vaccine doses administered.

In all, 1,390,432 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began. The additional deaths reported last week bring the state to 23,199 confirmed COVID fatalities.

The state has administered 276,760 tests since the previous Friday, bringing the total to more than 25 million tests conducted during the pandemic.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate on all tests again was 0.6%, while the seven-day positivity rate on individuals tested was 0.8%.

Over the past seven days, a total of 201,587 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to state residents. That brings the state’s average to 28,798 daily vaccination doses over the last week, according to IDPH data.

State officials said 54% of adult residents in the state are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with nearly 71% receiving at least one dose.

As of midnight, 435 patients were currently hospitalized due to COVID in the state. Of those patients, 99 are in intensive care units, and 53 are on ventilators.

Chicago Museums Guide: Hours, COVID Requirements, Free Days

As Chicago continues to reopen in Phase 5, museums citywide have begun more widely welcoming guests back for more hours and less restrictions this month.

Some Chicago museums, however, vary in capacity limits, mask requirements and hours. Here's a breakdown.

Chicago-Area County Holds Highest COVID Vaccination Rate in Illinois, Data Shows

One county in the Chicago area holds the highest percentage of residents vaccinated against COVID-19, while an area in downstate Illinois has the lowest number vaccinated.

DuPage County has 55.33% of its population vaccinated against COVID-19, which compares to the 47.58% in Chicago and 50.84% vaccinated in Cook County, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Meanwhile, Alexander County, one of the southern-most areas of Illinois,14.22% of its residents are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, which is the lowest reported percentage statewide.

Here's where the Chicago area stands in terms of vaccinations:

  • Chicago: 47.58%
  • Cook County: 50.84%
  • DeKalb: 40.72%
  • DuPage County: 55.33%
  • Grundy: 39.83%
  • Kane: 45.80%
  • Kendall: 47.62%
  • Lake: 47.52%
  • LaSalle: 40.83%
  • McHenry: 46.03%
  • Will: 46.06%

As of Thursday, Illinois reported a case positivity rate of 0.6% and test positivity rate of 0.8% average over the last seven days, data shows.

Chicago Positivity Rate Lowest Since Start of Pandemic, City's Top Doc Says

Chicago is seeing the lowest positivity testing rate since the pandemic began, according to the city's top doctor, as well as some ZIP codes recording no COVID-19 cases.

As of Thursday, the city reported a 0.5% testing positivity rate, according to date from the Chicago Department of Public Health, meaning about one in nine people are diagnosed with COVID-19.

"There are starting to be ZIP codes where we are not seeing cases of COVID. That's new for us, right," Arwady said. "We still have plenty of COVID in the city, but certainly compared to where we were, we're starting to see going some weeks without COVID -- and in some of the zip codes, which is which is exciting."

Arwady added that she is encouraged by the latest data as Chicago sees COVID cases down 33% from one week prior, with an average of 40 daily cases. Similarly, IDPH data showed Thursday that hospitalizations were down by 58% over the last seven days.

"With the full reopening, this is really encouraging to see," Arwady said. "Again this exponential decay of our reproduction number is nice and low. And things have been continuing to look good."

Read more here.

United Center Mass COVID Vaccination Site Closes

The United Center's mass COVID vaccination has closed, with Thursday marking its last day administering shots as Chicago shifts its vaccine strategy away from the major sites to a more hyperlocal focus.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady and CDPH's Assistant Commissioner Christopher Shields announced the closure during a Facebook Live broadcast Tuesday morning.

"United Center on this Thursday the 24th will provide its last vaccination and then we will return the property back over," Shields replied.

Arwady and Shields said Tuesday that the United Center site, which opened March 9, has administered more than 301,000 doses of vaccine.

The city health officials highlighted the accessibility elements of the site that they said made it a success, noting that the site took into consideration feedback calling for a drive-thru option as well as accessibility for those with disabilities and on-site translators.

About 62,000 of the vaccine doses administered were to those who used translators, equating to roughly one in every five vaccinations.

The mass vaccination site at the United Center opened on March 9 under a federal pilot program and run by a coalition of federal, state and local officials. Originally slated to be open eight weeks, the site remained open for more than 15 weeks.

The site has operated seven days a week and had the ability to administer 6,000 shots per day at full capacity, officials said, with the initial doses provided from the federal government separate from the city or state of Illinois' vaccine allocation.

Officials Push for More COVID Vaccinations as Delta Variant Continues to Spread

Doctors say there is increasing evidence that the new “delta” variant of coronavirus is spreading across the United States, and public health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated in hopes of preventing a surge in new COVID cases.

The delta variant, which scientists believe may be the most aggressive and contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus that has been seen, has been tracked in Chicago, and is continuing to spread.

“We are seeing it grow here in Chicago. We’ve had at least 70 cases detected here already,” Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said.

The delta variant is now making up an estimated 20% of new COVID cases throughout the nation, according to officials.

