The state of Illinois is on track to enter Phase 5 of its reopening plan - which would mark a full reopening with no capacity limits - in July, officials say.
Meanwhile, Chicago updated its emergency travel order Tuesday, putting neighboring Indiana on the list requiring travelers to quarantine or test negative for COVID-19 prior to their arrival in the city.
And what should know about COVID vaccines and children, with potential approval for kids ages 12 to 15 on the way?
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
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Walk-In Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Appointments Coming to Kankakee, Other Illinois Counties
As the state of Illinois looks to continue to boost access to the coronavirus vaccine, state officials announced that rural vaccination teams will now provide walk-in appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the coming weeks.
According to a press release from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, clinics will begin to offer the shots on a first come, first served basis beginning in Lawrence County on Wednesday. A second event conducted by one of the state’s mobile vaccination teams and members of the Illinois National Guard, is set for Friday in Macon County, according to the release.
For a list of Johnson & Johnson vaccine locations, click here.
With COVID Vaccinations for Ages 12-15 Expected, Chicago-Area Administrators Prepare
Pediatricians, children’s hospitals and county health departments are making plans as the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine nears emergency use approval for kids ages 12 to 15.
“I don't want to get ahead of the FDA, but I believe it’s gonna be within several days. I cannot imagine it’s gonna be much longer than that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday.
At Northwestern Children’s Practice in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, pediatricians have the Pfizer vaccine ready to go in the specialized freezer it requires. Parents can schedule the shots for kids in the approved age group once the FDA and the CDC give the okay.
Read more here.
COVID Vaccine for 12-to-15-Year-Olds: What Parents Should Know
With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expected to authorize emergency use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 12 to 15 potentially by next week, what can parents expect and what is known so far about the COVID vaccines and children?
Chicago Unveils List of New and Returning Summer Events as City Continues to Reopen
A long list of popular events will be returning to Chicago this summer as the city continues to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, bringing back beloved concerts from Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Printer's Row Lit Fest, Broadway in Chicago and more, in addition to launching a new city music festival.
The announcement marks the latest reopening update for the city and is being called "Open Culture," an initiative aimed at providing a "summer of cultural events."
Among the events will be a new city music festival called "Chicago In Tune," and the return of the historic Maxwell Street Market, the Grant Park Music Festival, the Taste of Chicago To-Go community meals, and more.
Most of the events will have limited capacity and require advance registration.
For a list of the latest returning summer events, click here.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,410 New COVID Cases, 30 Deaths, 96K Vaccinations
Illinois health officials reported 2,410 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases and 30 additional deaths in the last day, along with nearly 96,000 vaccinations administered.
The newly reported coronavirus cases Wednesday bring the state total to 1,346,398 cases since the pandemic began and lift the total death toll to 22,096, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The statewide positivity rate remained at 3.3% of all tests returning positive results, and the positivity rate for individuals tested in the last seven days dropped at 3.9%, according to IDPH data.
The state reported 96,415 vaccinations administered in the last day, according to the latest data, including approximately 40,000 doses not previously reported by pharmacies over the weekend due to a system issue. Tuesday's vaccinations brought the seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered to 71,219 doses.
Read more here.
Chicago Launches Concert Series Exclusively for Residents Fully Vaccinated Against COVID
Chicago is launching a new concert series exclusively for residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the city announced Tuesday.
The Protect Chicago Music Series will be a monthly series of events across the city as an "incentive and benefit" for Chicagoans who receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office said in a statement announcing the program.
Attendees must have received their second of two doses or their single-dose shot at least two weeks prior to be eligible to attend that event, according to the city. Events will be ticketed and attendees must bring their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card as proof of vaccination, as well as a matching photo ID, officials said.
The first event will be held on May 22 in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood, with DJ Ron Trent and Duane Powell performing, officials said.
New Vaccination Site at Illinois Shooting Complex to Offer 100 Free Target Rounds to Vaccine Recipients
A new vaccination site at a southern Illinois shooting complex will offer COVID-19 vaccine recipients 100 free target rounds, officials announced Tuesday.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, anyone who receives the COVID vaccine at the Worldwide Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta will also receive 100 free targets of trap, skeet or sporting clays.
“If you come and get vaccinated at the World Shooting Recreational Complex vax site – which is already completely free – you’ll get 100 FREE targets of trap, skeet, or sporting clays, to use any time before the end of October,”Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “These vaccines are incredibly effective and protective for the person who gets them, but just as important, they make the whole community safer."
Read more here.
Illinois Reopening Plan: What Restrictions Change in Phase 4, Bridge Phase and Phase 5
Currently in Phase 4, Illinois must first enter what's known as the Bridge Phase, a transitional period with looser restrictions and higher capacity limits before the final Phase 5. So what changes between Phase 4, the Bridge Phase and Phase 5? Here's a breakdown by category.
