coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Some CPS Students Return, Chicago Extends Stay-at-Home Advisory

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The first round of Chicago Public Schools students will return to classrooms on Monday as part of the district's plan for all students to eventually return to in-person instruction as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Meanwhile, the city of Chicago extended its stay-at-home advisory through Jan. 22, city officials announced Sunday.

Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across the state of Illinois today, Jan. 11:

‘It Will be the Dominant Strain:' Illinois' Top Doctor Warns of New UK COVID-19 Strain

While the new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 that was first identified in the United Kingdom hasn't been officially reported in Illinois, the state's top doctor said Monday the strain is likely already present and could become dominant in just months.

At a news conference alongside Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the state's Department of Public Health, warned of more infectious spread as early as March, which is when she said the majority of COVID-19 cases could be from the new variant.

The British variant was first detected in September, World Health Organization officials previously announced. Since then, cases have skyrocketed across the U.K., resulting in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to impose a national lockdown.

Unlike when the virus first surfaced in the U.K., Ezike said, Illinois officials are aware the new strain "is brewing."

"Therefore we have the opportunity to use that information and make better choices around the mitigation...around avoiding gatherings so that we can get as many people vaccinated...before this variant inevitably takes over," she warned.

Ezike emphasized that the strain hasn't been identified, because it's probably circulating at such low numbers. In Indiana, health officials there confirmed the existence of the strain Monday.

Pritzker to Announce This Week When Illinois Will Move to Phase 1B for Vaccinations

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to announce this week when Illinois will enter Phase 1B of its coronavirus vaccine rollout, though some areas may already be allowed to do so.

"I expect to make a formal announcement later this week on when Illinois
will move into Phase 1B on a statewide basis," Pritzker said during his coronavirus update Monday. "Of course, anyone in Phase 1A who has chosen not to get vaccinated yet will always be able to opt in during any subsequent round – this is about leaving no vaccine sitting on the shelves as we move forward."

So far, 587,900 total doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been delivered to Illinois, 478,175 doses have been sent to public and private healthcare providers outside of Chicago and 109,725 doses have gone to providers in Chicago.

Illinois as a whole has administered approximately 334,939 vaccine doses as of Sunday night.

"We are making important progress in Phase 1A and I appreciate the hard work of healthcare providers across the state to move as quickly through this phase as possible," Pritzker said. "In some communities, they’ve even been able to substantially complete Phase 1A. IDPH is allowing any local health department in that position to move into the early stages of Phase 1B because we want to make sure any available vaccine is administered quickly to the priority groups we’ve laid out."

Read more here.

Pritzker Lays Out Criteria for Healthcare Regions to Move Forward From Tier 3 COVID-19 Mitigations

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday that healthcare regions who meet specific criteria can roll back from Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions beginning Friday, Jan. 15.

All 11 healthcare regions in the state have been under Tier 3 mitigation rules since late November, which include reductions in capacity at businesses and a variety of other restrictions.

Beginning Friday, the governor says that regions can begin to move forward to Tier 2 mitigations if they adhere to three different statistical criteria beginning later this week.

Pritzker says that three key metrics must be met in order for a region to move forward from Tier 3 mitigations:

-A seven-day positivity rate of 12% or lower for three consecutive days.

-An availability of 20% or greater of staffed ICU and general hospital beds for three consecutive days.

-A decline in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on seven days in a 10-day span.

Illinois Officials Report 4,776 New Coronavirus Cases, 53 Additional Deaths Monday

Illinois health officials have reported 4,776 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in the state over the last 24 hours, along with 53 additional deaths attributed to the virus.

According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Monday's new cases bring the state to 1,033,526 confirmed and probable cases of the virus since the pandemic began, along with 17,627 deaths.

Another 1,736 deaths have been classified as “probable” COVID-19 fatalities, according to IDPH officials.

Over the last 24 hours, 66,697 new test results have been returned to state laboratories, bringing the statewide testing total to 14,169,986.

According to a press release from IDPH, the preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate on all tests performed dropped to 7.6%, while the positivity rate on unique individuals tested now stands at 8.9% during that time.

Hospitalizations increased slightly Monday, with 3,540 patients currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. Of those patients, 759 are currently in intensive care units, while 401 are on ventilators.

Chicago Bulls' Game Against Celtics at United Center Postponed, NBA Announces

The Chicago Bulls' game against the Boston Celtics at the United Center Tuesday has been postponed, the NBA announced Monday.

The Bulls' game, along with Monday's Pelican-Mavericks matchup at the American Airlines Arena, were being postponed "in accordance with the league's Health and Safety protocols," the league said.

Further details on the postponement weren't immediately available, but according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics would not have enough players for the game if it were played.

"The NBA and NBPA will be meeting today about modifying the league’s Health and Safety Protocols," the league said in a release.

