coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: New Case Record, Chicago's New Vaccine Requirement

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Proof of vaccination will soon be required in several public indoor spaces in Chicago, the city announced Tuesday.

The announcement comes as cases rise in the city and state, with Illinois hitting a new daily case record for 2021 this week.

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

There Are Some Exceptions to Chicago's New Proof of Vaccine Mandate

Chicago will soon implement a vaccine mandate for certain indoor spaces in the city, but for some, the rule won't necessarily apply.

Beginning Jan. 3, anyone age 5 and older will be required to show proof of full vaccination to dine inside or visit gyms or entertainment venues where food and drinks are being served.

There are some exemptions, however, city officials noted.

Read more here.

Here's Where Vaccine Proof Will Be Required in Chicago Next Year

Beginning Jan. 3, Chicago will require proof of vaccination for many indoor public spaces as the city works to combat what officials are calling "the biggest COVID surge that we have seen since before vaccines were available."

Here are the places where vaccine proof will be required - and where it won't.

Chicago COVID Metrics: As New Vax Rules Near, City Reports Large Increase in Daily Case Rates

Chicago Department of Public Health Dr. Allison Arwady gave the latest COVID-19 metrics in the city as officials announced a new vaccine requirement in public places Tuesday.

As the city of Chicago prepares to institute new COVID mitigation strategies, city officials are detailing the rapid rises in metrics that have led them to put the new rules into effect.

Beginning in early January, all patrons at restaurants, gyms or entertainment venues where food is served will be required to show a proof of COVID vaccination, or of a negative COVID test within seven days of their entry into the building.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that the new rules are going into effect because of rapid increases in COVID cases, with the city seeing a 500% increase in daily case averages over the last two months, and increases in hospitalizations, which have risen each of the last 30 days.

“I have not been this concerned about COVID-19 since the early days of the pandemic in 2020,” she said. “The latest variant, omicron, appears to spread more easily. We have upticks in positivity rates, cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”

Read more here.

Chicago to Require Vaccine Proof for Indoor Spaces Like Restaurants, Bars, Gyms

Chicago will soon require proof of vaccination for indoor public spaces like restaurants, bars and gyms in the new year, the city's mayor announced Tuesday, joining other big cities like New York and Los Angeles in adding the requirement as COVID cases surge.

Beginning Jan. 3, anyone age 5 and older will be required to show proof of full vaccination to dine inside or visit gyms or entertainment venues where food and drinks are being served.

Here's a full breakdown of the guidelines.

Chicago Travel Advisory Jumps to 47 States, 2 Territories Days Before Christmas

With COVID cases rising across the U.S. and the holiday travel rush already underway, Chicago's travel advisory has been updated once again, with a total of 47 states and two territories now on the city's warning list days before Christmas.

Five states were added to the city's list, along with Puerto Rico Tuesday, officials announced. They include Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Texas.

As of Tuesday, every state or territory except for Guam, Louisiana, South Carolina, and the Virgin Islands are on the Travel Advisory.

Read more here.

Chicago Mayor to Make 'Major Announcement' Tuesday in COVID Address

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to make a "major announcement" Tuesday regarding the city's fight against COVID as cases surge in the city and across the country.

Details on what exactly the announcement will be remain unclear, but the mayor told MSNBC during an an appearance Monday night that she would be making an announcement regarding the city's mitigation efforts.

"We see what other cities have done with requiring vaccination proof for places of leisure, restaurants, gyms and other places and we've got to this seriously," she said. "We went from 300 cases in a downward slope just three weeks ago. Now we’re seeing a thousand cases and we are seeing an increase of deaths in our city. So now is the time to act and we will."

The mayor is scheduled to deliver a COVID-19 update alongside other city leaders at 1:30 p.m. from City Hall. (Watch live here or in the player above)

Biden to Push Vaccines, Home COVID Tests as Christmas Nears

As coronavirus cases surge in the days before Christmas, President Joe Biden plans to increase support for hospitals, improve access to COVID-19 testing through hundreds of millions of rapid at-home tests and expand the availability of vaccines that can reduce the risks from the omicron variant.

A senior administration official, insisting on anonymity, provided details to NBC News on the proposals Biden will announce in his speech Tuesday afternoon.

The administration is prepared to deploy an additional 1,000 troops in medical professions to hospitals as well as direct federal medical personnel to Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire and Vermont. There are also plans to send out additional ventilators and equipment from the national stockpile besides expanding hospital capacity to handle infected patients.

The government will purchase 500 million rapid at-home tests to be delivered for free to the homes of Americans who request them. It will also establish new testing sites and use the Defense Production Act to help manufacture more tests. There will also be pop-up vaccination sites, hundreds of new people to administer the vaccines and new rules that make it easier for pharmacists to work across state lines.

In a preview of Biden's speech Tuesday afternoon, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at Monday's press briefing that the president doesn't plan to impose any lockdowns and will instead be encouraging people to get inoculated — and, if they're eligible, to get their booster shot.

Watch live here.

