Four more Chicago ZIP codes can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the United Center vaccination site.
Meanwhile, Chicago officials dyed the river green Saturday morning in secret to avoid crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Coronavirus in Illinois: 1,675 New Cases, 23 Deaths, Over 152K Vaccinations Reported
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Health officials in Illinois confirmed 1,763 new cases of coronavirus and 23 additional deaths on Saturday, with over 110,000 doses of the COVID vaccine administered to state residents in the last 24 hours.
According to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the latest new confirmed and probable COVID cases reported over the last day brought the state’s total to 1,207,847 cases since the pandemic began last year.
The 23 new deaths brought the state to 20,924 fatalities related to the virus, according to health officials.
On Friday, a record 152,697 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered, bringing the rolling seven-day average for daily vaccinations to 97,758, according to IDPH officials.
Read more here.
COVID Vaccine Appointments at United Center Open to 4 Additional Chicago ZIP Codes
Four more Chicago ZIP codes can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the United Center vaccination site, city officials announced Saturday.
According to the mayor's office, the new ZIP codes are on Chicago's South and West Sides in an effort to increase vaccinations in neighborhood with a "high COVID-19 burden."
Here are the ZIP codes that can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the United Center:
Since limiting vaccination appointments to select ZIP codes, 75% of appointments scheduled at the United Center have gone to Black, Latinx and Asian residents, according to officials.
Read more here.
Aurora Opens One-Day COVID Mass Vaccination Site Saturday
Aurora opened its third one-day mass vaccination site Saturday morning, with another expected to arrive next week, according to health officials.
Located at the former Carson Pirie Scott building, MASS VAX AURORA opened at 8 a.m. and is set to close Saturday at 5 p.m., although appointments already filled up within 15 minutes earlier this week.
LATINvaX AURORA is scheduled to open next Friday, March 19 to provide 750 doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine to the city's Latinx community, officials announced. More information on how to sign up should be available next week.
Read more here.
Chicago River Dyed Green in Surprise Move as City Encourages Smaller Celebrations
Chicago officials dyed the river green Saturday morning, a long-held St. Patrick's Day tradition for the city, after denying any plans to do so earlier this week.
In an effort to curb crowd size due to the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor's office announced the event early Saturday morning with little notice to the public.
Within about 20 minutes, the Chicago Plumber's Union has dyed the entire river green, beginning at around 7 a.m.
Read more here.
Illinois, Chicago Say Biden's May 1 COVID Vaccine Deadline Depends on Supply
Both the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago on Friday said that President Joe Biden's deadline for all jurisdictions in the U.S. to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults by May 1 is dependent on supply.
Biden made the announcement in a primetime address Thursday evening, saying he would direct all states to make all adults ages 18 and up eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine by May 1.
In response, Gov. J.B. Pritzker - who has long assailed former President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic and praised Biden's actions since taking office in January - said Friday that the state "has built the infrastructure to administer far more doses" than it's currently receiving.
A spokesman for the Chicago Department of Public Health - which receives vaccine shipments from the federal government allocated separately from the state - said that low supply is "the one thing holding us back from more fully vaccinating the city."
20K COVID Vaccination Appointments Released Friday at 5 Cook County Sites
Approximately 20,000 first-dose coronavirus vaccination appointments for those eligible in Phases 1A and 1B opened Friday for five Chicago-area sites, officials announced.
Cook County Health said the following vaccination sites will receive doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines: Tinley Park, Triton College, South Suburban College, North Riverside Health Center and Des Plaines.
All vaccinations are by appointment only, health officials noted, with proof of eligibility in Phases 1A or 1B. The appointments can be made online at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or by calling (833) 308-1988.
100-Plus Suburban School District Employees Call In Sick After Second COVID Shot
Kaneland School District 302 in southwestern Kane County was forced to cancel classes Thursday after more than 100 teachers and staff members called in sick following their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Wednesday night, approximately 45 staff members had been signed out as ill, but by 5 a.m., that number went up to 125, according to Dr. Todd Leden, superintendent of the school district.
While Leden said the school district has great substitutes, they weren't enough, and the district was forced to declare an "emergency day."
State to Increase Vaccine Doses at Nine Illinois Hospitals
Nine rural Illinois hospitals will receive additional COVID vaccine doses from the state as part of a new program aimed at expanding equitable distribution, according to officials.
The nine hospitals include:
- Taylorville Memorial Hospital, Christian County
- Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services, Ford County
- Hamilton Memorial Hospital District, Hamilton County
- Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Logan County
- Genesis Medical Center Aledo, Mercer County
- Hillsboro Area Hospital, Montgomery County
- Hopedale Medical Complex, Tazewell County
- Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, Vermilion County
- Fairfield Memorial Hospital, Wayne County
The state will provide a total of nearly 6,000 doses of the vaccine to the nine hospitals in addition to the existing allocations that the state already is distributing to health care sites.
What the $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill Does for Americans, Illinoisans
After the bill was passed by both houses of Congress this week, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” legislation into law Thursday, paving the way for millions of Americans to receive stimulus checks and a host of other relief in the coming days and weeks.
As the ink on Biden’s signature dries, click here for five things you need to know about the legislation.
Chicago Officials Warn They Will Be Watching for St. Patrick's Day Parties, Events
Chicago officials are warning anyone who may be hosting or celebrating St. Patrick's Day that guidelines are still in place and will be enforced.
The city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection revealed plans to increase investigations heading into the weekend "and respond to complaints to ensure business compliance."
Officials urged residents to continue following public health guidelines and to avoid large gatherings.
“St. Patrick’s Day is one of greatest times of the year in Chicago, but as we enter the second year of this pandemic our celebration must look different than typical years,” BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno said in a statement. “We have to stay diligent and commit to the regulations that keep our community safe. I expect our businesses to rise to the occasion this weekend as they have throughout the pandemic, but we will be prepared to take enforcement action if necessary.”
Read more here.
These Are the 22 Mass COVID Vaccination Sites in Illinois
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said on multiple occasions that shipments of COVID-19 vaccines are "set to soar" in the coming days, but for those who qualify, where can you get an appointment?
There are currently 21 state-supported mass vaccination sites across Illinois, plus a site at the United Center run in partnership with the federal government under a new pilot program.
For a look at all locations, click here.
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.