Chicagoans looking to find or book coronavirus vaccine appointments can now schedule them online using the city's new website.
Meanwhile, suburban Cook County moved to Phase 4 coronavirus mitigation rules Tuesday, allowing several Chicago-area suburbs to loosen restrictions even further.
Two more Illinois regions are "on track" to move to Phase 4 mitigations this week if they continue to trend in the right direction.
Here are the latest COVID-19 headlines from around the state:
Walgreens in Illinois to Get 39K More Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Each Week Through New Federal Program
The additional doses will be distributed under a new Federal Retail Pharmacy Program that the White House announced Tuesday. Illinois and Chicago are two of the 15 jurisdictions in which Walgreens will offer these additional doses.
Approximately 450 Walgreens locations across the state will receive roughly 39,300 additional doses, the company said. Walgreens selected the participating stores "based on their proximity to socially vulnerable and medically underserved areas" in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the retail pharmacy giant said.
These thousands of additional doses are on top of the supply that Walgreens already receives through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Walgreens, based in suburban Deerfield, said only the Moderna vaccine will be used in this effort, one of two vaccines federally approved for use. Walgreens also noted that this new effort does not change any eligibility requirements or open doses up for those who do not yet qualify, saying vaccines will still be given only in accordance with state and local guidelines.
Read more here.
Only Illinois Region Not Under Phase 4 Restrictions 'On Track' to Loosen Mitigations: IDPH
The last Illinois region not currently under Phase 4 coronavirus mitigations is "on track" to loosen its mitigations Thursday if it continues trending in the right direction, health officials announced.
Region 4, also known as the Metro East Region in southwest Illinois, is currently under Tier 2 mitigations, but the Illinois Department of Public Health said it is near the metrics required to move back to Phase 4.
"If all the mitigation metrics continue to improve, Region 4 will move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan on Thursday, February 4, 2021," the department said in a release Wednesday.
2 More Illinois Regions, Including 4 Chicago-Area Counties, Move to Phase 4 Mitigations
Two more Illinois regions have moved to Phase 4 mitigations this week, health officials announced Wednesday.
Regions 8 and 9 - which include DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties in the Chicago area - were able to further loosen restrictions Wednesday after meeting the required guidelines, the Illinois Department of Public Health said.
The move brings all but one Illinois region back to Phase 4 of the state's reopening guidelines after the state began allowing regions to move forward in mid-January.
Pritzker to Tour Central Illinois Vaccination Site
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is scheduled to tour a vaccination site in central Illinois Wednesday.
Pritzker is set to join local officials at 11:30 a.m. to tour a Champaign County vaccination site located at The I Hotel and Conference Center as 1900 1st Street in Champaign, according to his public schedule.
The event can be watched live in the video player above.
How to Sign Up for COVID Vaccine Appointments in Chicago Using Zocdoc
Chicagoans looking to find or book coronavirus vaccine appointments can now schedule them online as the city launches a new site in partnership with Zocdoc, officials announced Tuesday.
The new platform will offer a real-time look at appointment availability from city POD sites, as well as from "care organizations" like AMITA Health, Erie Family Health, Innovative Express Care and Rush University Medical Center.
The new site aims to create "a central marketplace to help Chicagoans access vaccinations," officials said.
The Zocdoc Vaccine Scheduler will be free of charge and "is designed to streamline vaccine scheduling," the city said in a release. Chicago is the first city to implement the service.
Here's how it works:
- To begin, Chicago residents can visit zocdoc.com/vaccine.
- Once there, users will be asked to confirm their location and eligibility.
- If eligible under Illinois guidelines, Zocdoc will show nearby vaccination locations and their real-time appointment availability.
- Eligible patients will then be able to select a date, time, and location, and instantly book an appointment online. If no appointments are available, residents can sign up to be notified when new options come online.
- There will be embedded translation support for more than 100 languages, including Spanish.
- NOTE: Officials are still asking residents to be patient as vaccine rollout continues. Appointments are expected to be added as the city continues to receive doses.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said Chicagoans are still encouraged to seek a vaccine appointment first with their primary care providers, if they have one, and also through local pharmacies or their employers, if available.
BBB Says Think Twice Before Posting a Photo of This After Getting Your COVID Vaccine
Excited about getting your coronavirus vaccine? You might want to think twice before you post about it on social media.
The Better Business Bureau issued a warning that sharing images of vaccination cards on social media could make you vulnerable to identity theft. It could also lead to scammers creating fake vaccination cards.
“Unfortunately, your card has your full name and birthday on it, as well as information about where you got your vaccine," Steve Bernas, president and CEO of BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois said in a statement. "If your social media privacy settings aren’t set high, you may be giving valuable information away for anyone to use.”
nstead, those getting vaccinated are being encouraged to share their vaccine stickers instead.
"If you want to post about your vaccine, there are safer ways to do it," the BBB said.
For advice on how to keep your identity safe, click here.
Here's How to Sign Up for a COVID Vaccine Without Internet
Chicago launched a new site where residents can schedule coronavirus vaccine appointments, but how can residents receive a vaccination without going online?
Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a press conference Tuesday that the city has a variety of ways to ensure residents who do not have internet access can still receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The city's primary approach for people not digitally-connected is through health care providers, Arwady said, many of which are reaching out to patients to inform when a vaccine will be available to them.
