coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Vaccine Exemptions and Mandates, Long COVID

Are changes being made to Illinois' vaccine exemption law? What you should know about the bill signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Plus, Chicago's travel advisory gets another update as the city prepares for Thanksgiving holiday travel.

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

One More State Removed From Chicago's Travel Advisory This Week

One additional state was removed from Chicago’s travel advisory, dropping the list of places on the city’s warning list to 40 states and one territory.

Arkansas was the lone state to drop out of the city's "orange category" on the advisory this week, though officials noted that Alabama, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia are eligible to come off the advisory next week if their metrics remain below the city's threshold.

Currently, the only states and territories not on the travel advisory are Arkansas, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, and the Virgin Islands.  

Read more here.

More CPD Employees Comply With City's Vaccine Mandate, Vaccination Rate Drops

More Chicago Police Department employees have recorded their vaccination status on the city’s online portal but the response rate remains dismal, according to figures released by the city Monday.

The police department’s response rate climbed to 77.9%, which is up more than 4 percentage points from last week. The department remains the only agency to not be at least 80% in compliance.

Police Supt. David Brown said there are 35 police officers on a no-pay status for failing to comply with the city mandate to disclose whether they’ve been vaccinated. As many as 50 officers were placed on a no-pay status when the mandate went into effect last month.

“This means officers who were in no-pay status have come back and complied with the mandate,” Brown said during a news conference Monday.

Read more here.

Pritzker Signs Amendment Removing ‘Conscience' as Basis for Resisting COVID Vaccine Mandates

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed Senate Bill 1169 into law, which he says will “clarify the legislative intent” of a bill originally designed to allow medical professionals to refuse to refuse or participate in healthcare services that violated their personal beliefs, but had been used recently to allow individuals to “improperly” evade COVID-19 vaccination, testing and masking requirements in the state.

According to a press release, the bill alters the Health Care Right of Conscience Act, and will remove conscientious objections as a basis for refusing to adhere to COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates in the state of Illinois.

Religious and health exemptions are still permitted, according to the press release.

Details here.

State Farm Responds to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' COVID Vaccine Comments

Advertisers are issuing responses in the wake of the controversy surrounding Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ comments on his positive COVID test and his refusal to take the COVID vaccine.

State Farm, for whom Rodgers has appeared in commercials for nearly a decade, issued a statement to NBC News on Monday about the comments made by the quarterback during a recent radio interview.

“We don’t support some of the statements that he has made, but we respect his right to have his own personal point of view,” the company said in a statement to NBC News. “We recognize our customers, employees, agents and brand ambassadors come from all walks to life, with differing viewpoints on many issues.”

Read more here.

What is Long COVID? Symptoms, Lasting Effects and What Else to Know

The majority of those who contract COVID-19 see improvements within a couple weeks of becoming ill, but some experience symptoms for several weeks and even months.

"Long-haulers," as they're sometimes referred by, are those experiencing lingering health problems following a bout with coronavirus - often known as long COVID, long-haul COVID or post-COVID syndrome.

To complicate matters, no person's situation is the same.

Conditions can present differently and result in combinations of health problems for various lengths of time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here's what you need to know including symptoms to be aware of, which groups are most susceptible and what medical researchers still have yet to determine about the lasting effects.

COVID Booster Eligibility: Who Can Get the Third Vaccine Dose Now?

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are available for millions across the U.S., but what qualifies you to receive the third dose?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed extra doses of all three of the nation’s vaccines last month, causing health departments across the Chicago area to create plans to put additional shots in arms.

For those eligible, patients should receive a booster dose of the COVID vaccine at least six months after their first series of shots, health officials noted.

Here's a complete breakdown of who is eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID vaccine booster shot, according to the CDC.

Chicago Public Schools Won't Hold Classes Friday So Students, Parents Can Get COVID Vaccines

Chicago Public Schools will close its schools next Friday to mark “Vaccination Awareness Day,” giving students and parents the opportunity to receive coronavirus vaccinations.

The move was made after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

“To ensure all eligible students have the opportunity to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible, CPS schools will be closed on Friday, Nov. 12, for Vaccination Awareness Day,” CPS said in a statement.

Faculty and staff will be given paid days off, according to officials.

Read more here.

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