covid illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Chicago COVID Increase Similar to ‘Fall Surge', United Center ZIP Codes

Chicago's top doctor on Tuesday is expected to deliver an update on the city's COVID-19 data, vaccine distribution, including next phases, as well as the emergency travel order.

Meanwhile, eligible residents of now 17 ZIP codes in Chicago can register for a COVID vaccine appointment at the United Center mass vaccination site, which is opening a drive-thru option Tuesday.

And a new study showed the vast majority of so-called COVID-19 “long-haulers” have experienced four or more neurologic symptoms with battling the long-term effects of their infection.

Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

1,000 Illinois Inmates to Go Free Under Virus Suit: Attorney

About 1,000 Illinois inmates scheduled for release in the next nine months could soon be set free as part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit filed last spring amid a growing COVID-19 health crisis in state lockups, a lawyer involved in the case said Tuesday.

The settlement calls for the release of low- to medium-risk inmates who are within nine months of their release date and are eligible for certain good-time credits, according to a court document filed Tuesday. The Illinois Department of Corrections agreed to “use its best efforts” to process the awards within the next month, the document states.

Attorney Sheila Bedi said the settlement applies to about 1,000 inmates. She also said she believes thousands more inmates should be released.

Read more here.

Arwady: Multiple COVID Outbreaks Traced Back to Sporting Events in Chicago

As coronavirus cases inch upward in the city of Chicago, CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says that there have been at least seven COVID outbreaks or clusters related to sporting events in recent weeks.

According to Arwady, as many as seven outbreaks have been identified by the health department, and some of the cases are occurring in younger residents.

“We are continuing to see clusters and outbreaks in Chicago, and a lot of those are in younger Chicagoans, which is no surprise,” she said.

According to Arwady, there have been at least seven different sports-related clusters of coronavirus cases in the city of Chicago. Those outbreaks ranged from four to 17 new COVID cases apiece, according to Arwady, and impacted sports at the high school, college, and adult recreational levels.

Arwady says that two of the outbreaks occurred in connection to football games, while two others occurred around basketball events. Clusters were also reported as a result of swim meets, hockey games and softball games.

Read more here.

Chicago Officials ‘Having to Swat Down Rumors' About United Center Vaccine Eligibility, Top Doctor Says

Chicago's top doctor said Tuesday that city officials "continue having to swat down rumors" about eligibility for the United Center's mass vaccination site.

"Nothing has changed related to eligibility at the United Center," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a news conference. "I know there were things again circulating on social media saying you should take this code and use it because the city wants anybody to sign up. That is not true."

Seniors age 65 and up who live anywhere in Chicago as well residents who live in one of 17 "vulnerable, under-vaccinated ZIP codes" and have underlying conditions are currently eligible to get vaccinated at the United Center.

Those ZIP codes are: 60608, 60609, 60619, 60620, 60621, 60623, 60624, 60628, 60629, 60632, 60636, 60639, 60644, 60649, 60651, 60652,  60653.

Read more here.

Chicago Set to Begin Phase 1C of COVID Vaccinations Next Monday, Officials Say

Chicago is set to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to residents in Phase 1C next Monday, according to the city's top doctor.

As part of the city's previously announced plan, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said residents in Phase 1C can begin scheduling coronavirus vaccinations next Monday.

"We are moving to 1C exactly on schedule," Arwady said in a press conference on Tuesday.

After moving through vaccinations in Phase 1C, Arwady had initially announced Phase 2, which incudes all Chicagoans, would begin May 29. However, she announced that date will likely move up to May 1, depending on the amount of vaccines the city receives.

President Joe Biden said earlier this month that he wanted all adults in the U.S. to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, which would be considered Chicago's Phase 2.

Read more here.

Rising Chicago COVID Metrics Reminiscent of Last Fall Surge, Doc Says

Illinois and Chicago health officials have expressed concern over a recent increase in coronavirus metrics that could signal another potential spike in the city and state.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the current trends in city metrics, many of which have risen in recent weeks particularly in young adult populations, are similar to the trends seen ahead of the fall surge that led to coronavirus mitigations across the city and state.

"Unfortunately, these sorts of increases are just what we were seeing in October as we were starting to see the beginnings of what became our huge surge," Arwady said during a coronavirus update Tuesday. "It was really the same case rates and younger adults that started this."

The city's positivity rate sat at 3.2% Tuesday, remaining in the low-risk category, but marking an increase from a recent low of 2.7%, Arwady said.

"Seeing that go up about a half a percentage point over the last, you know, week and a half to two weeks is not progress," she said during an earlier Facebook Live Tuesday.

Even more concerning, she said, is that case counts in the city are also starting to rise, with a current average of 350 cases per day, compared to 285 one week earlier.

"Sometimes people ask, isn't it just that you're doing more testing? No, because if it were just testing, we would see testing up 23% and cases up 23%. This is a true increase," Arwady said.

