coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Mask Mandate Protest, Transmission Risk Rises

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

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Four counties, including one in the Chicago area, are now under a medium COVID transmission risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As metrics continue to rise, some residents are calling for mask mandates to return.

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

COVID by the Numbers: Illinois Sees 40% Increase in Cases Over Last 7 Days

A recent rise in the number of COVID cases in Illinois continued unabated this week, as the state has seen new cases of the virus increase by more than 40%.

According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state is seeing an average of 3,136 new cases per day over the last seven days. That represents an increase of 43.1% in the last week, bumping upward from 2,191 cases per day as of last Monday.

Over the last month, daily case rates in the state have increased by 170%, according to IDPH data.

Read more here.

Protesters Call for Chicago to Reinstate Mask Mandate Due to Rising COVID Cases

A number of Chicago residents stood together in the Little Village neighborhood Sunday, pleading for the city to reinstate its COVID-19 mask mandate to prevent a possible surge following another uptick in cases.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, of the city's 25th Ward, along with members of the People's Response Network, expressed concerns about mask mandates being lifted locally and nationwide.

In late February, both the state of Illinois and city of Chicago rescinded their mask mandates after sustained decreases in the number of new cases and hospitalizations.

Read more here.

How Soon After Exposure Do COVID Symptoms Start?

As cases of the coronavirus climb in Illinois and across the country due in part to the now-dominant BA.2 omicron subvariant, the risk for being exposed to someone with COVID is also increasing. But when might symptoms first appear following a potential exposure?

Some experts say the omicron variant "sped up" timing for what many once knew with COVID, including the incubation period, or the time between exposure and the start of symptoms. Late last year, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surrounding quarantine and isolation were updated to reflect that change.

Read more here.

Chicago Travel Advisory: COVID Precautions Advised in 8% of US

The Chicago Department of Public Health is encouraging residents who visit parts of the country considered medium or high COVID-19 risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take precautions against the disease, according to the latest guidance.

CDPH issued recommendations following the most recent change to the CDC's county-by-county community levels map, which lists 8.3% of counties in the U.S. and Puerto Risk as medium or high risk for COVID.

Read more here.

Here's the One Chicago-Area County at a Medium COVID Community Level

Even though COVID-19 cases have increased throughout Illinois, most of the state, as well as the Chicago area, remain at low community levels.

However, some counties have been listed in the medium category based on upticks in metrics including the COVID case rate, new admissions and staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19.

Read more here.

CDC Guidelines For COVID Exposure: What to Know About Quarantine Times, Symptoms

After you've been exposed to or test positive for COVID-19, how long should you quarantine from others and when could symptoms appear?

As cases, and now deaths and hospitalizations as well, slowly rise in Illinois and parts of the U.S., local health officials have issued warnings to take precautions, particularly in areas where transmission risk is increasing.

Here's a look at the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what to do if you test positive or believe you were exposed to someone who has. This guidance was most recently updated at the end of March.

CDC Alert on Adenovirus and Hepatitis in Kids: What Experts Say You Should Know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday issued a public health alert to physicians nationwide, asking doctors to be on the look out for unusual cases of severe liver disease in children, but how worried should parents be?

Public health officials ruled out any links to COVID-19 vaccines, saying none of the affected children were vaccinated.

Read more here.

4 Illinois Counties Now in Medium COVID Transmission Risk for COVID: CDC

As COVID cases continue to rise in Illinois and in the U.S., four Illinois counties are now experiencing medium risk levels for the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Friday, DuPage, Champaign, McLean and Piatt counties are all listed under the CDC's "medium" transmission risk level, the second-highest level on the CDC's scale. The designation means elderly or immunocompromised individuals are urged to wear masks in public indoor spaces.

Read more here.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 19K New Cases, 58 Deaths in Last Week as Cases, Fatalities Climb

Illinois health officials reported 19,551 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, along with 58 additional deaths, marking an increase in both cases and deaths.

The previous week, 14,049 the state reported and 45 deaths. The week before that, 10,786 new cases and 71 deaths were reported.

Read more Illinois COVID stats here.

With Nearly All COVID Cases Now BA.2 Subvariants, Here Are Symptoms to Watch For

With BA.2 omicron subvariants now representing nearly all COVID cases in the U.S., what symptoms should you be watching for?

Cases of “stealth omicron” continued to increase in the United States over the last week, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying that iterations of the subvariant are now responsible for more than 90% of cases in the country.

According to the latest data from the CDC, the estimated number of cases linked to the BA.2 subvariant actually decreased slightly to 74.4%, but cases of the BA.2.12.1 subvariant went up to 19% in the United States, meaning that more than 93% of COVID cases in the United States are believed to be occurring as a result of the BA.2 subvariants.

Cases of the BA.1.1 variant, the original omicron variant that spread like wildfire over the winter in the United States, are now down to 6.1%, according to CDC estimates.

Read more here.

COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 5: What to Know as Travel Mask Mandate Lifted

COVID vaccines for children under the age of 5 are still not available, even as the country lifts some of its final masking restrictions, so what should parents know before they travel and when could vaccinations be authorized?

Dr. Vivek Cherian, an internal medicine physician in Elk Grove, the decision of whether to travel with unvaccinated children following the lifting of the mandate "really depends on your level of risk tolerance."

COVID vaccines for children under the age of 5 took a major step forward last month as many parents anxiously await approval for the only age group not yet eligible for vaccination, but little has been heard since.

Read more here.

Mask Mandate on Planes: Which Airlines Still Require Face Masks — and Which Don't

Monday, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's travel mask mandate -- a mandate set to expire May 3 -- saying the CDC failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed.

Following the ruling, the Transportation Security Administration said it will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time.

Subsequently, many airlines, international and domestic, weighed in on whether or not they'll continue mask requirements for passengers on planes.

Here's a look at which major airlines are and are not lifting their mask mandates.

Are Masks Required Anywhere in Chicago? From Airlines, to Public Transit, to Uber - Here's the Latest

After Florida judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's travel mask mandate —which had been set to end May 3— earlier this week, confusion arose not only across state lines and agencies, but across Illinois as a whole.

That's partly because the state of Illinois was under an executive order from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, set to expire April 30, that required residents and visitors to wear masks on public transportation and in public transportation hubs.

But by Tuesday afternoon, the language in that executive order had already changed.

Here's a breakdown of what all the changes look like, at the federal and local level.

Will a Mask Protect You If Others Aren't Wearing One?

As travelers begin shedding masks in many public transportation settings, questions over safety concerns, particularly for those who cannot be vaccinated yet or those who are immunocompromised, are being raised.

Will wearing a mask protect you if no one else is wearing one?

Read more here.

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