Parents in both Chicago and the suburbs are demanding other options for children as COVID outbreaks in Illinois schools persist.
Meanwhile, some Chicago aldermen are calling for required vaccinations in some indoor spaces in the city, such as restaurants.
Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
COVID Patient at Center of Ivermectin Debate at Chicago-Area Hospital Dies
A coronavirus patient at the center of a debate after she requested to be treated with a controversial drug used in veterinary medicine called ivermectin has passed away, officials said.
Veronica Wolski, who was known for documenting demonstrations she held on a bridge over the Kennedy Expressway on YouTube, died early Monday morning, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Her cause of death was pending an autopsy.
Wolski, 64, often shared beliefs against the coronavirus vaccine and mask-wearing.
"I have never once worn a mask. I have called the police on people that tried to make me wear masks," she said in one of her videos.
Read more here.
Families in Waukegan School District Seek Remote Learning Option
With a growing number of students across the Chicago area testing positive for COVID-19, some families believe they should be able to decide whether or not their children will attend school in-person.
Many parents, students and community members gathered in Waukegan Sunday, calling on Community Unit School District 60 to reinstate a remote learning option.
Read more here.
Some Chicago Aldermen Want City to Require Vaccination Proof in Indoor Public Spaces
A number of aldermen wrote a letter to Chicago's top doctor Thursday, asking the city to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for those visiting public indoor settings including restaurants, bars, movie theaters and concert halls.
In support of their recommendation, the eight members of the Chicago City Council's Committee on Health and Human Relations cited the uncontrolled community transmission of the delta variant, the threat of new variants, approaching colder weather as well as free and readily available FDA-approved and emergency-authorized COVID-19 vaccines.
Read more here.
Where to Find Free Drive-Thru Walgreens COVID Testing Near Chicago
Walgreens is offering free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing at various locations across the Chicago area, as more businesses and venues require negative results for entry.
For people ages 3 and up, Walgreens provides contactless coronavirus testing at select locations around the city. The company noted pharmacies do not provide walk-in COVID testing. Rather, all testing is performed from the vehicle window.
To see a list of drive-thru locations nearby, click here and search your ZIP code.
For more on how to get tested, click here.
Delta Variant Caused More Severe Breakthrough Cases Than Expected in Midwest, Risk 10x Higher for Unvaxxed: CDC
A new CDC study out Friday provides what may be the most jolting evidence yet of the threat the highly contagious delta variant may pose to the fully vaccinated, particularly as it usurped every other COVID-19 strain to dominate American cases.
What's also clear though: That danger is magnified 10 times for people who aren't fully immunized against the virus, researchers found.
The health agency analyzed percentages of total cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status across 13 jurisdictions, including those in Indiana and Minnesota, between April 4 and July 17, which was when delta's U.S. prevalence soared from less than 1% of new weekly cases to 90% of new weekly cases.
Read more here.
More Than 100 COVID Outbreaks Reported in Illinois Schools
More than 100 coronavirus outbreaks have been reported at schools across Illinois, with several involving more than a dozen cases at educational institutions, according to statewide data.
The latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health show 128 outbreaks are active at Illinois schools as of Friday, including 14 in Cook County alone.
At Glenbrook Elementary School, an outbreak involving anywhere between 11 and 14 students has been reported, while another outbreak at St. Mary Catholic School, located in Mokena, involves between five and 10 cases.
At least 11 outbreaks have also been reported in Will County, including two involving more than five cases at Reed-Custer Elementary School and Eichelberger Elementary School.
Some of the worst outbreaks have been occurring in western and southern Illinois, including in several school districts in Macoupin County. Over 16 cases of the virus remain active at various schools across the area, according to officials.
Check which Illinois schools are reporting outbreaks here.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 26,062 New COVID Cases, 197 Deaths, 143K Vaccinations in the Past Week
Illinois health officials on Friday reported 26,062 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, along with 197 additional deaths and over 143,000 new vaccine doses administered.
In all, 1,564,386 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths reported this week bring the state to 24,261 confirmed COVID fatalities.
COVID by the Numbers: Coronavirus Metrics in Each of Illinois' 11 Health Care Regions
While several health care regions in Illinois are seeing improving positivity rates and ICU bed availability numbers, just about every region is still seeing increases in hospitalizations related to coronavirus.
According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, only two regions in the state have seen hospitalization numbers remain steady, or decrease, on at least seven of the preceding 10 days, one of the benchmarks regions previously had to hit in order to reduce COVID mitigations.
Moderna vs. Pfizer: Is One Vaccine Stronger Against Delta Variant?
With many now able to choose which COVID vaccine they receive, questions surrounding which offers better protection against the now-surging delta variant have spiked.
Several studies have been conducted to determine vaccine effectiveness, but is one vaccine actually better than the others?
According to medical experts, the three vaccines currently available in the U.S. each offer protection.
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