University of Illinois to Briefly Go Online in January as Coronavirus Heats Up

The University of Illinois will temporarily switch to remote learning in January before opening classrooms to students.

Students and staff in Chicago and Champaign-Urbana will need to show negative COVID-19 tests, the university said Monday.

The Chicago campus will go online for two weeks, starting Jan. 10, with some exceptions. The Champaign-Urbana campus will be online Jan. 18-23.

Read more here.

Illinois Sets New Daily COVID Case Record for 2021 as State Now Averaging 10K Cases Per Day

The state of Illinois has set another new high watermark for COVID cases in 2021, with health officials reporting more than 12,000 new confirmed and probable cases of the virus in the last 24 hours.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state has reported 12,328 new cases of the virus in the last day, the most it has recorded in a single day in 2021.

The 12,328 new cases are the most in a single day since all the way back on Dec. 1, 2020, when 12,542 new cases were reported, according to IDPH data.

The new cases reported Monday also pushed the state beyond another threshold, as Illinois is now averaging more than 10,000 new cases of COVID per day over the last seven days. That is the first time the state has eclipsed that threshold since Nov. 2020, IDPH officials said.

In fact, the average number of new daily COVID cases has gone up by 390% since Oct. 24, according to IDPH data.

Omicron Becomes Dominant Strain in US, Health Officials Say

Much of the U.S. is currently battling a surge in COVID cases spurred by the extra-contagious delta variant, but the new and even more contagious omicron variant has taken over as the dominant strain in the country, health experts say.

Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of new infections last week, federal health officials said Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers showed nearly a six-fold increase in omicron's share of infections in only one week.

Read more here.

Here's How Many Omicron Variant Cases Have Been Confirmed in Illinois

With the omicron variant accounting for 73% of new infections last week in the U.S., the strain officially became the country's dominant version of the coronavirus Monday, health officials announced.

The variant has surfaced in all but four states and is responsible for an estimated 90% of new infections in the New York area, the Southeast, the industrial Midwest and the Pacific Northwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Illinois, a total of 17 cases have been detected, according to data distributed Monday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Read more here.

COVID Hospitalizations Hit New 2021 Highs in Illinois as Cases Surge

As Illinois sees rapid gains in new cases, it is also seeing a surge in newly-hospitalized coronavirus patients, with more residents seeking emergency medical care than at any point so far this year.

According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are currently 3,960 patients hospitalized because of COVID in the state. That number marks the highest number of hospitalizations that the state has seen since Dec. 29, 2020, IDPH says.

As of Monday, approximately 21% of the state’s hospital beds are currently open, but that availability is being eaten into as COVID hospitalizations have increased by more than 50% so far this month.

The number of critically-ill COVID patients is also on the site. According to state officials, 811 COVID patients are currently in intensive care unit beds, the most the state has seen since Jan. 5 of this year.

You can read more here.

Swollen Lymph Nodes After COVID Booster Shot? Here's What Experts Say That Means

Have you experienced a swollen lymph node in the arm where you received your COVID vaccine or booster shot?

You're not alone.

In fact, while you may not have experienced it with your initial doses of the vaccine, there's still a chance you could see it following a booster shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine side effect is actually more common with booster shots or additional doses than it is with initial doses of the COVID vaccines.

But the CDC said it is not a side effect to worry about.

Here's why.

Booster Shots and Omicron: Is Moderna or Pfizer Performing Better? Here's the Data So Far

Both Moderna and Pfizer have released early data showing the effectiveness of their vaccines and booster doses as the new omicron variant begins to take hold and as COVID cases rise across the U.S.

But is one performing better than the other?

Here's what we know so far.

Holiday Travel Rush Begins This Week as COVID Cases Rise. What Travelers Should Know

The holiday travel rush kicks off this week, with more people expected to visit family and friends compared to last year as COVID cases continue to rise across the U.S.

AAA predicts more than 100 million people will hit the roads, sky and other forms of transportation over the Christmas holiday.

The Transportation Security Administration reported just over 2 million travelers on Saturday alone. That's well over the just over 1 million reported for the same day in 2020, but short of the 2.4 million seen in 2019.

Read more here.

Omicron Severity, Symptoms, Risk of Breakthrough Cases: What We Know So Far

Experts had been saying that more information on the omicron variant was expected in the weeks following its detection.

Now, about a month since the new COVID variant was identified in South Africa and two weeks since it was first recorded in the U.S., what do we know?

Chicago's top doctor said that while we are still learning about the variant and research continues to develop, an early look at the latest data has led to some findings so far.

Here's a breakdown of what we know.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady on Tuesday gave a breakdown on which COVID-19 variant is currently leading the surge in the Midwest. While 99.9% of the COVID cases are of delta variant as of now, she predicted that the omicron variant will soon spread quickly based on the studies from other countries.

CDC Guidelines for COVID Exposure: Timeline, Quarantine, Contagious Period

What should you do if you or someone you have been in close contact with tests positive for coronavirus? How long are you contagious, what are the quarantine guidelines and when can you see people again?

Here's a look at the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what to do if you test positive or believe you were exposed to someone who has.

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