Coronavirus: Essential News
The most important news about the COVID-19 outbreak in Illinois, available to everyone, no subscription required.
New website tracks and shares COVID-19 levels in Illinois wastewater to help residents ‘make informed decisions’
The site offers snapshots of COVID-19 transmission in communities around 75 wastewater treatment facilities in Illinois.
Free, at-home COVID-19 test kits return as Biden administration reveals winter plans to combat virus surge
After a three-month hiatus, the administration is making four rapid virus tests available via website starting Thursday.
“The bottom line is we have protection available. It’s just upon all of us now to make sure people use those tools,” the surgeon general said.
Hospital admissions for COVID-19 have jumped more than 26% in the last week alone, putting them on pace to hit numbers not seen since mid-February.
If you haven’t had your COVID-19 fall 2022 booster, now is the time, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.
Winter’s coming — and so is COVID ‘trouble’ as coronavirus cases rise but vaccine booster rates don’t
“We are not where we need to be as a city, in people getting that fall 2022 booster,” a costumed Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.
State reports 65 new ‘mild’ cases of COVID-19 at LaSalle Veterans’ Home, site of deadly outbreak two years ago
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs said 23 staff and 42 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Illinois Veterans’ Home at LaSalle. No one has required hospitalization.
Illinois has reported an average of 2,482 new cases per day over the past week, a 32% decline compared to a month ago.
Pritzker lifts final classroom COVID-19 mitigation, ending testing requirement for unvaccinated school workers
After lifting the statewide school mask mandate at the end of February and lifting vaccination requirements on college campuses earlier this summer, the Democratic governor called it the latest part of his plan “to carefully unwind the state’s COVID-19 executive orders.”
The FDA today authorized the new booster, which could arrive as early as next week in Chicago, where nearly 2 million residents are expected to be eligible.
With transmission considered medium or high in 94 Illinois counties, residents are being urged to mask up when gathering indoors in 92% of the state.
Hospital admissions have more than doubled since mid-April, following a steady increase in cases since the early spring — a trend playing out in most other parts of the country, too.
“I know everyone wants COVID to be over,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. “Unfortunately, we continue to see the COVID virus itself mutate quickly, with new, more contagious subvariants emerging every few weeks.”
From how to prepare your kids to where to get vaccinated, the Sun-Times answers parents’ questions.
Four more Illinois counties hit high level for COVID-19 transmission, but cases ‘begin to trend downward’
But hospitalizations are still about as high as they’ve been since February, with more than 1,200 beds occupied as of Thursday night.
The Alpha and Delta variant waves left 342 Chicagoans dead in less vaccinated parts of the city. That toll could have been 75% lower if more people had been inoculated, University of Chicago Medicine researchers found.
Cases have been on the rise statewide since mid-March, or a few weeks after Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted his indoor mask mandate.
Heading to ‘high’ risk? City, county public health chiefs split in predictions for Chicago area’s COVID-19 future
Masks would be urged for all residents in indoor public spaces in counties that rise to the high risk level. One of Cook County’s top doctors says she doesn’t expect the county to hit that level anytime soon. But Chicago’s Dr. Allison Arwady has said it “could happen potentially even in the next few weeks.”
With cases on the rise statewide, only about 41% of eligible Chicagoans have gotten their recommended COVID-19 booster shot. And almost a quarter of Illinois counties are now at the CDC risk level in which older people and the immunocompromised are urged to mask up indoors.
Mask up! No mandate, but ‘strongly’ urged for CPS and beyond as COVID-19 risk level rises to ‘medium’ across Chicago area
Two weeks ago, DuPage County became the first of Chicago’s collars to see its COVID-19 risk level move from low (green) to medium (yellow). Now, the entire Chicago area — from Will County north to Lake, all the way west to DeKalb — is seeing yellow.
Mask ask? Some suburbanites advised to cover their faces as COVID-19 risk level rises in Cook, Lake, DuPage counties
Suburban Cook County’s case rate has jumped to 210 per 100,000 residents over the last week, meaning masks are advised indoors for the immunocompromised and people 50 or older.
The state public health department has noted that severe cases ending in hospitalization or death have remained very low — though hospital figures are now on the rise.
Life expectancy gap widens among Black and white Chicagoans during first year of pandemic; Latinos suffer steepest drop
COVID-19 deaths drove much of the change but wasn’t the leading factor for it. The deadly virus was second to heart disease deaths — which increased with other chronic diseases like diabetes.