coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Daily Cases Climb Above 2K, Chicago's Top Doc Gives Update

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

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For the first time in more than a month, Illinois reported more than 2,000 new confirmed and probable COVID cases in a single day.

This comes as a "gradual increase" is being reported even in Chicago, though health officials said the rise was expected.

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

Do At-Home COVID Tests, Including Free Ones From the Government, Expire?

With at-home COVID tests now readily available, some might be saving there's for when they have a need to test, but how long can you actually wait?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the tests, including ones sent to Americans for free by the government, can expire.

Read more here.

Chicago COVID Cases Rising, but Spread Remains Low According to City's Top Doc

The city of Chicago is seeing a slight rise in COVID cases, but Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a press conference on Thursday that there's a key takeaway that she wants Chicagoans to pay attention to.

“We continue to see cases, but overall the outbreak remains in good control,” Arwady announced.

The community spread currently remains low, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

As of Thursday, the city of Chicago saw 304 new COVID cases, which is up 28% in the last week.

Read more here.

Watch Live: Chicago's Top Doc Gives COVID Update

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady will "discuss the latest COVID-19 case and vaccination data" for the city in a Thursday morning press conference.

The address is slated to take place at 11 a.m. at City Hall.

Arwady also planed to "talk about local, national and global trends with the virus and virus variants, and the ongoing vaccine rollout."

Watch live in the player above.

Illinois COVID Metrics: State Reports More Than 2,000 New Cases for First Time Since February

For the first time in more than a month, the state of Illinois reported more than 2,000 new confirmed and probable COVID cases in a single day, part of a sustained increases in new diagnoses in recent weeks.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were 2,194 new cases reported by laboratories in the last 24 hours. That marks the first time since Feb. 26 that the state has reported more than 2,000 new cases in a single day.

Read more here.

Wrigley Field COVID Protocols: Are Masks, Vaccine Cards Still Required at Cubs Games?

The Chicago Cubs are getting set for their home opener on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field, and after two years of COVID mitigations and regulations at sporting venues, some fans may be wondering whether there are any additional protocols in place at the Friendly Confines.

According to the team’s website….there are not.

The city of Chicago removed both its proof-of-vaccination and mask requirements in late February, and even as cases slowly inch upward, there has been no indication that either requirement will be put back into force.

Read more here.

‘Gradual Increase' in Chicago COVID Cases Was Expected, but Overall Risk Remains Low: Top Doc

Officials with the Chicago Department of public Health say that they are tracking a “gradual increase” in COVID-19 cases in the city, but that the overall risk of infection remains low for city residents.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, the city is currently seeing an increase in both its test positivity, which has risen to 1.6% this week, and its COVID cases, with the city averaging 284 new cases per day.

Read more here.

Why Chicago's Top Doctor Isn't Worried About Emerging COVID Variant XE Just Yet

A new hybrid COVID variant known as XE spreading in the United Kingdom is making plenty of headlines with concerns about its transmissibility, but Chicago's top doctor said she's not concerned about it just yet.

"Mostly, it's been detected in the UK, several hundred cases, but nothing at this point that is clearly showing major concern or spread," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. "And so it hasn't even been labeled at this point, an official variant of interest."

Arwady noted that while the recombinant variant has been detected in the U.S. already, no cases have been reported in Chicago or Illinois as of Monday.

Read more here.

What is the XE COVID Variant and Where Has it Been Detected So Far?

A new hybrid COVID variant known as XE spreading in the United Kingdom is making headlines, but what exactly is it and why are health officials taking note?

Here's a look at what we know so far.

COVID Symptoms in Children: Here's Are Signs for Parents to Look Out For

With children heading back to school following spring break vacations and some still unable to get vaccinated against COVID-19, many parents are wondering what symptoms they should be aware of in kids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children have similar symptoms to adults, and in many cases experience milder illness.

"While children are as likely to get COVID-19 as adults, kids are less likely to become severely ill," the Mayo Clinic reports. "Up to 50% of children and adolescents might have COVID-19 with no symptoms. However, some children with COVID-19 need to be hospitalized, treated in the intensive care unit or placed on a ventilator to help them breathe."

Read more here.

Here's How the XE COVID Variant Differs From Others, According to a Chicago Scientist

While the coronavirus has receded in the U.S., cases are soaring in the United Kingdom, where scientists are also keeping an eye on a new hybrid strain - the XE variant.

XE, which consists of material from BA.1, the original omicron strain, and its subvariant BA.2, first surfaced in mid-January. More than 600 cases in the U.K. have been confirmed since then, according to health officials.

Early studies show XE could be more transmissible than the highly-contagious BA.2 subvariant, by as much as 10%. However, further studies are needed, according to the World Health Organization.

Find the complete story here.

COVID vs. Allergies: Here's How to Tell the Difference

With pollen sweeping the air and COVID variants lingering around, it can be difficult to identify the culprit behind the sneeze. So, how can you tell the difference between the two?

Experts say the only real way to know the answer is to take a test, but until then, health officials say to treat any possible symptoms as COVID.

Here’s a list of COVID and allergy symptoms as outlined by the CDC.

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