Note: Press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker or Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the video player above.
The city of Chicago on Tuesday added an additional state to its emergency order requiring travelers from more than a dozen states to quarantine for 14 days.
That change to the order was made one day after the city announced several restrictions would be brought back to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, including halting indoor service at bars and cutting indoor fitness class sizes.
Meanwhile, a downstate health care region has reached a warning level after seeing seven consecutive days of increases in positivity rates, health officials say.
Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around Illinois today, July 21:
Illinois Health Officials Report 955 New Coronavirus Cases, 23 Deaths Tuesday
Illinois health officials reported 955 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, as well as 23 additional deaths as a result of the virus.
According to officials, those new cases bring the state’s total number of coronavirus cases to 163,703 since the pandemic began.
The additional deaths give the state a total of 7,324 fatalities related to the virus.
Illinois reported 29,745 tests within the most recent 24-hour span, a decrease from previous days, which saw testing numbers above 30,000. Last week, the state set three daily testing records, nearing the 40,000 mark.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the rolling 7-day positivity rate increased very slightly, from 3.1 percent.
According to hospitalization data, the state remains near its low watermarks for hospitalizations and ventilator usage since such data became publicly available in April. As of Tuesday, 1,466 patients are currently hospitalized in Illinois due to coronavirus, with 320 of those patients in intensive care units.
A total of 142 patients are currently on ventilators due to coronavirus.
Mayor Lightfoot Joins Chicago Sports Teams for Launch of New Campaign
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Chicago sports teams to announce the launch of the “We Are All One Home Team” campaign, her office said in a release Tuesday.
The campaign aims to "encourage the city’s young adult residents and youth to wear masks, social distance and follow the latest public health guidelines."
Chicago Travel Order to Be Evaluated Again Tuesday
Chicago's travel order has been updated once again, with Kansas added to the list of states the city now requires a quarantine from.
The addition to the city's travel order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, according to city officials.
Adding Kansas to the list now brings the total number of states the city requires a quarantine from to 18.
Chicago first issued the emergency travel order for 15 states just before the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The order took effect on July 6.
States included at that time were: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
As of Friday, the order was updated to add Iowa and Oklahoma, according to the city's website.
Downstate Health Care Region Hits ‘Warning' Level
A downstate health care region reached a "warning level" Monday after seeing seven consecutive days of coronavirus positivity rate increases, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Region Four, which includes Belleville, Carlyle, Greenville, Madison, Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair counties, has four counties that border Missouri.
Some residents who live in those counties, state health officials said, travel frequently to the other side of the state border, where less stringent mitigation measures have been put in place.
Public health officials have expressed concern after hearing reports of large gatherings without social distancing that took place in the southern Illinois region.
Under a mitigation plan announced last week by state health leaders, additional measures will be reinstated in a region following a sustained rise in the positivity rate along with either a sustained increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions or a critical reduction in hospital bed capacity.
More details can be found here.
Business Owners React to Chicago's Plan to Retighten Some Restrictions
Several Chicago businesses will be greatly impacted by Chicago's move to bring back some of the restrictions put in place earlier in the pandemic to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Illinois Health Officials Report 1,173 New Coronavirus Cases, 6 Deaths Monday
Illinois health officials reported 1,173 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, as well as six additional deaths as a result of the virus.
According to officials, those new cases bring the state’s total number of coronavirus cases to 162,748 since the pandemic began.
The six additional deaths give the state a total of 7,301 fatalities related to the virus.
Illinois reported 34,598 tests within the most recent 24-hour span, a jump by more than 2,000 tests from a day before, but short of the three daily testing records that occurred earlier the same week.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the rolling 7-day positivity rate increased very slightly, from 2.9 percent to 3 percent.
According to hospitalization data, the state remains near its low watermarks for hospitalizations and ventilator usage since such data became publicly available in April. As of Monday, 1,410 patients are currently hospitalized in Illinois due to coronavirus, with 308 of those patients in intensive care units.
A total of 133 patients are currently on ventilators due to coronavirus.
Illinois County Sheriff Tests Positive for COVID-19
A county sheriff in southwestern Illinois has tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said Sheriff Neal Rohlfing has been in quarantine since he had symptoms earlier this month. He received a positive test on Wednesday, according to a department statement.
“The sheriff has been lucky and has experienced very mild symptoms,” the statement said. Officials said department operations have not been affected because of his limited contact with employees.
County public officials said there has been a recent uptick in cases likely due to social gatherings around the Fourth of July.
Chicago-Area Couple Separated by Pandemic
After months of travel restrictions, a Chicago-area woman who's been living apart from her husband for months, has finally seen a glimmer of hope.
Aysha Shedbalkar lives in Lombard, while her husband, Rezan Al Ibrahim, lives in the Netherlands.
Their relationship has been mostly long distance while they await for approval of a U.S. spouse visa. However, for the past five months, they haven't been able to see each other in person.
See their story below and find more details here.
Chicago Halts Indoor Service at Bars, Heightens Some Restrictions as Cases Rise
Indoor service at bars in Chicago will be forced to shut down and other restrictions will be heightened once again as the city sees an increase in its average daily cases, officials announced Monday.
“We have made so much progress here in Chicago in containing the spread of the virus, protecting our health system and saving lives, and in general, the virus remains under control locally. But we are again seeing a steady increase in new cases,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “While we aren’t near the peak of the pandemic from earlier this year, none of us wants to go back there, and we feel these restrictions will help limit further community spread.”
Here's a look at the restrictions:
- Bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption without a Retail Food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors.
- Restaurants that serve alcohol will be allowed to continue to operate as long as they abide by ongoing COVID-19 guidance and existing regulations.
- Establishments without food may still provide outdoor service as they did under phase three.
- Maximum party size and table occupancy at restaurants, bars, taverns and breweries will be reduced to six people.
- Indoor fitness class size will be reduced to a maximum of 10 people.
- Personal services requiring the removal of face coverings will no longer be permitted (shaves, facials, etc.).
- Residential property managers will be asked to limit guest entry to five per unit to avoid indoor gatherings and parties.
Chicago's top public health official had warned that roll backs were possible if the city reached an average daily case rate above 200.
The city topped 200 daily cases on Friday and as of Monday, that average sat at 233. The positivity rate as of Monday morning sat at 5.1%, according to the city's health department.
More details can be found here.
Illinois Programs to Receive $7M in Federal Relief Funds
More than $7 million in federal funding will be going to organizations to help Illinois communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials said.
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority said it will distribute $7.1 million in U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance money made available through federal stimulus legislation last spring.
Groups interested in participating should apply to ICJIA by July 24.
Get the latest news on COVID vaccines in your inbox. Click here to sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.