Illinois Department of Public Health community and mobile COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Sunday due to weather concerns as temperatures drop throughout the region.
Meanwhile, Illinois reported a milestone Saturday as the state's seven-day positivity rate fell below 3%, according to the latest data.
Here are the latest COVID-19 headlines from around the state:
COVID Vaccine Needed For Second Doses Will Outnumber First Doses in Coming Weeks: IDPH
Illinois health departments and vaccine providers will begin to receive larger quantities of the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine to accommodate for the growing need of second doses, state officials announced Saturday.
Beginning Monday, health departments will also receive less shares of first COVID-19 vaccine doses due to the federal government's limited quantity, the Illinois Department of Public Health explained.
"Based on federal projections of vaccine shipments, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) anticipates these allocations will hold steady for the next several weeks, before allocations of first doses can once again increase in March," IDPH said in a statement.
IDPH added that over the next several weeks, the ratio of first doses and second doses of the vaccine should begin to balance.
For more, click here.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,092 New Cases, 53 Deaths, Nearly 80K Vaccinations Reported Saturday
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,598 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday with 53 additional deaths attributed to the virus and nearly 80,000 doses of vaccine administered" the previous day.
According to the latest IDPH data, the new and probable coronavirus cases bring the statewide total to 1,160,523 since the pandemic began. The additional deaths bring the state to 19,926 during the pandemic.
In the last 24 hours, state laboratories have reported 84,990 new specimens for testing. The state’s seven-day rolling positivity rate for all COVID tests dropped to 2.9% and the positivity rate for individuals dropped to 3.6%.
There were 1,892 individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Illinois as of Saturday night, with 425 of those patients in intensive care units and 202 patients on ventilators.
According to IDPH data, a total of 2,125,375 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois and Chicago, with another 445,200 doses allocated to the federal government’s program to aid long-term care facilities in vaccinating staff and patients. That brings the total number of doses sent to Illinois to 2,570,575.
On Friday, 79,704 doses were administered, according to IDPH. The state has administered 1,724,187 total doses of the vaccine, including 238,075 at long-term care facilities.
IDPH Community, Mobile COVID Testing Sites Closed Sunday Due to Weather
All state-sponsored community and mobile COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Sunday "due to extreme winter weather," health officials announced.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said the state's free coronavirus testing locations will not be open Sunday as temperatures drop throughout the region.
Here's a list of where IDPH mobile testing sites are located:
- East St. Louis
- Harwood Heights
- Arlington Heights
- South Holland
- Chicago: Auburn Gresham
IDPH provides a list of other testing site locations, some of which are by appointment only and serving solely symptomatic patients. For more information on the sites, click here.
For a list of static testing sites in Chicago, primarily for people with high risk exposure and experiencing symptoms, click here.
IDPH and the City of Chicago have created community-based testing sites over the past several months, which are open to all regardless of symptoms, according to the website.
The City of Chicago noted that people not insured or do not have a state identification card can still receive a free COVID-19 test.
As temperatures drop throughout the Chicago area, a wind chill advisory was issued for parts of the region Saturday as "dangerous" cold send values as low as -30 degrees.
The advisory was issued for LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy and Livingston counties in Illinois, as well as Lake county in Indiana. It begins at 6 p.m. Saturday and continues through noon Sunday.
Illinois Plans to Expand Vaccine Eligibility in Phase 1B, But Will There Be Enough Supply?
Illinois is set to expand the list of people eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in Phase 1B of its rollout, but as the state struggles to vaccinate those already eligible under the current plan, how will it work?
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said supply has been steadily growing, but he also expressed optimism that another vaccine is nearing approval.
"This is something you know on top of the doses that we're receiving that are in the increase each week, we also are seeing on Feb. 26 that Johnson and Johnson's vaccine is going to come before the FDA, and there's a great deal of optimism that they'll get their emergency use authorization, and therefore we'll be able to begin to get those vaccines added on top of Pfizer and Moderna," Pritzker said. "Last thing is the federal government announced over the last 48 hours that new vaccine shipments are going. In addition to the ones coming to the States, they're actually going directly to the FQHCs [Federally Qualified Health Centers], and two pharmacies in Illinois. You heard yesterday that Walgreens will be getting an additional large amount of vaccine and that amount will be increasing, very helpful to all of us."
Read more here.
For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.
Illinois Reports First Case of South African COVID-19 Variant
Illinois reported the first case of the South African COVID-19 variant Thursday, health officials announced.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said the first case of the coronavirus variant B.1.351, first identified in South Africa, has been found in the state. The confirmed variant was located in a Rock Island resident, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
“We expected to see more cases of variants detected in Illinois, including the B.1.351 strain,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “These variants seem to spread more rapidly, which can lead to more cases of COVID-19 and even another surge. Our best path to defeating this virus as quickly as possible remains wearing our masks and getting vaccinated when it’s our turn.”
In the U.S., cases of the B.1.351 were first reported at the end of January, health officials said. Studies suggest the antibodies produced through the current COVID-19 vaccines recognize the variant, as well as offer "some protection."
"IDPH will continue to work with local health departments, academic partners, laboratories, and CDC to monitor for cases. IDPH has increased its surveillance for this and other variants using genomic sequence testing on an increased number of specimens," a release said.
Check How Your County's COVID Vaccination Data Compares to the State
As Illinois nears the end of the second week of COVID-19 vaccinations in Phase 1B, health officials have administered more than 1.5 million doses. Check the chart below to see how your county's vaccinations compare to the state.
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.
More Than 300 New COVID Vaccination Locations Open in Illinois
The state of Illinois added more than 300 new COVID-19 vaccination sites in the last day, health officials announced Thursday, with hundreds more Walgreens stores across the state and some CVS locations now administering vaccinations.
An additional 339 Walgreens locations in Illinois opened as vaccination sites since Wednesday, state officials said, as well as four CVS locations.
That brings the total number of vaccination sites in the state to 860.
You can find a full list of vaccination sites in Illinois here.