coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: U of I COVID Policy, How Long Are You Contagious

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

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How long are you contagious if you contract COVID, particularly as the highly contagious omicron subvariant BA.5 continues to grow in dominance?

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

How Long Are You Contagious With COVID and When Are You Most Likely to Spread It?

For those who contract COVID, particularly with the spread of the ultra-transmissible BA.5 omicron subvariant, it's not just while you're experiencing symptoms that you can be contagious, experts say. In fact, the now-dominant variant may even be keeping people positive for longer.

The latest guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends people who contract COVID-19 isolate for at least five days, followed by five days of strict mask use.

Despite the length of positivity and the contagiousness of the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said she doesn't anticipate changes to isolation or quarantine protocols. She did note, however, some people are staying positive longer.

Read more here.

President Biden Tests Negative for COVID and Will End Strict Quarantine

President Joe Biden has tested negative for Covid-19 twice since Tuesday night and will end strict isolation measures he had been following since contracting the coronavirus last week, the White House physician said in a new letter.

That letter was made public as the White House announced that Biden would give remarks in the Rose Garden at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. The announcement did not reveal what he would be speaking about.

Read more here.

University of Illinois Will Still Require COVID Vaccinations or Weekly Testing at Its Campuses, School Says

The University of Illinois says that its three locations will continue to require students and faculty to provide proof of COVID vaccination, despite a policy change from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration that removed a requirement for institutions of higher learning to implement such mandates.

The announcement was made by the university on Tuesday morning, with President Tim Killeen sending out a letter to students and faculty.

Read more here.

Ahead of Lollapalooza, City of Chicago Reminds of COVID-19 Precautions at Large Gatherings

Outdoor celebrations and social gatherings are a large part of summer, including this year, even though COVID-19 concerns remain. With the presence of two more contagious omicron subvariants, extra measures are encouraged to slow the spread of COVID-19, while also making sure people still enjoy time outdoors.

And with preparations underway for Lollapalooza, Chicago's largest summer festival, the city's Department of Public Health Monday tweeted a series of reminders to encourage COVID-19 safety.

Read more here.

When Are You No Longer Contagious With COVID? Here's What Doctors Say

The latest guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends people who contract COVID-19 isolate for at least five days, followed by five days of strict mask use.

As new more contagious omicron subvariants account for a rising number of cases nationwide, some are wondering if infections last longer and if you're contagious for a greater period of time.

Read more here.

CDPH Issues Warning as Cook County Stays at ‘High' COVID Level for Another Week

With Cook County at "high" community level for COVID-19 for another week, Chicago health officials issued a travel warning late Friday afternoon.

"Cook County is again in the High COVID-19 Community Level today, based on CDC national metrics. If you are traveling, be aware of the current spread and take the proper precautions," Chicago Department of Public Health said in a tweet Friday.

Read more here.

How Accurate Are At-Home COVID Tests With BA.5? Chicago's Top Doc Explains

As the BA.5 omicron subvariant, COVID's most contagious variant yet, continues to spread and more people look to test after exposure, how reliable are the at-home COVID tests with the latest strain?

Chicago's top doctor said that while the tests are reliable, some people may need more than one before they get a positive result.

Read more here.

Long COVID in Kids: 1 in 10 Children Hospitalized With COVID-19 Develop Long-term Symptoms, Study Reveals

While most people who contract COVID-19 only develop mild or moderate symptoms, some can experience lingering effects for months, and that includes children, too.

A study conducted by Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, the University of California Davis School of Medicine and the University of Calgary found nearly 10% of hospitalized children reported symptoms of long COVID in the months after first contracting COVID. A post-COVID condition, long COVID is defined as symptoms that persist or return three months after an initial infection, according to the World Health Organization.

Read more here.

How Long Do You Have to Quarantine? Chicago's Top Doc Weighs in on Guidance as BA.5 Spreads

With new, more contagious omicron subvariants spreading across the U.S., more people are asking for clarity on quarantine and isolation guidance should they be exposed to or test positive for COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guidance on quarantine and isolation has remained unchanged since March.

Read more here.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 32K New Cases, 52 Deaths in Last Week; 58 Counties Now at High Alert Level

Illinois health officials reported 32,268 new coronavirus cases over the past week, along with 52 additional deaths, marking slight increases in both metrics from seven days prior as 58 counties across the state are at a "high" community level of COVID-19.

The previous week, the state reported 33,066 new cases, 59 deaths and again 50 counties at "high" community level.

The week before that, the state reported 27,543 new cases and 28 deaths.

Read more here.

COVID or Allergies? Here's the Difference in Symptoms as ‘High' Allergy Counts Reported in Chicago

With allergy counts rising in the middle of summer and new COVID-19 variants taking over, more people are asking whether their cough and runny nose are allergies or the virus.

Currently, the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants account for most reported cases this summer.

Meanwhile, Loyola Medicine's Allergy Count is updated each weekday morning during allergy season by allergist Dr. Rachna Shah, according to the Twitter account.

Read more here.

Will Mask Mandates Return Amid Increasing COVID Cases? Chicago's Top Doctor Weighs In

As the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois see some upward movement in new COVID cases, health officials say they are not looking to reinstitute mitigations, including mask mandates, at this time.  

On Thursday, Illinois reported its single-highest daily total of new COVID cases since late May, with 6,636 new probable and confirmed cases over the last 24 hours.

Read more here.

How Soon Can You Get COVID Again? Cases Reported Within 1 Month Amid BA.5 Spread, Experts Say

With the BA.5 omicron subvariant leading to a rise in reinfections, even for those who may have already had omicron, many are wondering how quickly they could get COVID again following an infection.

While many experts say the exact timing remains unclear and dependent on each individual, cases are being reported of reinfections in as early as one month.

Read more here.

How Long Can You Test Positive for COVID? BA.5 Making Some Last Longer, Top Doc Says

If you've tested positive for COVID and have completed your isolation but are still testing positive, you're likely not alone. How long could your results stay positive? Turns out, the ultra-contagious BA.5 omicron subvariant could be making people stay positive longer, according to Chicago's top doctor.

"I wouldn't say the incubation period is shorter... it's been getting shorter compared to what the original was, but we are seeing people often have just upper respiratory symptoms or having a cold, they're having sore throat sometimes, they're having fever or not seeing a lot of that severe illness - especially in people who are up to date with vaccine because the secondary part of your immune system kicks in and helps - but we're seeing people...they can stay positive for a little longer," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Facebook Live Tuesday.

Read more here.

Is COVID's Incubation Period Changing With BA.5 Subvariant? Chicago's Top Doctor Explains

With the most contagious version of coronavirus yet spreading across the country, what does that mean for COVID's incubation period and is it changing?

According to Chicago's top doctor, while much is still unfolding surrounding the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, she doesn't believe the incubation period is changing, but rather some people are staying positive for longer.

Read more here.

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