Arwady: Multiple COVID Outbreaks Traced Back to Sporting Events in Chicago

As coronavirus cases inch upward in the city of Chicago, CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says that there have been at least seven COVID outbreaks or clusters related to sporting events in recent weeks.

According to Arwady, as many as seven outbreaks have been identified by the health department, and some of the cases are occurring in younger residents.

“We are continuing to see clusters and outbreaks in Chicago, and a lot of those are in younger Chicagoans, which is no surprise,” she said.

According to Arwady, there have been at least seven different sports-related clusters of coronavirus cases in the city of Chicago. Those outbreaks ranged from four to 17 new COVID cases apiece, according to Arwady, and impacted sports at the high school, college, and adult recreational levels.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady discusses a recent increase in coronavirus cases in Chicago, as well as several outbreaks linked to sporting events in the city.

Chicago Travel Order Update: 26 States Now on List Requiring Quarantine or Negative COVID Test

Chicago updated its emergency travel order on Tuesday, moving multiple states between the yellow and orange tiers that dictate guidelines for 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 includes 26 states, while the lesser yellow tier now includes 23 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Which tier states are in depends on case rate adjusted for population.

Read more here.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 1,832 New COVID Cases, 13 Deaths, 70K Vaccinations

Health officials in Illinois on Tuesday reported 1,832 new coronavirus cases and 13 additional deaths, along with more than 70,000 vaccinations in the past 24 hours.

According to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the 1,832 new confirmed and probable COVID cases reported in the last day brought the state’s total to 1,224,915 cases since the pandemic began last year.

The 13 new deaths lifted the state's death toll to 21,116 fatalities related to the virus, according to health officials.

Read more here.

Eligible Residents of These 17 Chicago ZIP Codes Can Get Vaccinated at the United Center

Residents of now 17 ZIP codes in Chicago can register for a COVID vaccine appointment at the United Center mass vaccination site.

Limited appointments for the site are currently only open to seniors age 65 and up as well as residents of "vulnerable, under-vaccinated ZIP codes" who have underlying conditions, the city says. Those ZIP codes are: 60608, 60609, 60619, 60620, 60621, 60623, 60624, 60628, 60629, 60632, 60636, 60639, 60644, 60649, 60651, 60652,  60653.

Residents of those ZIP codes can book appointments by calling (312) 746-4835 between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Targeted outreach is also being done in those communities to help register residents, per the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Read more here.

Study: 85% of COVID Long-Haulers Experience 4 or More Neurologic Symptoms

Approximately 85% of so-called COVID-19 “long-haulers” have experienced four or more neurologic symptoms while contending with the long-term impacts of contracting the coronavirus, according to a new study by Northwestern Medicine.

Northwestern physicians interviewed “long-haulers,” defined as individuals who have had COVID-19 symptoms for six or more weeks, the hospital system said Tuesday in a statement announcing the results of what it said was the first such study.

The neurologic symptoms “impacted their quality of life, and in some patients, their cognitive abilities,” according to Northwestern.

Physicians said 85% of patients reported feeling frequent fatigue, with another 47% reporting depression or anxiety while going through their fight with the disease. Another 46% reported feeling shortness of breath, while 37% reported having chest pain.

Read more here.

Rep. La Shawn Ford Resigns From Loretto Hospital Board Over Vaccine Controversy

Illinois State Rep. La Shawn Ford resigned from his position on the Loretto Hospital board this week saying he "strongly disagreed" with how the hospital's leadership was reprimanded in the midst of a vaccine controversy.

“I am very disappointed with the recent developments at The Loretto Hospital regarding its use of coronavirus vaccine entrusted to the hospital," Ford said in a statement Tuesday. "Yesterday, I submitted my resignation to The Loretto Hospital’s Board Chairman Edward Hogan because I strongly disagreed with how the reprimand of the hospital leadership was handled."

Multiple officials at Chicago’s Loretto Hospital have received reprimands, but are expected to retain their positions after several instances in which coronavirus vaccines were purportedly given to individuals with connections to the hospital’s board, as first reported by Block Club Chicago.

Read more here.

United Center to Open Drive-Thru Vaccination Site Tuesday

Beginning Tuesday, a drive-thru vaccination will open at Chicago's United Center mass vaccination clinic.

Currently, the facility has been used only for walk-up appointments, but Tuesday will mark the start of a drive-up service.

Vaccinations began March 9 at the United Center in Chicago, though the opening has been marked by confusion and frustration as eligibility guidelines shifted.

Read more here.

When Can You Get the COVID Vaccine in Illinois? Here's a Breakdown

When can you get the COVID vaccine in Illinois? The answer is: it depends. While Illinois is expanding its eligibility guidelines, Chicago is on its own plan.

