coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Pritzker Mask Announcement, ICU Admissions Up for Kids

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a COVID-19 update Thursday morning, where he announced new mitigations for the state as metrics continue to climb.

Plus, several Chicago-area children’s hospitals say they are seeing more kids needing care, and it’s not just COVID that’s causing the rush for beds.

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

COVID Vaccinations to Be Offered at Kanye West's Soldier Field Listening Event

Proof of vaccination may not be required to get into Kanye West's listening event at Soldier Field, but for those who aren't already vaccinated, vaccines will be offered at the stadium.

Soldier Field is partnering with the Chicago's and Illinois' health departments and Event Medical Solutions to offer hundreds of vaccine doses to concertgoers.

"We're going to 2,500 vaccines on site and we can get more if needed," Matt Schipper, CEO of Event Medical Solutions told NBC Chicago. "CDPH will also be on site for the second vaccine."

The Pfizer vaccine will be administered from 4-8 p.m. at Gate 8, officials said.

COVID Vaccines Mandated for Illinois Teachers, Healthcare Workers, Higher Ed Students

Healthcare workers, teachers and higher education students will be required to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.

In a move he said was aimed at lowering the number of breakthrough cases and hospital admissions, the governor said the following workers will be required to receive the vaccine:

  • Healthcare workers, including workers at public and private nursing homes
  • Teachers and staff at pre-k-12 schools
  • Personnel and students at higher education institutions

Workers or students in those groups will need to receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccination series or a single-dose vaccination by Sept. 5, 2021. Second doses of the vaccine must be received by 30 days after the first dose, according to the state requirement.

Those who do not receive the vaccine or opt out for medical reasons or a religious exemption must follow a testing schedule laid out by the state. Testing will be required once a week in schools and healthcare facilities, but that requirement could increase in some cases, such as outbreaks.

Read more here.

Illinois Mask Mandate: Gov. Pritzker Announces Indoor Mask Requirement for State

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has reinstated a mask mandate for the state, requiring masks indoors for residents as he says the state is "running out of time as our hospitals run out of beds."

The new indoor mask mandate, similar to mandates already handed down in Cook County and Chicago, will begin Monday and require facial coverings in indoor settings, regardless of COVID vaccination status.

"Illinois will join several other states that have reinstituted statewide indoor mask requirements, regardless of vaccination status, effective on Monday," Pritzker said. "Masks work. Period."

Read more here.

WATCH LIVE: Gov. Pritzker to Give COVID Update at 10 a.m.

NOTE: Watch the governor's press conference live beginning at 10 a.m. CT here.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is scheduled to give a COVID-19 update Thursday morning, where he is expected to announce new mitigations for the state as metrics continue to climb.

The governor plans to issue a new indoor mask mandate for state residents, as well as new rules regarding vaccinations and COVID testing for all public school teachers, a source with knowledge of the new mitigations told NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern.

COVID Cases, Other Illnesses Spur Rise in ICU Admissions Among Kids in Chicago Area

As coronavirus cases surge among adults, intensive care unit beds are in demand for area children as well, as several Chicago-area children’s hospitals say they are seeing more kids needing care, and it’s not just COVID that’s causing the rush for beds.

According to experts, there’s been a spike not just in COVID cases among children because of the delta variant, but also in other illnesses as well.

“To compound the COVID hospitalizations, all of the usual winter respiratory viruses like RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) and para-influenza are circulating as well,” Dr. Allison Bartlett, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital, said. “It’s been…probably about the last month, where many days we hit our triggers for what we call ‘surging,’ where we sort of wrap everything and see if there are patients stable enough for discharge, so that we can get the kids who are waiting in.”

Hospitals around the country are seeing increases in children hospitalized for a variety of ailments, including COVID. In fact, according to the CDC, new COVID admissions for children have reached their highest level since tracking of those cases began last year.

On average, the U.S. is seeing 303 new COVID admissions per day, according to CDC data.

At Advocate Children’s Hospital, officials say the two campuses have had at least one-to-two children being admitted because of COVID on each day, compared to July when the hospital reported zero COVID cases in children for a stretch of several weeks.

At Lurie Children’s Hospital, officials say they are experiencing “unusually high inpatient volumes” in recent weeks, with COVID and other serious conditions contributing to those increases.

Read more here.

CDPH Asks Market Days Attendees Who Tested Positive for COVID After Event to Report Cases

he Chicago Department of Public Health says its seeking information on potential COVID cases stemming from the city’s Market Days event, held earlier this month in the Northalsted neighborhood.

According to a press release, the department is looking for individuals to come forward if they tested positive for COVID after attending the event, which took place between Aug. 6 and Aug. 8.

The department is asking for the public’s assistance to identify COVID cases, aiming to learn more about how the coronavirus spreads at large events that take place in indoor and outdoor spaces.

Chicago Announces COVID Vaccine Mandate for All City Workers

The city of Chicago will require COVID vaccinations for all city employees, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday.

The policy will take effect on Oct. 15 and requires all city employees and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by that date. Employees can apply for medical or religious exemptions, but such requests will be reviewed by the Department of Human Resources on a case-by-case basis, the city said.

“Fully vaccinated” is defined as two weeks past the second dose of a two-dose mRNA vaccine or two weeks past a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Employees will need to submit proof of vaccination through an online COVID-19 Vaccine Portal. 

More on Chicago's employee vaccine mandate.

COVID Booster Shots: What to Know If You Got the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

U.S. health authorities are recommending an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans eight months after they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shot, but what about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

A recent statement from health officials said people who received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine will likely need a booster shot, but more information is needed because the U.S. didn't begin administering it until March 2021.

Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday a booster shot of its COVID vaccine generated a promising immune response in early stage clinical trials.

Here's what we know so far.

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