Cook County health officials have joined Chicago in announcing plans to implement a vaccine mandate for some indoor venues such as bars and restaurants in the new year.
Meanwhile, Illinois has seen the largest number of coronavirus cases in a single day of the entire pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Will vaccines be needed to enter Chicago’s museums in the city’s next mandate?
Vaccinations will soon be required to enter Chicago’s restaurants, bars, gyms, and many other places, but what about the city’s museums?
Technically, city officials said, only areas where indoor dining is allowed in museums will be subject to the new requirements.
But you’ll want to check each site individually, as some require proof of vaccination to get in.
Read more here.
Some Cook County communities resist TV proof requirements
On the day Cook County health officials announced new requirements for customers to show proof of vaccination in various indoor settings, leaders in several suburban communities fought back the mandates. Chris Covey reports from NBC 5.
On the day Cook County health officials announced new requirements for customers to show proof of vaccination in various indoor settings, leaders in several suburban communities were fighting back mandates to come.
In the suburbs of Orland Park, Mayor Keith Pekau dismissed the new mandate as an “overshoot,” and said village officials would meet later this month to address the situation.
I have a village of about 60,000 people. “I do not need extremist politicians in the Cook County government to tell me what is best for Orland Park,” he said in a statement.
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson, whose community announced earlier this year that it would not implement state guidelines requiring masks indoors, said the village would not implement such a measure that would require proof of COVID vaccination.
Read more here.
Illinois sets a one-day record with nearly 19,000 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours
Illinois set a new record for COVID cases for one day Thursday, with more than 18,000 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours.
According to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, a total of 18,942 cases of the virus were diagnosed in the past 24 hours, eroding the previous record for most positive test results in a single day.
The state’s daily rate of new COVID cases over the past seven days also rose to 12,573, another new record since the pandemic began.
Read more here.
Joffrey cancels performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ remaining after positive COVID tests
Chicago-based famed Joffrey Ballet has canceled its remaining shows of “The Nutcracker” after a COVID-19 hack case was reported on a member of the company this week.
It was announced via Joffrey’s website, that he canceled shows that were scheduled to run through December 26.
“For the utmost safety of our company’s artists, musicians, students, production crew, and audience members, Joffrey has canceled the remaining performances of ‘The Nutcracker,’ which were scheduled to run through December 26,” the ballet troupe announced in a statement.
Read more here.
Cook County joins Chicago in requesting proof of vaccine for bars, restaurants and gyms next year
Officials announced Thursday that Suburban Cook County will join Chicago in requiring proof of vaccination for indoor public places such as bars, restaurants and gyms in the new year.
The new easing, in line with Chicago’s mandate, begins at the same time as the city’s start, on January 3.
“Omicron is here in Cook County, and it is spreading incredibly quickly and easily, so CCDPH must take measures to contain the spread,” Dr. Rachel Rubin, CCDPH’s president and chief medical officer, said in a statement. “We are concerned about how easily the omicron variant can spread between people, especially in crowded indoor spaces. It is very important that we implement these measures to help reduce the risk of transmission.”
Details of the requirements are here.
Household limits, long lines: What to know if you need a COVID test before the holidays
Demand for COVID testing sites is increasing as the holidays approach and cases increase in the Chicago area and across Illinois — and this trend is expected to continue even after the holidays.
Lines stretched Wednesday and Thursday mornings out of several locations in both the city and suburbs, and drive-in locations reported longer-than-usual wait times.
Amita Health said it does 3,000 tests per week, double what it saw last summer, and Northwestern Medicine said it has seen a 23% increase in testing at its immediate care facilities.
Even at-home tests, such as those in pharmacies, are difficult to obtain, with many purchases restricted.
Read more here.
With COVID cases reaching record levels for this year in the city and state, health officials are assessing their options and strategies to limit new infections. NBC 5’s Lexi Sutter has more.
Hospitals struggle to maintain normal operations as hospital admissions due to coronavirus rise, and ICU cases increase
Hospitals across Illinois are having a tough time, trying to maintain normal operations while seeing a significant increase in the number of COVID patients.
