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Coronavirus

The latest news about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 with a focus on its impact on Chicago and Illinois.

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We’re requiring every employee to get vaccinated — and you should, too

Employers and government agencies have an obligation to do all they can to protect everyone from the devastating effects of COVID-19.

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Millions lifted out of poverty due to COVID-19 relief funds, census data show

The official poverty measure, however, still showed a one-percentage-point increase in 2020, with 11.4% of Americans living in poverty — more than 37 million people. It was the first increase after five consecutive annual declines.

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Nigeria faces one of its worst cholera outbreaks in years

The higher fatality rate has been worsened by a focus on another health concern that many consider to be a bigger priority for state governments: the COVID-19 pandemic.

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City Council committee approves watered-down ban on single-use utensils

Chicago restaurants could still hand out plastic silverware or other single-use items but only if asked — though compliance is voluntary, with no fines.

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QAnon backer at center of ivermectin treatment flap dies at Northwest Side hospital

Fellow QAnon adherents had targeted Amita Resurrection Medical Center with a flood of phone calls and a small in-person protest after doctors refused to give Veronica Wolski ivermectin, which isn’t approved to treat COVID-19.

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Chicago festivals 2021: What events have returned, been rescheduled

Just because summer if over doesn’t mean festivals have ended. The fall brings more events. Here’s the latest updates on this year’s changing entertainment landscape.

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Delta’s descent? Weekly COVID-19 cases dip for first time since start of summer

The state’s case numbers took the first sustained step in the right direction since mid-June, but coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths are still rising.

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With COVID-19, a new 9/11 every day

Memory, victimhood enshrine 9/11 losses, while coronavirus carnage is shrugged away.

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Nearly 3,000 CPS students exposed to COVID-19 in 8 days

Exactly how many students are in isolation is unclear as CPS officials have not responded to requests to provide a specific number. Unvaccinated kids aren’t required to isolate this school year.

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CPS students facing housing insecurity eligible for one-time $500 checks

The payments will be part of the city’s efforts to reengage thousands of children who lost consistent touch with their schools over the past year. Yet that financial assistance should only be a piece of the strategy to support homeless students during the pandemic, advocates have said.

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CPS says local school councils can continue meeting online, backtracking on in-person requirement

Hundreds of LSC members citywide expressed concerns about accessibility and COVID-19 safety last week when CPS told them to resume their prepandemic meeting formats.

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City should require vaccine proof for patrons of restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, music venues, aldermen say

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady have encouraged various businesses to require proof of vaccination, but they haven’t followed New York City in imposing a citywide requirement.

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Marijuana use among U.S. college students hits record high during pandemic, study finds

The National Institute on Drug Abuse also found less alcohol use among college students as they navigated the COVID pandemic.

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Biden to require federal workers to get COVID-19 shot

Just weeks after he mandated federal workers get a shot or face rigorous testing and masking protocols, Biden will sign a new executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government.

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What can employers do if workers avoid COVID-19 vaccines? Plenty.

It’s legal for businesses to require the shots, and they could fire employees who don’t comply. Workers can be required to wear masks or get regular tests for the virus.

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United says unvaccinated employees face unpaid leave, termination

Chicago-based United has taken the strongest pro-vaccination stance among U.S. airlines.

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Delta’s deadly toll: Illinois COVID-19 deaths hit nearly seven-month high as city travel advisory expands to entire nation

The virus has killed 241 residents statewide so far this month, the vast majority of whom were unvaccinated.

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Sky to require that fans show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test

The Sky will require all fans to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours before attending a game at Wintrust Arena.

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Lions, tigers and bears immunized: Brookfield Zoo starts vaccinating animals against COVID-19

Cases in animals have been rare, but they do occur. "It’s very similar to what we see with people," Brookfield’s chief veterinarian said.

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Angry QAnon backers want hospital to treat supporter’s COVID-19 with unapproved drug

QAnon supporters have in recent days targeted Amita Resurrection Medical Center with a protest and a flood of phone calls demanding that doctors give a hospitalized ally ivermectin.

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Don’t use ivermectin to treat COVID-19, doctors, experts warn

Health officials have seen a surge in prescriptions for ivermectin — and increases in reported overdoses. But there’s little evidence the anti-parasitic drug can help with COVID-19 — and it may have harmful side effects.

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Chicago doctors battle COVID vaccine misinformation: No, the shot won’t make you infertile, and other myths

It’s a race against time to get the vast majority of the population vaccinated and misinformation is causing hesitancy for getting shots.

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CPS mandates return to in-person school council meetings, irking some representatives

If there was a pandemic silver lining at CPS, it was the increased engagement that some LSCs saw when their meetings moved online.

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Illinois COVID-19 cases keep rising, but hospitalization spike slows

The situation is still grim in downstate areas with lower vaccination rates. Only one ICU bed was available for the entire southern Illinois region, home to more than 400,000 residents.

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Traveling out of state for Labor Day? Unvaccinated CPS students must quarantine — with no access to remote learning — when they return

CPS announced the abrupt policy change on Thursday night before the holiday weekend.

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CTA to require all employees get fully vaccinated against COVID-19

All CTA employees are required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 25 unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

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Jacqueline Jackson shows improvement, breathing on her own as she fights COVID-19

The Rev. Jesse Jackson remains at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab receiving "intensive" occupational and physical therapy for his Parkinson’s disease as his COVID-19 symptoms lessen.

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CPS won’t administer COVID-19 tests at all schools until mid-September, officials say

Parents, students and educators who expected widespread testing at the start of the school year have been left frustrated by the delay and anxious about whether it would hinder early detection of case clusters developing in schools.

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Oak Lawn woman misspelled ‘Moderna’ on fake COVID-19 vaccine card to get into Hawaii: authorities

Chloe Mrozak’s allegedly bogus CDC card claimed she received her first "Maderna" vaccine dose in Delaware from a National Guard member named "cpl wolf."

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Chicago Pride Parade canceled for second straight year due to COVID-19

Organizers say the parade will be back in June 2022. ‘Count on it,’ parade coordinator Tim Frye says.

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Alderman slams ‘weak slap on the wrist’ against hotel-turned-party-haven

Ald. Brendan Reilly called the settlement with the Eurostars Magnificent Mile Hotel an insult, considering the severity of the violations. Allegations against patrons include armed robbery, criminal sexual assault, aggravated domestic battery and unlawful use of weapons.

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Delta not done? New Illinois COVID-19 cases top 5,000 for first time in more than seven months

With the average statewide positivity rate stable and new hospital admissions slowing, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he’s "hopeful" the peak of Illinois’ Delta surge is near.