Chicago Travel Order Update: 18 States, Including Indiana, Now on List Requiring Quarantine or Negative COVID Test
Chicago updated its emergency travel order Tuesday, detailing where states currently stand on the city's list requiring travelers to quarantine or test negative for COVID-19 prior to their arrival in the city.
The "orange tier," which requires a quarantine or pre-arrival negative test before coming to Chicago, now lists 18 states, including neighboring Indiana, as well as Puerto Rico. The lesser yellow tier now includes 31 states as well as the District of Columbia. Which tier states are in depends on case rate adjusted for population.
Here's a look at which states are in either tier, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health:
- 31 yellow states and District of Columbia: Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Kansas, Wisconsin, California, Wyoming, Missouri, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Kentucky, Idaho, Montana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Dakota, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Alaska, Connecticut, District of Columbia, and Iowa
- 18 orange states and Puerto Rico: New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Florida, Delaware, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Maine, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington
Chicago COVID Restrictions: City on Track to be ‘Fully Open' by July 4, Mayor Says
Chicago is on track to be "fully open" by the Fourth of July holiday, the city's mayor announced Tuesday.
During a press conference celebrating the return of the Chicago Auto Show this summer, Illinois' first large convention since the start of the pandemic, Lightfoot said the city aims to be "one of the first cities to fully and safely reopen in the nation."
"Every day that our COVID-19 metrics continue to tick downward, raises the day closer to be able to put this pandemic in the rearview mirror, and we are too close to accomplishing this mission to give up now," Lightfoot said. "Our goal, ladies and gentlemen, is to be fully open by July, 4. I am working night and day toward this goal, as is our public health department, but we and I need you to continue to be on this journey with us, and that means getting vaccinated now, as soon as possible."
Illinois Reopening Plan: State on Track to Enter Phase 5 in July, Officials Say
The state of Illinois is on track to enter Phase 5 of its reopening plan - which would mark a full reopening with no capacity limits - in July, officials announced Tuesday.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot shared the timeline in a joint statement Tuesday announcing the return of the Chicago Auto Show for the first time in more than a year.
Illinois is currently in Phase 4 of its reopening plan and must first enter what's known as the Bridge Phase before a full reopening in the final Phase 5, which would see all sectors of the economy fully reopened and no capacity limits, among other changes.
As "metrics continue to stabilize and decline, the state could soon move into the 'Bridge Phase' of the Restore Illinois Reopening Plan," Lightfoot and Pritzker's offices said in a joint statement. "Following a 28-day period of continued stability or decline in key COVID-19 metrics, the state would then move into Phase 5, with all capacity limits lifted. The State is on track to be in Phase 5 in July."
Chicago Auto Show Returning to McCormick Place in July
The Chicago Auto Show is returning to the city this summer for the first time in more than a year, officials have announced.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot together announced the show's return Tuesday, noting it will be the first large convention to take place in Chicago since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The Chicago Auto Show will take place from July 15 through July 19 this year, officials said, shorter than the usual nine-day run that takes place in the winter. It will also be held both indoors and outdoors for the first time since it started in Chicago in 1901, officials said.
After Fully-Vaccinated Father Dies of COVID-19, Family Hopes Story Raises Awareness
A suburban Chicago family who lost their fully vaccinated father to COVID-19 said they hope his story can help others with certain pre-existing conditions and immune deficiencies as they say his unexpected passing left them with a major "what if."
Alan Sporn, owner and president of Spornette International and an outgoing father of four who was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2019, had been taking added precautions throughout the coronavirus pandemic, despite not yet requiring treatment for his cancer.
But the 75-year-old hairbrush salesman was eager to get vaccinated as travel was his career and his life. He received his first shot of the Pfizer vaccine in January and his second in early February, his family said.
Illinois COVID Vaccinations Dropped More Than 40% in Recent Weeks, Data Shows
While more than 9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered throughout Illinois, data shows the average of daily administered doses has declined in recent weeks, presenting a new challenge for state health officials.
Since vaccinations began in mid-December, the seven-day average has increased overall despite a few notable dips, including ones in late February and March, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health's website.
However, since April 12, when the rolling average was reported to be 132,979 doses, the number has steadily declined. As of May 2, the most recent day for which data is available, the average was said to be 78,440, which amounts to a 41% decline since April 12.
Fully Vaccinated? Here's Where to Score a Deal in the Chicago Area
Are you fully vaccinated against COVID-19? Don't miss the latest deals offered across the Chicago area, as various businesses have already begun serving up bargains for vaccinated individuals.
Here's where to find COVID vaccination deals nearby.
Hosting a Wedding, Graduation Party or Private Event in the Chicago Area? Here's What You Need to Know
Graduation and wedding seasons are fast approaching and this year's events will be unlike any other.
While most events were canceled or dramatically scaled down last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, more widely available vaccines and early signs of improvements in COVID metrics have enabled some jurisdictions to loosen restrictions on in-person gatherings.
To learn more on capacity limits and other new guidelines, click here.