Monday marks a milestone day in the coronavirus pandemic, as all Illinois residents 16 years of age and older outside of Chicago will be eligible to sign up for COVID vaccine appointments.
The news comes as the state continues to see increases in COVID cases, with 2,942 new cases of the virus reported Sunday.
Here are the latest COVID headlines from around the state:
COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expands in Illinois: What You Need to Know
Monday will mark a milestone day in the fight against the novel coronavirus, as the state of Illinois (outside of the city of Chicago) will throw open the doors and allow all residents age 16 and older to sign up for coronavirus vaccine appointments.
With that move, Illinois will join a growing list of states that have opened up eligibility for the vaccine, taking another step toward what officials hope will be herd immunity, and an end to the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.
As the state hits that important milestone, here’s everything you need to know, put together in one easy-to-read place.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,942 New COVID Cases, 16 Deaths, 131K Vaccinations
Health officials in Illinois have reported 2,942 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, along with 16 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
According to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the new confirmed and probable cases reported Sunday bring the state to 1,279,772 cases in the pandemic began.
The 16 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 bring the state to 21,505 fatalities during the pandemic, according to IDPH data.
According to health officials, 131,285 doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered on Saturday, bringing the state to 7,178,611 doses administered. The seven-day average of COVID-19 vaccines is now at 126,827 doses, state officials said.
Coronavirus by the Numbers: Metrics in Each of Illinois' 11 Health Care Regions
Positivity rates in Illinois continue to increase in most regions, while ICU bed availability continues to decrease as coronavirus cases spike across the state.
According to the latest data available from the Illinois Department of Public Health, several regions are beginning to hit metrics that could lead to a tightening of COVID-19 restrictions, including Region 1, located in northwestern Illinois. In that region, positivity rates are at 6.2%, below thresholds for restrictions, but ICU bed availability has dropped below 20%, and hospitalizations are continuing to increase, putting the region in jeopardy of going back to Tier 1 mitigations if positivity rates continue to rise.
Region 2, located in west-central Illinois and including Peoria and Bloomington, is seeing numbers even closer to potentially triggering mitigations. There, the positivity rate is at 7.1%, creeping closer to the 8% threshold for restrictions, and ICU bed availability has now been below 20% for three straight days, now sitting at 18%.
All the numbers can be found here.
Tank Noodle Owners Forced to Pay Back $150K Pandemic Grant Due to Federal Labor Law Violations
The owners of an Uptown restaurant must pay back an emergency grant due to violations of federal labor law, state officials confirmed this weekend.
According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the owners of Tank Noodle must pay back the $150,000 business interruption grant that it received from the state of Illinois due to those violations.
“After a review of Tank Noodle’s grant, DCEO has found them in violation and has requested the return of the award,” state officials said in a statement.
Earlier this year, the owners of the restaurant were forced to pay back nearly $700,000 to employees after an investigation found the popular eatery had forced servers to work for tips only, and had failed to pay out overtime wages to several employees.