Eligibility will expand to all residents over the age of 16 outside of Chicago in April, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced. But some people are already eligible or will become eligible before then.

Here's a look at who is eligible to get the vaccine now and who will become eligible in the coming weeks.

Looking for a COVID Vaccine Appointment in Illinois? Here's a List of Places to Check

With both Illinois and Chicago opening vaccinations to millions of residents under varying guidelines, many are wondering where they can get vaccinated and how they schedule an appointment.

There are several ways eligible residents will be able to get vaccinated, but state officials have urged patience as doses continue to trail demand.

Click here for a breakdown of where you can get vaccinated and how to get an appointment, when available.

Illinois ‘Rapidly' Moving Toward New Bridge Phase of COVID Reopening Plan, Pritzker Says

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that Illinois is moving "rapidly" toward the "Bridge Phase" of the state's reopening plan, on track to potentially move into the new phase within days.

Pritzker unveiled the Bridge Phase last week, announcing new metrics and guidelines that will allow for higher capacity limits at places like museums, zoos and spectator events as well as increased business operations during a transitional period between the current Phase 4 and before a full reopening in Phase 5.

In order to reach the Bridge Phase, 70% of residents 65 and older statewide must have received their first dose of the vaccine, with no increase in COVID-19 metrics like hospital admissions and more.

Pritzker said Monday that about 64% of the senior population in Illinois has been vaccinated.

"We're at about 64% of our 65 and older population getting vaccinated. We'll be moving to the Bridge Phase when we get to 70% and I think you've seen that we're adding about 1% of the 65 and over population every day," Pritzker said. "So rapidly we're moving toward the next phase."

Read more, including what changes between Phase 4 and the Bridge Phase, here.

Illinois COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expands to More Essential Workers: Here's Who and When

Some essential workers who were not previously eligible under Illinois' Phase 1B Plus guidelines now qualify for the COVID vaccine beginning Monday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Friday that Illinois will expand eligibility beginning Monday to higher education staff, government workers, and media. Then, beginning March 29, food and beverage workers, construction trade workers, and religious leaders will be eligible for the vaccine.

Here's a look at the full schedule of vaccine eligibility.

Illinois Vaccinations

Note: For COVID-19, the herd-immunity threshold is estimated to be between 60 and 90 percent. Our analysis considers herd immunity reached at 75% of the population fully vaccinated based on estimates by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

 

Forest Park Vaccine Site Opens Friday: What You Need to Know

Cook County is launching its fifth mass COVID vaccination site in suburban Forest Park, open to all eligible Illinois residents. The site opens to the public on Friday and is located at the former HOBO at 7600 West Roosevelt Road in Forest Park.

Read more here.

Cook County Moves Into Phase 1B Plus of COVID Vaccinations

Cook County moved to Phase 1B Plus of its COVID vaccinations on Monday, expanding eligibility to residents 16 years of age or older with specific health conditions.

All vaccine providers in suburban Cook County have been asked to move to Phase 1B Plus beginning Monday, as have the state-supported mass vaccination sites in the area. Those sites are:

  • The Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Drive
  • South Suburban College, 15800 State St. in South Holland
  • Triton College, 2000 5th Ave. in River Grove
  • A former K-Mart at 1155 E Oakton St in Des Plaines

Those mass vaccination sites were previously only administering vaccine allocated for Cook County, but CCDPH said that beginning this week, they will receive additional vaccine supply to enable the sites to serve all eligible Illinois residents.

Registration in the future can be made on the Cook County vaccine website or by calling the county's hotline at (833) 308-1988 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Read more here.

Illinois COVID Vaccine Eligibility Will Expand to All Adults Outside Chicago in April, Pritzker Says

Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will expand to all Illinois residents over the age of 16, except for those in the city of Chicago, beginning on April 12, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.

"At that date, all state-supported mass vaccination sites, local health departments, pharmacy partners – in short, every jurisdiction that receives vaccine from the State of Illinois’ allocation – will be instructed to move to widespread eligibility," Pritzker's office said in a statement.

All vaccinations will remain by appointment only, officials said, noting that "making an appointment to receive a shot may take time."

Pritzker's office also noted that residents who are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine cannot yet schedule an appointment for a future date, asking for patience in the days and weeks after April 12 as appointments "may be limited."

Read more here.

Are You Eligible? Here's Who Qualifies for COVID Vaccine Under Chicago's Phase 1C

As Chicago prepares to expand vaccine eligibility to more residents as it moves to Phase 1C later this month, who will become eligible?

Phase 1C, set to begin on March 29, will include those with underlying health conditions and essential workers like restaurant employees, those in personal care services, retail workers and more, officials announced Wednesday.

But the list of underlying conditions is not the same as the one being used for the state's Phase 1B Plus. Vaccinations at city-run sites will also be limited to city residents only.

For a full list of who is eligible in Chicago's Phase 1C, click here.

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