coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Metra, Airlines and Travel Mask Mandate, Illinois Metrics

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

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Confusion followed a judge's ruling that voided the travel mask mandate for airlines and public transportation, so where will you need one and where can you take it off?

Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority and airlines are responding to the latest development.

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

Masks to Remain Required for Public Transportation in City, Chicago's Top Doc Says

Chicago's top doctor said masks remain required for public transportation in the city despite a recent ruling voiding a federal travel mask mandate.

Speaking in a Facebook Live Tuesday, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city will continue requiring masks on public transportation through at least the end of the month, citing an order from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The local order, which is in effect through April 30, is different from the federal mandate at the center of the judge's ruling, Arwady said. The governor's office, however, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.

Read more here.

Are Masks Still Required on Chicago Public Transportation and at Airports? Here's What We Know

In a 59-page ruling Monday, a Florida judge voided the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's current national mask mandate on airplanes and mass public transit, saying the CDC failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed.

The ruling however has since caused confusion across states lines and agencies, leading many wondering exactly what the decision means, and whether or not they need to continue wearing a mask on public transportation, on airlines, airports, in rideshares are more.

Here's what we know.

Travel Mask Mandate: Masks No Longer Required on These US Airlines

Monday, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle voided the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's current national mask mandate on airplanes and mass public transit.

The 59-page ruling from the Florida judge said the CDC failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures that left it fatally flawed.

Based on that ruling, here's a look at which major U.S. airlines are lifting their mask mandates for domestic flights.

CDC COVID Quarantine Guidelines: What to Do if You Were Exposed or Test Positive

What should you do if you or someone you have been in close contact with tests positive for coronavirus? How long are you contagious, how long should you quarantine for and when should you get tested?

With COVID cases slowly rising 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.

Read more here.

COVID by the Numbers: Illinois Cases Rising, but Hospitalizations Remain Steady

Coronavirus cases are continuing to rise in the state of Illinois, but hospitalizations and ICU admissions have remained mostly steady in recent weeks, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

As of Monday, the state of Illinois is now averaging 2,191 new cases of coronavirus per day. That represents an increase of 25% in the last week, with the average number of new daily cases rising from 1,753 on April 11.

Read more here.

How Long After Exposure Could COVID Symptoms Start?

As cases of the coronavirus begin to rise in Illinois and parts of the U.S., due in part to the now-dominant BA.2 omicron subvariant, the risk for being exposed to someone with COVID is also slowly climbing. But when might symptoms first appear following a potential exposure?

Read more here.

When is the Best Time to Get Tested After COVID Exposure?

Testing is an important part of both quarantine and isolation guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention following exposure to someone with coronavirus. But when is the best time to get tested for COVID if you've been exposed?

Changes sparked by the omicron variant resulted in new guidance from the CDC last year, which shifted the timing for isolation and quarantine.

Read more here.

Travelers, Chicago Agencies Divided After Federal Mask Mandate Overturned

Opinions are split after a federal judge in Florida threw out a mask mandate on public transit and in airports and airplanes.

The ruling, which contended that the rule put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not go through proper public commenting procedures and was too far-reaching, caused some confusion in airports and in other locations on Monday when it came down.

Read more here.

Chicago Travel Advisory: COVID Precautions Urged in 6% of US. Here's Where

The Chicago Department of Public Health is advising residents who travel to areas of the country deemed medium or high COVID-19 risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take precautions against the disease, according to a travel advisory update Friday.

CDPH issued recommendations following the latest update to the CDC's county-by-county community levels map, which lists 5.9% of counties in the U.S. and Puerto Risk as medium or high risk for COVID.

Read more here.

FDA Authorizes First COVID Breath Test. Here's What to Know

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued an emergency use authorization for what it said is the first device that can detect COVID-19 in breath samples.

The InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer test, which can provide results in less than three minutes, must be carried out under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.

From how accurate the device is to how frequently some say it will be used, here's what you need to know.

Here's the One Illinois County Ranked at Medium Risk for COVID Transmission

While COVID-19 metrics have either improved or remained stable throughout most of Illinois in the past week, at least one county has seen a rise in community spread of the virus.

As of Friday, Champaign County was listed as a medium level for COVID transmission, compared to the 101 other counties in Illinois, which were said to be experiencing low community levels.

Read more here.

Symptoms, CDC Guidelines and More: What to Know as COVID Cases Rise in Illinois

As COVID-19 cases take an uptick in Illinois, health officials are monitoring symptoms, updating guidelines and evaluating precautions to ensure areas remain at low transmissibility levels.

On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a warning as coronavirus case rates are "slowly rising in many areas of the state," saying residents "should be paying close attention to conditions in their local communities."

In the same notice, the health agency urged vaccinations and booster shots for eligible populations.

Here's what to know as cases continue to rise.

When Could COVID Vaccine Be Available for Kids Under 5? The Latest on Timing

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.

With cases of the omicron subvariant BA.2 on the rise across the U.S. and restrictions largely lifted across much of the U.S., parents of children still not eligible for vaccination are wondering when their time might come.

The nation’s 18 million children under 5 are the only age group not yet eligible for vaccination.

While the race is on to get the youngest members of the population vaccinated, which vaccine will work best and when might one be approved?

Here's what we know so far.

Illinois Changes Which COVID Metrics It Tracks. Here's What to Look for Now

Illinois has long been documenting and reporting statewide COVID case and test positivity rates throughout the pandemic, but now the state will now be tracking a different set of data.

In what health officials say is an effort to align with new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health will no longer track case and test positivity rates.

Instead, the department will now look at these metrics.

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