"This also helps to make sure that our vaccine is going to Chicago residents, people who get ongoing medical care in Chicago," Arwady said. "And it really helps us, as we saw in this data from this last week, get to our older Chicagoans (vaccinated), who in many cases may not be as connected to the internet."
She added that through Chicago Protect and other outreach programs, some workers are headed door-to-door offering residents the opportunity to book a vaccination appointment through the city.
Chicago officials are additionally working with churches and community-based organizations to create vaccination POD sites for area residents, Arwady said.
Chicago Launches New COVID Vaccine Scheduler Offering 'Real-Time' Look at Availability
Chicago has launched a new site where residents can schedule coronavirus vaccine appointments and get a real-time look at availability, officials announced Tuesday.
The new platform, done in partnership with Zocdoc, will show appointment availability for city POD sites, as well as "care organizations" like AMITA Health, Erie Family Health, Innovative Express Care and Rush University Medical Center.
Illinois Reports 2,304 New COVID-19 Cases, 47 Additional Deaths Tuesday
Health officials in Illinois have reported 2,304 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, along with 47 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Tuesday's new cases bring the state to 1,130,917 cases of the virus in the state, with 19,306 deaths attributed to COVID since the pandemic began last year.
IDPH also noted that Regions 8 and 9 are on track to move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan on Wednesday.
Over the last 24 hours, 60,899 test specimens have been turned in to state laboratories, bringing the statewide total number of tests performed to 16,161,454.
The seven-day positivity rate remained the same on Tuesday, sitting at 3.9%, its lowest mark since October. The positivity rate on individuals tested during that time stands at 4.9%.
As of Monday night, there were 2,447 coronavirus patients in Illinois hospitals. Of those patients, 533 were currently in intensive care units, while 265 were on ventilators.
Several Chicago Suburbs Move to Phase 4 Mitigations Tuesday, Health Officials Say
Suburban Cook County moved to Phase 4 coronavirus mitigation rules Tuesday, allowing several Chicago-area suburbs to loosen restrictions even further, the state's health department announced.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Region 10, which includes Cook County suburbs outside of the city of Chicago, has met the metrics required to move to the less-restrictive rules on Tuesday.
Region 10 marks the eighth region in the state to move back to that level since the state began allowing regions to move forward in mid-January. On Monday, Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, moved to Phase 4, while the city of Chicago entered a modified version of the phase over the weekend.
6 Chicago Walmart Locations Are Administering COVID-19 Vaccinations
Six Walmart locations in Chicago are administering COVID-19 vaccinations, the company says.
The locations where vaccines are currently available, according to the retailer, include:
- 7535 S. Ashland Ave.
- 4650 W. North Ave.
- 4626 W. Diversey Ave.
- 2551 W. Cermak Rd.
- 8331 S. Stewart Ave.
- 10900 S. Doty Ave.
Walmart is one of several retailers providing COVID-19 vaccinations to Illinois residents. The company began administering the shots late last month in more than 150 Walmart stores and Sam's Clubs across a dozen states, including Illinois and Indiana.
CPS, CTU Avoid Teacher Lockout, Remote Learning to Continue During ‘Cooling Off' Period
After "substantial progress" was made in negotiations between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union on Monday, the district announced Monday evening that teachers will not be locked out from Google Suite, with virtual learning continuing for students for at least the next two days.
According to an email from CPS, students will have remote learning on Tuesday and Wednesday as negotiations continue, with a teacher's lockout now off the table for the time being.
“We have reached another important milestone today in our efforts to provide in-person learning for our students in the Chicago Public Schools system," Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS Director Dr. Janice Jackson said in a statement. "We have secured agreement on one other open issue and made substantial progress on a framework that we hope will address the remaining issues. We are calling for a 48-hour cooling off period that will hopefully lead to a final resolution on all open issues."
The news comes after a Sunday ultimatum delivered by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who said that CPS would be prepared to "take action" if teachers did not report to their classrooms Monday.
Amid the often-tense negotiations, teachers had voted in January to go back to remote-learning, even with pre-K and cluster learning students already back in classrooms. That vote was made in response to CPS calling for teachers to return to K-8 classrooms on Jan. 25, with those students returning to those classrooms on Feb. 1.
CPS officials said over the weekend that if teachers did not return to schools on Monday, they would be considered “absent without leave” and would not be authorized to conduct remote learning until they report back to their classrooms.
Appointments Open for New Cook County COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Site
Appointments for suburban Cook County's second large COVID-19 community vaccination site, Triton College in River Grove opened at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Appointments can be made at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov. Those without internet access or who need assistance scheduling can call 833-308-1988 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Under Phase 1B, the current phase of Illinois' vaccination rollout, people age 65 years and older as well as "frontline essential workers," which includes first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff and grocery store employees, are eligible.
You can find more information on appointments here.
Illinois Adds 41 New COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Across State
The state of Illinois has added 41 new COVID-19 vaccination sites since Jan. 26, according to a news release from state health officials Monday.
More than 3.2 million of the state's residents are eligible for vaccinations under Phase 1B, which includes people age 65 years and older as well as "frontline essential workers." Among those in that category are: first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff as well as grocery store employees and postal workers.
In all, 310 vaccination sites have opened across the state.