clock menu more-arrow no yes

Coronavirus: Essential News

The most important news about the COVID-19 outbreak in Illinois, available to everyone, no subscription required.

Filed under:

City hits vaccination rate goal of 77% for residents 12 or older

The city reached that goal a month early, but many neighborhoods on the South and West sides still lag behind.

Filed under:

Pre-holiday COVID-19 caseload offers mixed news, simple message: Stay ‘vigilant,’ but no ‘need to be terrified’

Because of the shortened holiday work week, the Illinois Department of Public Health released the five-day figures instead of the typical seven-day statistics, complicating comparisons.

Filed under:

City officials say Chicago will reach 77% vaccination rate by the week’s end

A large swath of the population remains unvaccinated. As of Nov. 18, 51.6% of Black residents have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Among Latinos, the rate was 61.6%.

Filed under:

Cold weather, cold facts: COVID-19 spreading across Illinois, bringing worst daily caseload this fall

The weekly caseload is a 25% increase over last week’s seven-day total, marking the third consecutive week to see rising cases. Public health experts are concerned, but not surprised since winter is approaching, forcing people to retreat inside, often without masks.

Filed under:

What you need to know about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago

Check out answers to frequently asked questions, including: Where can I get one? Can I go to a pharmacy? How long do I have to wait?

Filed under:

Illinois suffers highest COVID-19 caseload in two months, spikes in hospitalizations, positivity, deaths: ‘We are in a surge’

Cases have jumped nearly 30% statewide over the past week, including an 18% spike in Chicago.

Filed under:

Surge protectors? Experts urge vaccinations as state’s climbing COVID-19 cases spark concerns of ‘yet another wave’

The state logged 22,600 new cases of the deadly virus over the past week. The numbers, reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday, represent an increase of 29% over the seven-day caseload reported a week ago.

Filed under:

Illinois COVID-19 cases top 5,000 for first time in two months — and it’s time to get vaccinated ‘right now,’ officials say

Average daily cases have shot up in Chicago by 24% since last week, underscoring the importance of getting vaccinated, officials say.

Filed under:

City officials push ‘Vaccination Awareness Day’ as COVID-19 cases rise again

"If we can get a lot of students vaccinated now, if we can get a lot of adults vaccinated and boosted ahead of the holidays, right now is the time to do that," Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.

Filed under:

Fall back? Illinois COVID-19 cases up nearly 20% as temperatures drop and people head indoors

Cases had been falling for more than a month, but public health experts say more time indoors means more opportunity for the coronavirus to spread.

Filed under:

Cook County Health to begin vaccinating kids 5 through 11 starting Friday

Patients can walk in to any Cook County Health site for a shot for a child, or make an appointment at (833) 308-1988.

Filed under:

Face facts: Mask mandate stays till COVID-19 hospitalizations fall, Pritzker says after getting booster shot

The state’s COVID-19 numbers have improved, but not enough to make the governor consider rescinding his statewide indoor mask mandate, Pritzker said after receiving a Pfizer booster shot on the Near West Side.

Filed under:

Close, but not too close: Vaccines will make for a merrier 2021 holiday season — but a little air and space are also advised

A year after recommending everyone stay home for the holidays, officials still say gatherings should be kept small. And keep the buffet line moving. Guests shouldn’t be congregating closely together in the kitchen or other tight spaces.

Filed under:

Pritzker rolls out plan for vaccinating children ages 5 to 11, expecting shipment of nearly half a million ‘kid-sized doses’

Illinois will receive a "robust supply right from the start," Pritzker said. The state is expected receive an initial allotment around 306,000 doses, with an additional 73,000 doses for the City of Chicago. Another roughly 100,000 doses will head to the federal government’s pharmacy partners in Illinois.

Filed under:

Another COVID-19 Halloween: Officials urge trick-or-treating caution as statewide numbers improve

"Although we’re still in the pandemic, this Halloween and fall festivities season will look a little different than last year thanks to the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that are readily available," Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

Filed under:

US to allow vaccinated foreign tourists to enter country beginning Nov. 8

Foreign national air travelers will need to be vaccinated and will need to provide proof of vaccination status to fly to the U.S., and ahead of boarding will need to show a pre-departure negative test within three days of travel.

