Could children under 12 soon be able to get the coronavirus vaccine?
Plus, Chicago's travel advisory has been updated to include every U.S. state, but two are nearing removal from the city's list.
Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
How to Track COVID Outbreaks in Illinois Schools
As many schools head back to classrooms this fall, health experts say coronavirus cases are expected, but how can you track whether an outbreak has been reported and where?
While some schools offer case trackers of their own, Illinois' health department releases data each week showing COVID outbreaks from the previous 30 days at schools across the state.
According to the health department, outbreak information is reported once an investigation is considered complete. An outbreak is defined as "those that have been identified by the local health department to have two or more COVID-19 cases who may have a shared exposure on school grounds and are from different households."
The data is released every Friday by public health officials.
Read more here.
Coronavirus by the Numbers: Nearly 63% of Eligible Illinois Residents Now Fully Vaccinated
After seeing a brief spike in vaccinations amid a surge in COVID cases caused by the delta variant, Illinois is seeing its average number of daily vaccinations continue to decline in recent weeks.
According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state has averaged 21,251 administered doses of the COVID vaccine per day over the last seven days. That is just about half of the nearly 41,000 daily doses administered over a seven-day period in mid-August, according to IDPH data.
As of Wednesday, 62.65% of the state’s residents age 12 and older, those eligible for the Pfizer COVID vaccine, have been vaccinated. In all, 68.19% of the state’s 12 and older population, or 7,416,938 residents, have been given at least one dose of the vaccine.
Those numbers are slightly higher when examining those residents who are 18 and older.
After 26-Year-Old Man Dies From Virus, Girlfriend Advocates For COVID Vaccine
After her long-time 26-year-old boyfriend died of COVID-19, Lounaeha Young decided to get the vaccine in his honor and tell their story.
"We look at pictures. We look at videos every day and he just point and says 'that's my daddy,'" Young said of her 3-year-old son Legend, remembering his father, Solomon Deloach.
The 26-year-old father was diagnosed with COVID in late July and passed away four days after entering the hospital. Young said Deloach was not vaccinated against the virus and had underlying health conditions.
"I never knew that at 26, someone that I planned to spend the rest of my life is no longer here," Young said. "I would never have thought that, ever."
Read their story here.
Study Data on COVID Vaccine for Children Under 12 Could be Released Next Month, Doctors Say
With clinical trials underway to determine the safety of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for children under the age of 12, doctors say that data could be released next month that could pave the way for emergency use authorizations for the treatments later this year.
A doctor supervising the Moderna clinical trial at Chicago's Lurie Children’s Hospital says he expects authorization could come this fall for kids age five to 11, and by the end of the year for younger children.
Both Moderna and Pfizer have clinical trials underway for their coronavirus vaccines for kids under the ages of 12 that have been going on for months. According to a Pfizer spokesperson, Phases 2 and 3 of their clinical studies were launched in June, testing the vaccine on children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years old.
Read more here.
AMITA Hospital Targeted with ‘Hundreds' of Emails, Calls After Denying Patient Controversial Drug
AMITA Health confirmed that staff at Resurrection Medical Center in Norwood Park have received "hundreds of phone calls and emails associated with one patient's care."
That patient, according to her husband, is Veronica Wolski, whom Lawrence Wolski told NBC 5 is hospitalized with COVID-19.
Wolski is known for documenting her demonstrations on a bridge over the Kennedy Expressway on YouTube. She is vocal about her beliefs against the coronavirus vaccine and wearing masks.
According to her husband and supporters on various social media platforms, Wolski has requested to be treated with the controversial drug, ivermectin.
Read more here.
WATCH: Should You Space Out Your Flu Shot and COVID-19 Vaccine? Chicago's Top Doctor Says No
Allergies or COVID? What to Know About Your Symptoms and When to Get Tested
With cases of the delta coronavirus variant sparking surges across the country and fall allergy season beginning, it might be hard to distinguish whether that runny nose is from pollen or something more.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, allergies, colds and coronavirus overlap in some symptoms, like the potential for a cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, fatigue, headaches, a sore throat and congestion.
Symptoms more associated with coronavirus include fever, muscle and body aches, loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
Chicago health officials say it can be difficult to tell whether symptoms are related to seasonal allergies, a common cold or the coronavirus, but getting tested is one way to find out. That includes people who have been vaccinated for coronavirus, experts say.
Read more here.
Chicago Sky to Require Negative COVID Test or Proof of Vaccination to Attend Games
The Chicago Sky announced Wednesday that all fans attending games at Wintrust Arena will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result beginning with Friday’s game against the Las Vegas Aces.
The announcement was made on social media Wednesday afternoon.
“By implementing these measures, we are aligning ourselves with other large venues to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” the team said in a statement. “We are committed to keeping our fans as safe as possible to ensure that your gameday experience is a safe and enjoyable one.”
In addition to the new requirement, Sky fans will also be required to wear masks at home games beginning with Friday’s game.
Read more here.
All US States Now on Chicago's Travel Advisory, City Announces
Every U.S. state is now on Chicago's travel advisory, officials announced Wednesday, as Vermont became the final state to be added to the city's list.
The travel advisory was set for an update on Tuesday, but metrics were delayed due to the long Labor Day weekend.
States are added to the advisory's "orange list" when COVID metrics rise above the threshold of 15 cases per day per 100,000 people. Any below that mark are on the "yellow" list, with public health officials still warning against non-essential travel.
Two states – New Hampshire and Connecticut – as well as the District of Columbia, saw their case rates fall below that threshold as of Wednesday, but they were not yet removed from the orange list on the city's advisory.
More Chicago Businesses Cited for Violating City's Indoor Mask Mandate: Officials
Several Chicago businesses were cited for violating the city's indoor mask mandate so far this month, officials said Tuesday.
According to Chicago Mayor Lori Lighftoot's office, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) issued one "notice to correct" and 10 citations to businesses between Sept. 2 and Sept. 5.
The city's new indoor mask mandate took effect on Aug. 20. A similar mandate is also in place for the entire state.
Read more here.
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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