Health officials in Illinois reported 1,631 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the lowest number of new cases in the state since early October.
Meanwhile, all state-sponsored mobile COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Monday “due to extreme winter weather,” health officials say, noting that community sites will be open.
Here are the latest COVID headlines from around the state:
IDPH Mobile COVID Testing Sites Closed Monday Due to Weather
All state-sponsored mobile COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Monday “due to extreme winter weather,” health officials say, noting that community sites will be open.
Mobile testing sites in the state’s northeast region on Monday were scheduled to be located at the Kankakee County Health Department, the Cicero Fairgrounds and the K.L.E.O. Community Family Life Center in Chicago.
IDPH provides a list of testing sites, some of which are by appointment only and serving solely symptomatic patients. For more information on testing, click here.
For a list of static testing sites in Chicago, primarily for people with high risk exposure and experiencing symptoms, click here.
Chicago Opens 4 COVID-19 Vaccine Sites for School Employees
Four COVID-19 vaccination sites dedicated to Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff are expected to be fully operational in the coming week, district officials said.
Starting Monday, Chicago will reserve 1,500 shots weekly for employees in the nation’s third-largest school district. That’s on top of about 2,000 doses offered in recent days to teachers who are at higher risk of illness or starting back in classrooms sooner as the district gradually reopens. Some pre-K and special education students started in-person classes Thursday.
The vaccination sites are at four schools, including Clemente High School where some educators have already received shots. District officials said employees will be excused from work duties during their vaccination appointments.
Check How Your County’s COVID Vaccination Data Compares to the State
As Illinois enters the third week of COVID-19 vaccinations in Phase 1B, health officials have administered more than 1.7 million doses. Check the chart below to see how your county’s vaccinations compare to the state.
Illinois Reports 1,631 New COVID-19 Cases, 35 Additional Deaths Sunday
Health officials in Illinois have reported 1,631 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus on Sunday, along with 35 additional deaths.
According to the state Department of Public Health, Sunday’s new case numbers were the lowest reported in a single day since early October. In all, 1,162,154 cases of the virus have been recorded in Illinois since the start of the pandemic, along with 19,961 confirmed fatalities.
Another 2,160 deaths are classified as “probable” COVID-19 fatalities.
Coronavirus by the Numbers: COVID-19 Metrics in Each of Illinois’ 11 Health Care Regions
All of Illinois remains in Phase 4 coronavirus mitigations as metrics related to the virus continue to improve throughout most of the state.
According to the IDPH website, all regions in the state are at or below a 5% positivity rate over the last seven days, with most regions continuing to see declines in hospitalizations.
Under current COVID mitigation rules, a region will remain in Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan unless it reports a positivity rate of more than 6.5% for three straight days, ICU bed availability of under 20% or increases in hospitalizations on seven days in a 10-day period.
COVID Vaccine Needed For Second Doses Will Outnumber First Doses in Coming Weeks: IDPH
Illinois health departments and vaccine providers will begin to receive larger quantities of the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine to accommodate for the growing need of second doses, state officials announced Saturday.
Beginning Monday, health departments will also receive less shares of first COVID-19 vaccine doses due to the federal government’s limited quantity, the Illinois Department of Public Health explained.
“Based on federal projections of vaccine shipments, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) anticipates these allocations will hold steady for the next several weeks, before allocations of first doses can once again increase in March,” IDPH said in a statement.
IDPH added that over the next several weeks, the ratio of first doses and second doses of the vaccine should begin to balance. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said supply has been steadily growing, but he also expressed optimism that another vaccine is nearing approval.
Here’s Who Will Be Eligible for the COVID Vaccine in Illinois Starting Next Week
Illinois plans to expand the list of people eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in Phase 1B of its rollout beginning next Thursday.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the state expects to add people with “a high-risk medical condition” or comorbidity. The list includes those with cancer, diabetes, obesity, women who are pregnant, and those with several other conditions.
“In light of a steadily increasing federal vaccine supply, Illinois is making plans to expand Phase 1B eligibility on February 25 to people who have comorbidities and underlying conditions as defined by the CDC,” the governor’s office said in a release. “In addition, Illinois will also prioritize individuals with disabilities.”
The list of qualifying high-risk medical conditions (which is subject to change) includes:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Heart Condition
- Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant
- Pulmonary Disease
- Sickle Cell Disease
“Those who are under 65 and live with comorbidities, such as cancer survivors or those living with heart disease, have an elevated risk of serious complications or death if they contract COVID-19,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Illinois is moving forward in accordance with guidance from the CDC to expand our eligible population as supply allows, getting us closer to the point when the vaccine is widely available to all who want it. In the meantime, I encourage all Illinoisans to wear our masks and follow the mitigations so that more of our neighbors are healthy and alive when it’s their turn in the vaccination line.”
The expansion applies to those 16 and older who weren’t otherwise covered in previous eligibility categories, the state said, adding that it plans to work with local health departments and other providers as eligibility increases.
For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.