coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Mayor to Give COVID Update, Vaccine Mandate Battle Goes On

Chicago's mayor is slated to deliver an update on COVID-19 in the city Monday, as her office continues a growing battle with the police union over an employee vaccine mandate.

Plus, new holiday guidance has been released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

Chicago's Top Doc Says Mask Mandate Will Stay in Place 'For the Next Few Weeks at Least'

Chicago's mask mandate is here to stay for at least the next few weeks, according to the commissioner of the city's health department, Dr. Allison Arwady.

"We remain in a substantial transmission standpoint from the CDC, and even if we continue to see progress at the rate we've been seeing it, I expect that would take probably at least another couple of weeks," Arwady said. "My big question is what's happening between now and Thanksgiving, honestly."

Arwady said masking will remain even more important heading into the colder months.

"That's when we usually start to see respiratory viruses like flu really take off and we'll have a better sense," Arwady said. "My concern is I don't want to say hooray, let's take the mask off, two weeks later we have to put them back on."

Read more here.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to Give COVID-19 Update for the City Monday

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to deliver a coronavirus update for Chicago Monday afternoon.

The mayor is set to speak alongside other city leaders at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, according to her public schedule.

Details on what the mayor will say remained unclear as of Monday morning, but her address comes amid a battle between the city and police union over a vaccine mandate.

Watch live here or in the player above at 3:30 p.m.

Chicago Police Issue Warning to Officers on 'Consequences' of Disobeying Vaccine Policy: Sources

The Chicago Police Department on Sunday issued a warning to officers on the consequences of disobeying the city's vaccine mandate, saying those who do not follow the guidelines could face "separation" from the department.

The internal notice warns that those who do not comply with the vaccine policy will be under investigation and could face penalties as a result, sources told NBC 5.

It comes amid an ongoing battle between Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara and the city over the mandate.

Catanzara released a video statement Friday night after a Cook County judge ordered the union chief to stop making public comments encouraging his members to defy the city’s COVID vaccine policies.

Read more here.

CDC Releases Updated COVID-19 Guidelines For 2021 Holiday Season

After some confusion earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released updated guidance around gathering and traveling for the holiday season.

On Friday, the CDC released the updated guidance, saying the best way to safely observe the holiday season is being vaccinated against COVID-19.

A representative from the agency said in an email Friday they "fully expect that families and friends will gather for the holidays this year."

Read more here.

Chicago's Top Doctor Urges COVID Vaccine and Flu Shot as Winter Nears

As winter approaches, the city of Chicago is stepping up efforts to get people prepared for the cold weather by encouraging residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but also the flu shot.

Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of Chicago's Department of Public Health, shared the message at Kennedy King College Saturday where she got her flu vaccine and COVID booster shot Saturday.

"I think a lot of people still don’t realize you can get shots at the same time," the doctor said. "It’s one of the most important things, and you don’t have to make two appointments."

Read more here.

Chicago Launches Series of COVID Vaccine Clinics to Boost City's Vaccination Numbers

The city of Chicago is stepping up its efforts to boost COVID vaccination numbers before the end of the year, and numerous local organizations are hosting vaccine drives in the coming week.

The drives are part of a new initiative called “Project Chicago 77,” which is aiming to ensure that at least 77% of Chicago residents ages 12 and up start their COVID vaccine shots before the end of 2021.

According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, approximately 73.9%, or 1.7 million, Chicago residents 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more here.

Illinois Ups Threshold for Classifying School COVID Outbreaks

The Illinois Department of Public Health is adopting a new definition of what constitutes a COVID-19 outbreak in schools, which will result in a fewer number of reported outbreaks, according to information provided by health officials.

Under guidance from the Council of State and and Territorial Epidemiologists, an outbreak will be defined as either multiple cases comprising at least 10% of students, teachers or staff within a "core group" or at least three cases within a specified "core group," IDPH stated in a news release.

A "core group" is defined as individuals who were together during an exposure period, which could include those inside a classroom, members of a sports team, performing arts or other groups.

Read more here.

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