“I think we’re balancing now. I wouldn’t say we thrive but we definitely survive,” said Wayne Laramie, vice president and chief of nursing for OSF St. Anthony Medical Center.
Laramie says his hospital is turning to resources to address the surge in COVID cases in Rockford, among other locations.
COVID-related hospitalizations are at their highest level in nearly a year in Illinois, with 4,178 patients currently hospitalized with the virus.
Read more here.
Data shows fewer than 10 ICU beds are available for hospital patients in 4 areas of Illinois
Northern Illinois is one of four regions hard hit by the latest wave of COVID so far, with fewer than 10 ICU beds remaining for patients. Data approximate ICU bed availability in Zones 1, 3, 5 and 7.
“Our hospitals are really stretched to the limit,” said Dr. Susan Martell, director of public health for the Winnebago County Department of Health. “They are all committed to providing high-quality care to everyone who needs care, but they are doing the best they can.”
Advocate Health Care, Illinois’ largest health system, said it is currently treating 935 COVID patients in Illinois and Wisconsin, nearly three times more than eight weeks ago.
Read more here.
What should you do if you test positive for COVID or are exposed to an infected person?
What should you do if you or someone you have been in close contact with has tested positive for coronavirus?
It’s a question many are asking as COVID cases increase in Illinois and across the US ahead of the holiday and some questions about how long they should quarantine, if so, and for how long they can be contagious.
Here’s a look at the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How to add your COVID Vaccine Card to Apple Wallet before Chicago requirements start
Starting in 2022, Chicago residents will have to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination to access indoor public spaces, and Apple has an easy way to access history on an iPhone.
From January 3, anyone 5 or older will be required to show proof of full vaccination to dine indoors or visit gyms or entertainment venues where food and drinks are served, joining other big cities like New York and Los Angeles in adding the requirement. . .
Apple’s new iOS 15.1 operating system allows users to add “verifiable” COVID vaccination information in the Wallet app, making it easier to provide proof of vaccination rather than carrying a physical card.
Heres how to do it.
Here’s where vaccine proof will be required in Chicago next year
Starting Jan. 3, Chicago will require proof of vaccination for many indoor public spaces as the city works to combat what officials are calling “the largest increase in COVID we’ve seen since before vaccines were available.”
Here’s where proof of vaccination will be required – and where it won’t.
Swollen lymph nodes after a COVID booster injection? Here’s what the experts say it means
Have you had a swollen lymph node in the arm where you received the COVID or booster vaccine?
you are not alone.
In fact, although you may not have experienced it with your initial doses of the vaccine, there is still a chance that you could see it after a booster dose.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a vaccine side effect is actually more common with booster injections or additional doses than with initial doses of COVID vaccines.
But the CDC said it’s not a side effect of concern.
Boost shots and Omicron: Do Moderna or Pfizer do better? Here’s the data so far
Moderna and Pfizer both released early data showing the efficacy of their vaccines and booster doses as a new omicron variant begins to emerge and as COVID cases rise across the US
But does one perform better than the other?
Here’s what we know so far.
Omicron severity, symptoms, risk of breakouts: What we know so far
Experts were saying that more information about the omicron variant was expected in the weeks following its discovery.
Now, about a month after the new COVID variant was identified in South Africa and two weeks since it was first recorded in the US, what do we know?
Chicago’s chief medical officer said that while we’re still learning about the variable and research continues to evolve, an early look at the latest data has led to some results so far.
Below is a breakdown of what we know.
The Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Dr. Allison Arwady, on Tuesday gave a breakdown of the type of COVID-19 currently driving the increase in the Midwest. While 99.9% of COVID cases are delta-type so far, I predicted that the omicron variant would soon spread rapidly based on studies from other countries.
CDC guidelines for exposure to COVID: schedule, quarantine, and contagious period
What should you do if you or someone you have been in close contact with has tested positive for coronavirus? How long will you remain contagious, what are the quarantine guidelines and when can you see people again?
Here’s a look at the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what to do if you test positive or you think you’ve been exposed to an infected person.