coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: School Mask Mandate Ruling, New CDC Booster Guidance

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

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Responses from school districts across the state have varied following a judge's ruling on mask mandates, with some choosing to cancel classes, others turning to remote learning and some lifting mandates for now.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidance on booster shots for people who are immunocompromised.

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

Ruling on Illinois School Mask Mandate Lawsuit: What to Know So Far

A downstate Illinois judge made a ruling late last week that effectively prohibits a statewide mask requirement in schools, sparking plenty of confusion from school districts across the state.

So what does it mean, how are schools responding and what's next?

Here's what we know so far.

CDC Guidance Shortens Time Between 3rd COVID Vaccine Dose, Booster for Immunocompromised Patients

According to revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recommended wait time between booster shot does for “moderately-to-severely” immunocompromised patients has been shortened from five months to three months.

The new recommendation, released during a meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization on Friday, is aiming to “clarify” the booster schedule for patients with underlying conditions that make them immunocompromised.

Currently, those patients are scheduled to receive three doses, rather than two, of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID vaccine. Those patients were then slated to receive a booster dose at least five months after that third dose.

Under the new guidance, those patients should now receive a booster dose at least three months after the third dose of their mRNA COVID vaccine, the CDC says.

Read more here.

What If You Test Positive for COVID After Quarantining? Here's What Health Officials Say

If you test positive for COVID-19 after quarantining and no longer showing symptoms, do you still have to remain in isolation?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person is encouraged, but not required to take a coronavirus test after quarantining for five days post-diagnosis.

After five full days, a person can end the isolation period should they be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved, the CDC wrote online.

However, the CDC said the best approach would be to find an antigen test towards the end of the five-day isolation period.

Read more here.

Illinois to Appeal Restraining Order Issued in School Mask Mandate Suit, Pritzker Says

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday asked that the state Attorney General's office immediately appeal a decision by a downstate judge to implement a restraining order barring schools from enforcing mask mandates, school exclusion protocols and COVID-19 testing requirements.

The governor's office issued a news release in which he referred to Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischow's decision as "misguided," saying schools may be forced to go remote if they don't have proper tools to keep students and staff safe.

Read more here.

Exclusive: Dr. Fauci Weighs in on Illinois' COVID Metrics, Masks and More

As Chicago and Illinois' COVID-19 metrics plummet, the doctor leading America's war against the virus sees signs for hope. Dr. Anthony Fauci shared his message for Illinois residents in an exclusive interview NBC 5’s Phil Rogers.

As Chicago and Illinois' COVID-19 metrics plummet from their all-time peaks just weeks ago, the doctor leading America's war against the virus sees signs for hope.

"Illinois is actually doing well," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview Friday. "The upper northeast and the Midwest, represented by Chicago and Illinois, are doing better in general than the rest of the country."

For more on the interview with NBC 5's Phil Rogers, click here.

As Metrics Improve, Will Illinois' Mask Mandate End Soon? Here's What Pritzker Says

The state of Illinois has seen decreases in COVID cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations in recent weeks, leading some to wonder if mitigations will be rolled back anytime in the near future.

Specifically, questions have emerged regarding the future of the statewide mask mandate and how much longer it will remain in effect.

Illinois is one of nine states where masks are currently required at indoor public places regardless of one's vaccination status.

As metrics have improved amid a decline in omicron variant-fueled cases, Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed changes may be coming to the state's mask mandate.

Read more here.

Chicago Could Lift Vaccine Requirement ‘Not That Long From Now' If Downward Trends Continue: Arwady

Chicago's vaccine mandate in place at bars, restaurants and gyms could be lifted "not that long from now" should the city continue to see COVID-19 metrics trending downward, according to Chicago's top doctor.

As the city sees coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations quickly decreasing, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook live event Thursday that she hears people asking when the vaccine requirement could be removed.

"Not next week, I will tell you that," Arwady said. "But if we continue to see the drops like we've been dropping, it would not be that long from now, I think."

Read more here.

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