A new date for the game was not immediately released.

Some Regions May be Allowed to Lift Tier 3 Restrictions Beginning This Week

Some Illinois regions could begin lifting Tier 3 restrictions as early as this week if they've met the right metrics, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The governor did not give a specific day in which a decision on lifting mitigations would be announced, but he said last week that the earliest regions could leave Tier 3 would be Jan. 15. He is expected to deliver a coronavirus update Monday afternoon. (Watch it live here)

"I’m cautiously optimistic as there are some early signs indicating that some regions have made real progress and won’t reverse that progress this week or next," Pritzker said last week. "So on Jan. 15, exactly one incubation period from New Year’s Day, any region that has met the metrics for a reduction of mitigations will be able to move out of Tier Three of our mitigation plan."

Lightfoot Explains Why Chicago's Stay-at-Home Advisory Was Extended

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot extended the city's stay-at-home advisory to remain "aligned" with state guidance, she said Monday.

The city's stay-at-home advisory was extended through Jan. 22 as the coronavirus pandemic continues, officials announced Sunday.

"We extended it to make sure that it was aligned with I think what the state was doing, but we are making significant progress," Lightfoot said during an unrelated press event Monday. "We have been coming back down even through Thanksgiving and then Christmas and New Year's so we are making steady progress overall so the advisory is really about making sure that we're doing everything that we can to give people the best information."

Lightfoot noted that while some questioned why the order's extension came at the same time Chicago Public Schools began bringing some students back to classrooms, anyone attending school or leaving for essential purposes, including teaching, was exempt "from the very beginning."

Chicago's top doctor echoed that claim.

"We specifically say people who are going to work who are going to school or who are performing other essential activities should continue to do so," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said, adding that the city continues to make "very good progress."

Which Illinois Regions Are Currently Meeting the Metrics to Lift Tier 3 Mitigations?

Several health care regions in Illinois may be on track to roll back Tier 3 coronavirus mitigation rules in the coming days.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced last week that regions may be allowed to move forward from Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions beginning this week, if they meet the required metrics.

The governor did not give a specific day in which a decision on lifting mitigations would be announced, but he said last week that the earliest regions could leave Tier 3 would be Jan. 15. He is expected to deliver a coronavirus update Monday afternoon. (Watch it live here)

In order for a region to move forward from Tier 3 restrictions, they must hit four key metrics. They must have a positivity rate of 12% or lower for three consecutive days, hospital and ICU bed availability of greater than 20% for three consecutive days, and they must report decreases in hospitalizations on seven of the 10 preceding days.

As of Monday morning, three regions were meeting those requirements.

Those regions include Region 2, which is located in west-central Illinois and includes LaSalle, Kendall and Grundy counties in the Chicago area; Region 3 in western Illinois, which includes Springfield; and Region 7, which is made up of Will and Kankakee counties.

Here is a look at where each region stands as of Monday morning.

Gov. Pritzker to Give COVID-19 Update at 2:30 p.m.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is set to deliver an update on the state's coronavirus response Monday, days before regions can begin lifting Tier 3 restrictions if they meet certain criteria.

Pritzker is expected to speak at 2:30 p.m. from the governor's office at he Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, according to his public schedule. (Watch live in the player above)

The briefing comes after Pritzker last week announced that Illinois' 11 regions can begin lifting Tier 3 restrictions as early as on Jan. 15, provided that the region has met the metrics required to loosen the guidelines.

Also last week, Pritzker announced the state's plan for the next phase of its coronavirus vaccine rollout.

First Round of Chicago Public Schools Students Return to Classrooms Monday

The first round of Chicago Public Schools students returned to classrooms on Monday as part of the district's plan for all students to eventually return to in-person instruction as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

"What this all boils down to is giving families the option to make the best decision for themselves," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday, noting 77,000 families have indicated to CPS they want their children to return to the classroom. "Many of whom rely upon their school communities to make sure that their children get a warm meal and a safe place to be so they can fulfill their God-given talents."

Pre-kindergarten and cluster program students returned to classrooms for the first time since March of last year, according to the district's phased reopening plan.

Staff members for kindergarten through eighth grades will be back in school buildings on Monday, Jan. 25, followed by their students the next Monday, Feb. 1, per the district's plan. No date has been set for high school students, who are expected to continue with remote learning under the district's reopening plan.

Read more here.

Chicago Stay-at-Home Advisory Extended to Jan. 22

The city of Chicago extended its stay-at-home advisory through Jan. 22 as the coronavirus pandemic continues, city officials announced Sunday.

In mid-November, Chicago issued the advisory in response to the second surge of the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure, which was issued among other restrictions, "calls on all Chicagoans to follow clear measures to protect their community and help us flatten the curve."

According to the city, "residents are strongly advised to adhere to the advisory."

Read more here.

Contact Us