“I think we definitely should be concerned about it,” Dr. Temitope Oyedele, infectious disease physician at Cook County Health, said. “It is a strain of the coronavirus that has shown to be more transmittable.”

Cases of the variant, even more contagious potentially than the alpha variant that swept through the United Kingdom and is likely the most prolific-strain in the state of Illinois, are roughly doubling every two weeks, a trajectory that has some officials worried.

Oyedele says that the only way to combat the delta variant is to vaccinate more residents, giving the virus fewer avenues of transmission.

Chicago Opens In-Home COVID Vaccination Program to All Residents 12 and Up

Chicago officials on Tuesday opened the city's in-home COVID vaccination program to all residents ages 12 and up, with $50 GrubHub gift cards to be given as an incentive to those who use the program.

Residents can register for the program on the city’s website or by calling (312) 746-4835. Appointments are available immediately and the gift card distribution will begin June 28.

“Vaccination is the best step to protect your family and your community from COVID-19, and we are grateful to Grubhub for their donation,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement.

“Now families can be vaccinated together at home and then enjoy a home-delivered restaurant meal. It’s easy and it’s effective—and a great way to celebrate together," she added.

Those who choose the in-home vaccination will be given a choice between the Pfizer vaccine (for ages 12 and older) or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (for 18 and up).

Up to 10 people can be vaccinated per household, the city said, with gift cards limited to one per household.

Read more here.

What to Do If You Lost Your COVID Vaccine Card

Lost your COVID vaccine card? Don't worry, Chicago's top health official says - there are other ways you can get and show proof that you've been vaccinated.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Facebook Live broadcast on Tuesday that the question of what to do if you've lost your COVID-19 vaccination record card is the city's "number one question" of its frequently asked questions.

"A couple things: Number one, you can go back to your provider," Arwady said. "So if you've got it at your doctor's office, if you got it at your pharmacist, they're not going to give you a new card. Those are held tightly, but they will give you a printout and something that will be valid, where you are needing to show your proof."

"You can also email," Arwady continued.

"If you got vaccinated through a city of Chicago site or at the United Center, we will, again, send you a PDF of your proof of vaccination, or if you got vaccinated somewhere else, it is recorded in the state registry, we will look that up for you and get you those results," she added.

Arwady noted that the state of Illinois is working on a way for residents to be able to securely access their own vaccination records to eliminate the need for health officials and other third-parties to serve as intermediaries.

"That vaccine card, of course, is your own proof, but more importantly - in a secure way that is only shared with public health - that record is there and it remains valid for if you need to show proof," Arwady said.

Read more here.

Illinois Offering $10M in Lottery for Residents Who Get COVID Vaccine

A new vaccine lottery in Illinois will offer a total of $10 million in total prize money to residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.

The "All In for the Win" lottery will give out the $10 million in the form of $7 million in cash prizes for adults and $3 million in scholarships for youth, all distributed through weekly drawings, Pritzker said.

The Illinois Lottery will draw names each week beginning July 8, Pritzker said. The cash prizes will range from $100,000 to $1 million, he said, while children can win a Bright Start college savings plan worth $150,000 apiece.

Anyone who gets at least one vaccine dose in Illinois is eligible to win, Pritzker said, noting there are "no sign-up, no forms, no waiting in line" and that anyone who gets their first dose before July 1 will be eligible for the first drawing on July 8 and every drawing thereafter.

"You did your part already, and this is a way of saying thank you," Pritzker said. "It's also our way of saying to those who haven't yet been vaccinated: please join us. Vaccines are incredibly effective. And they keep you protected, but they also make your community safer."

What Pritzker Says Concerns Him About the COVID Delta Variant

As federal health officials issue new warnings about the coronavirus delta variant, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed what concerns him most about the new strain: that children under 12 cannot yet get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"What I'm concerned about is that we don't yet have a vaccine for kids under 12 years old, and the delta variant seems to have been predominant among people who are unvaccinated," Pritzker said when asked about the variant at an unrelated news conference.

"And so those kids are who I'm focused on," he continued, adding, "25% of the cases I've now read, of the new cases of COVID, are coming from that age group, under 12, and so we're keeping a close eye on it. But so far anyway, it appears that the available vaccines are resistant to the delta variant."

Read more here.

COVID Vaccines Come to “L” Stops Across Chicago, City Says

COVID-19 vaccination sites are expected to start popping up on Chicago's public buses and "L" stops to make vaccines more equitable to all areas of the city, health officials announced Thursday.

From 3 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, vaccines will be available at the following "L" stops:

  • 95th/Dan Ryan station: Red Line
  • Belmont station: Blue Line
  • 35th/Archer station: Orange Line
  • 63rd/Ashland station: Green Line
  • Kedzie station: Pink Line

From 3 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays, vaccine will be available at the following "L" stops:

  • 95th/Dan Ryan station: Red Line
  • Belmont station: Blue Line
  • 35th/Archer station: Orange Line
  • 63rd/Ashland station: Green Line
  • Kedzie station: Pink Line
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