Two new mass vaccination sites in Chicago - one at Chicago State University and a second just outside Wrigley Field - open Monday with plans to administer thousands of COVID vaccine doses each day.
Meanwhile, Cook County could reinstate a number of restrictions as the county begins to see a third surge of COVID-19 cases, health officials say.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Cook County Vaccine: 30K Appointments to Be Released Monday Evening
Cook County Health will release 30,000 first-dose COVID vaccine appointments Monday evening for individuals in Phases 1A, 1B and 1C.
The appointments will be released at 6 p.m. Click here for details on how to sign up.
Can You Spread COVID After Receiving Vaccine?
Experts have made clear that getting the COVID vaccine offers plenty of protection from coronavirus, but can it prevent you from spreading it to others?
Yes, you can, but the answer is also a bit more complicated.
Read more here.
Rural Illinois Bar Opening Prompted Outbreak of 46 COVID Cases, CDC Says
An outbreak of 46 coronavirus cases that originated at a rural Illinois bar prompted a school closure and the hospitalization of a long-term care facility resident, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in a report published Monday.
A total of 26 customers and three staff members who attended the bar opening in early February contracted COVID-19, along with 17 people who weren't present at the gathering.
Those who attended reported inconsistent mask use and not maintaining at least six feet of distance, despite table spacing and signs encouraging physical distancing and mask use, the report stated.
Read more here.
Kankakee, Livingston Counties to Host Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccination Events
Six Illinois counties, including Kankakee and Livingston counties, will participate in a rural vaccination program this week, with the aim of fully vaccinating 8,000 residents in predominately rural areas.
According to a press release from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, the program will feature mobile vaccination teams heading to the six different counties to administer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Appointments for the vaccination events will be prioritized for county residents, with local health departments getting assistance from members of the Illinois National Guard, according to the release. Here are the six counties participating.
Walgreens to Change COVID Vaccine Scheduler for Some Second Doses After Complaints
Walgreens on Monday said it planned to change the COVID vaccine scheduler on its website following complaints that the pharmacy wasn't adhering to federal health officials' recommended timeline for some second doses.
Through the online vaccine scheduler on its website, Walgreens has been automatically scheduling patients' second doses for 28 days after their first dose since it began vaccinations in December. That timeframe is in line with the CDC's recommendations on the Moderna vaccine but is longer than that of the Pfizer vaccine.
The New York Times reported Monday that the CDC had asked Walgreens to stop using that longer timeframe between the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, according to a spokeswoman for the agency. That same day, Walgreens said it planned to update its website by the end of the week to allow users to schedule a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine within three weeks.
Read more here.
More Than 80 Illinois Counties Have Opened COVID Vaccine Eligibility to All Residents 16 and Older
More than 80 counties in Illinois have expanded COVID vaccine eligibility to all state residents 16 years and older, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Citing a survey of local health departments in the state, IDPH released a list of counties that have already expanded eligibility one week before the state is expected to do the same. There are 102 counties total in the state.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,102 New COVID Cases, 11 Deaths, 27K Vaccinations
Health officials in Illinois reported 2,102 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus over the last 24 hours, with 11 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Monday's new cases bring the state to 1,258,736 since the pandemic began last year. The number of new cases has continued to rise in recent weeks in the state, with some officials fearing that a new surge could be taking place even as vaccinations continue to rise.
Monday's 11 additional deaths bring the state to 21,384 confirmed COVID fatalities during the pandemic, with another 2,281 deaths listed as “probable” COVID-19 related fatalities.
Read more here.
Wrigley Field, Chicago State University Mass Vaccination Sites Open Monday
Two new mass vaccination sites in Chicago - one at Chicago State University and a second just outside Wrigley Field - open on Monday with plans to administer thousands of COVID vaccine doses each day.
Beginning Monday, city residents eligible under Phase 1C of the city's COVID vaccine rollout will be able to get vaccinated at Chicago State University or the American Airlines Conference Center at Gallagher Way next to Wrigley Field.
Appointments at the Chicago State University site can be made at the city's website, but "to ensure equitable distribution," initial appointments are only available to residents of the following ZIP codes: 60617, 60619, 60620, 60621, 60628, 60633, 60636, 60643, 60649, 60655 and 60827.
Can You Take Tylenol, Ibuprofen With the COVID Vaccine?
Whether preparing for the COVID-19 vaccine or enduring side effects, officials provided guidance on taking various over-the-counter medications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people talk to their doctors about taking over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort after getting vaccinated.
The CDC does not recommend, however, that people take such over-the-counter medications or antihistamines to prevent side effects prior to receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
"You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally," the CDC states. "It is not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects."
Read more here.
Cook County Entering New Coronavirus Surge: Health Officials
Cook County could reinstate a number of COVID-19 restrictions aimed at reducing rising cases as the county begins to see a third surge of the coronavirus, health officials said Saturday.
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Both the city of Chicago and Cook County have each recently seen more than 600 new daily cases, according to Dr. Rachel Rubin, senior medical officer and co-lead at the Cook County Department of Public Health. A couple weeks ago, Rubin said approximately 250 cases were reported each day.
While no decisions have been made about reinstating restrictions in Cook County, officials say change could come in the next week, and the biggest focus may be on indoor activities.
"The data has shown it is not necessarily outdoor activities, but indoor, so these are the kind of things we have to evaluate and look at the data," Rubin said.
As is the case in Chicago, Rubin said cases are spiking in Cook County's younger population, particularly people in their 20s and 30s, as that age group isn't largely vaccinated.
Note: For COVID-19, the herd-immunity threshold is estimated to be between 60 and 90 percent. Our analysis considers herd immunity reached at 75% of the population fully vaccinated based on estimates by Dr. Anthony Fauci.