coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: University of Illinois to Require COVID Vaccine for Students

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The University of Illinois will require students to receive the COVID vaccine in order to return to in-person instruction this fall.

And a new vaccine lottery in Illinois will offer a total of $10 million in total prize money to residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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

United Center Mass COVID Vaccination Site to Close Thursday

The United Center's mass COVID vaccination is closing this week, with its last day scheduled for Thursday, Chicago's top health official said Tuesday.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady and CDPH's Assistant Commissioner Christopher Shields announced the closure during a Facebook Live broadcast Tuesday morning.

"This week is the last week for the United Center," Arwady said.

"United Center on this Thursday the 24th will provide its last vaccination and then we will return the property back over," Shields replied.

Arwady and Shields said that the United Center site, which opened March 9, has administered more than 301,000 doses of vaccine.

Read more here.

University of Illinois to Require COVID Vaccine for Students at All 3 Campuses This Fall

Students at the University of Illinois' three campuses will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine upon returning in-person for the fall semester, the university's president announced in a systemwide email Monday.

The move falls in line with recommendations by the American College Health Association and follows vaccine mandates introduced at other Illinois higher education institutions including DePaul University, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

The campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield will each institute safety measures and separately unveil vaccination guidance later this summer.

Those who aren't vaccinated will be required to follow university guidelines and established exemption protocols, University of Illinois System President Timothy Killeen explained in the email to students, faculty and staff.

Read more here.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 928 New COVID Cases, 65 Deaths, 211K Vaccinations

Health officials in Illinois on Friday reported 928 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus since Monday, along with 65 additional deaths and more than 211,000 new vaccine doses administered.

In all, 1,388,688 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began. The additional deaths reported this week bring the state to 23,133 confirmed COVID fatalities.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate on all tests is now down to 0.6%, while the seven-day positivity rate on individuals tested stands at 0.8%.

Over the past five days, a total of 211,440 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to state residents. That brings the state’s average to 42,153 daily vaccination doses over the last seven days, according to IDPH data.

State officials say 53% of adult residents in the state are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with nearly 70% receiving at least one dose.

As of midnight, 492 patients are currently hospitalized due to COVID in the state. Of those patients, 123 are in intensive care units, and 69 are on ventilators.

Illinois Offering $10M in Lottery for Residents Who Get COVID Vaccine

A new vaccine lottery in Illinois will offer a total of $10 million in total prize money to residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.

The "All In for the Win" lottery will give out the $10 million in the form of $7 million in cash prizes for adults and $3 million in scholarships for youth, all distributed through weekly drawings, Pritzker said.

The Illinois Lottery will draw names each week beginning July 8, Pritzker said. The cash prizes will range from $100,000 to $1 million, he said, while children can win a Bright Start college savings plan worth $150,000 apiece.

Anyone who gets at least one vaccine dose in Illinois is eligible to win, Pritzker said, noting there are "no sign-up, no forms, no waiting in line" and that anyone who gets their first dose before July 1 will be eligible for the first drawing on July 8 and every drawing thereafter.

"You did your part already, and this is a way of saying thank you," Pritzker said. "It's also our way of saying to those who haven't yet been vaccinated: please join us. Vaccines are incredibly effective. And they keep you protected, but they also make your community safer."

What Pritzker Says Concerns Him About the COVID Delta Variant

As federal health officials issue new warnings about the coronavirus delta variant, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed what concerns him most about the new strain: that children under 12 cannot yet get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"What I'm concerned about is that we don't yet have a vaccine for kids under 12 years old, and the delta variant seems to have been predominant among people who are unvaccinated," Pritzker said when asked about the variant at an unrelated news conference.

"And so those kids are who I'm focused on," he continued, adding, "25% of the cases I've now read, of the new cases of COVID, are coming from that age group, under 12, and so we're keeping a close eye on it. But so far anyway, it appears that the available vaccines are resistant to the delta variant."

Read more here.

‘New and Reimagined' Taste of Chicago To-Go Returns in July

From July 7 through July 11, Taste of Chicago To-Go returns with free food, music and dance events across the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced.

The week-long summer event will include nearly 40 participating eateries, cooking demonstrations, "Community Eats" meals serving local nonprofit organizations and pop-up music performances at participating eateries citywide, featuring artists from the Chicago Band Roster, the statement said. 

COVID Vaccines Come to “L” Stops Across Chicago, City Says

COVID-19 vaccination sites are expected to start popping up on Chicago's public buses and "L" stops to make vaccines more equitable to all areas of the city, health officials announced Thursday.

From 3 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, vaccines will be available at the following "L" stops:

  • 95th/Dan Ryan station: Red Line
  • Belmont station: Blue Line
  • 35th/Archer station: Orange Line
  • 63rd/Ashland station: Green Line
  • Kedzie station: Pink Line

From 3 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays, vaccine will be available at the following "L" stops:

  • 95th/Dan Ryan station: Red Line
  • Belmont station: Blue Line
  • 35th/Archer station: Orange Line
  • 63rd/Ashland station: Green Line
  • Kedzie station: Pink Line

Chicago Bears to Allow 100% Capacity for Fans at 2021 Home Games

Just days after the state of Illinois moved into the final phase of its coronavirus reopening plan, the Chicago Bears announced Wednesday that they will allow 100% capacity for home games at Soldier Field this fall.

The Bears confirmed the news in a letter to season ticket holders, saying that they appreciate the patience of fans over the last 15 months.

“We are thankful and humbled by the unwavering passion you have shared with us,” Team President Ted Phillips said. “Once again, it’s time to enjoy Bears football in-person!”

The Bears did not have fans in the stands for any of their games during the 2020 season.

No States on Chicago's Travel Order for Second Consecutive Update

For the second consecutive time since Chicago's emergency travel order took effect in July, there are no states on the list requiring a quarantine or negative test for people coming to the city who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

All U.S. states and territories remain in the "yellow" tier of the travel order as of Tuesday, with fewer than 15 new cases per 100,000 residents per day, the Chicago Department of Public Health said.

Any states above that case rate would fall into the "orange" tier which requires a 10-day quarantine or negative test no earlier than 72 hours before arrival in Chicago for those who are not fully vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, no states in the Midwest were above 4.8 cases per day per 100,000 residents, CDPH said, releasing the following data showing how each state's case rate has fallen in the past two weeks:

StateCases per 100,000 on 6/1/2021Cases per 100,000 on 6/15/2021

Chicago officials also noted that the city's daily case rate dropped "considerably," from 14.9 to 2.8, between May 7 through Tuesday.

More Evidence Suggests COVID-19 Was in Illinois by Christmas 2019

A new analysis of blood samples from 24,000 Americans taken early last year is the latest and largest study to suggest that the new coronavirus popped up in the U.S. in December 2019 — weeks before cases were first recognized by health officials.

The study, published Tuesday online by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is by a team including researchers at the National Institutes of Health. They analyzed blood samples from more than 24,000 people across the country, collected in the first three months of 2020 as part of a long-term study called “All Of Us” that seeks to track 1 million Americans over years to study health.

The researchers looked for antibodies in the blood that are taken as evidence of coronavirus infection, and can be detected as early as two weeks after a person is first infected.

The researchers say seven of the nine study participants — three from Illinois, and one each from Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — were infected earlier than any COVID-19 case was originally reported in those states.

One of the Illinois cases was infected as early as Christmas Eve, said Keri Althoff, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the study's lead author.

Read more here.

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