Filed under:

Illinois COVID-19 hospitalizations back to lowest level since August

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois have fallen by 10% since last week and 28% since last month.

Filed under:

Southern Illinois’ hospital ICU situation improving, but ‘we’re still really preparing for the next wave’

Critical care units across the region’s 22 hospitals are still operating at 79% capacity, but that’s better than the past few weeks.

Filed under:

September marks deadliest COVID-19 month for Illinois since winter as overall numbers improve

The virus claimed more than 1,000 Illinois lives last month, but data shows the Delta variant surge is waning.

Filed under:

Fall forward? As Illinois COVID-19 numbers improve, ‘now is the time’ to have some fun before ‘winter bump’

As seasons change, the latest figures released by public health officials Friday show Illinois closed out its second COVID-19 summer in a more encouraging fashion than its first.

Filed under:

FDA approves Pfizer COVID-19 boosters for seniors, high-risk

The FDA authorized booster doses for Americans who are 65 and older, younger adults with underlying health conditions and those in jobs that put them at high risk for COVID-19.

Filed under:

Chicago ‘coming down the other side’ of Delta surge as Illinois numbers improve

The city also removed California and Puerto Rico from its quarantine advisory for unvaccinated travelers.

Filed under:

A state divided: Vaccinated areas could soon be ‘turning the corner,’ but less-inoculated southern Illinois up against the wall

Cases have been falling for two weeks across Illinois, but hospitals in the southern tip of the state are still feeling the brunt of the Delta surge. "I would encourage everybody to do the right thing," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. "Make sure you encourage your friends and family to be vaccinated."

Filed under:

Not a single ICU bed free, doctors and nurses bone tired — southern Illinois battles a virus and ‘a plethora of disinformation’

"We’ve been pounding away saying the disease is the enemy, not each other. But we’re running out of ways to say it," said Rosslind Rice, communications director for Southern Illinois Healthcare,

Filed under:

Pritzker pleased with state’s flattening COVID-19 numbers — but southern Illinois ‘chugging through some pretty bad days’

New COVID-19 hospital admissions have slowed down amid Illinois’ Delta variant coronavirus surge, but hospitals are still being pushed to the limit in southern Illinois — where all ICU beds were filled Monday night.

Filed under:

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.

Filed under:

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.

Filed under:

Jacqueline Jackson released from hospital after being treated in ICU with coronavirus

Her husband, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., was still undergoing occupational and physical therapy at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, his son said in a statement.

Filed under:

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.

Filed under:

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.

Filed under:

Delta dimming? Pritzker ‘hopeful’ Illinois’ surge could be peaking — but warns not to ‘jump the gun’

The numbers are still troubling compared to early summer, when most metrics had fallen to pandemic lows. Illinois has logged an average of more than 4,000 new cases each day over the last week, including 4,871 on Tuesday. "We all watch the numbers very closely, and when they start to flatten out, that’s always good news," Pritzker said.

Filed under:

State’s daily COVID-19 caseload soars the highest since early winter, ICUs 84% full

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,942 new coronavirus infections on Friday, topping last Friday’s 4,904, which had been the highest since Jan. 23.

Filed under:

Pritzker to order indoor masking for all 2 and up, plus mandatory vaccine for educators from kindergarten to college

The governor plans to make the announcement Thursday morning, just two days after he sidestepped questions about extending a vaccine mandate to all state workers.

Filed under:

Illinois Senate Republican leader tests positive for COVID-19 following state fair

Dan McConchie says he’s been vaccinated for months and his symptoms are "relatively mild."

Filed under:

Illinois COVID-19 cases hit seven-month high: ‘We are living in a very dangerous moment’

About 63% of eligible Chicagoans are fully vaccinated, but rates hover in the 20% range in many southern Illinois counties where hospitals are filling up. A total of 126 Illinois lives were lost to the virus over the last week, including 46 on Wednesday — the highest one-day toll in three months.

Filed under:

About-face? City announces return to indoor mask mandate starting Friday

The requirement applies to anyone age 2 or older, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor public settings.