COVID-19 in Illinois: 6,642 new cases, 123 additional deaths

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Restaurant and bar restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in empty tables across Illinois and some temporary closures, including at Andersonville pub Hopleaf. (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday the toughest restrictions in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus will lift in three Illinois regions — but will stay in place in Chicago and suburban Cook County.

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(WTTW News)

A variant of the coronavirus first discovered in the United Kingdom and believed to be more transmissible is present in Chicago, city health officials announced Friday.

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(WTTW News via CNN)

Respiratory therapists care for some of the sickest COVID-19 patients. We hear from two local therapists about their experiences and workloads amid the pandemic.

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(WTTW News)

North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side has faced challenges of economic depression, unemployment and violence for many years, all before the pandemic exacerbated those issues last spring. 

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Andrew Walcott, owner of Fusion East Caribbean & Soul Food restaurant, poses for a photo at the restaurant in East New York neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. Walcott had to furlough four employees at his restaurant just before Christmas, after New York state stopped allowing indoor dining. (AP Photo / Mary Altaffer)

The latest figures for jobless claims, issued Thursday by the Labor Department, remain at levels never seen until the virus struck. Before the pandemic, weekly applications typically numbered around 225,000. 

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(WTTW News)

Chicago restaurants and bars have been prohibited from serving patrons indoors since Oct. 30, when a sustained and grave surge of coronavirus cases threatened to overwhelm the city and state’s hospitals and health care system.

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The second doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Chicago were administered at Norwegian American Hospital on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. (WTTW News)

New mass vaccination sites will open on Friday at Olive Harvey City College, on Tuesday at Kennedy-King City College and on Wednesday at Truman City College, officials announced.

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(Courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory)

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, just outside Chicago, helped fast-track the development of coronavirus vaccines. Dr. Stephen Streiffer, director of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne, tells us more.

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A health care worker gets the COVID-19 vaccine in Peoria, Illinois on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

City health officials will allow Chicagoans 65 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting next week — if there are doses available after health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities are vaccinated, the city’s top doctor told aldermen Wednesday.

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In this Dec. 22, 2020, file photo, registered nurses Robin Gooding, left, and Johanna Ortiz treat a COVID-19 patient at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong, File)

The nation’s overall death toll from COVID-19 has eclipsed 380,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, and is closing in fast on the number of Americans killed in World War II, or about 407,000. Confirmed infections have topped 22.8 million.

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Dr. Emily Landon appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (WTTW News)

The Trump administration on Tuesday instructed states to begin vaccinating Americans over age 65 for COVID-19, as well as those with chronic medical conditions. We discuss Chicago’s rollout with an infectious disease specialist.

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In this Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 file photo, people walk with their luggage through a deserted check-in hall at the airport in Munich, Germany as Germany continues its second lockdown to avoid the further outspread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo / Matthias Schrader)

Anyone flying to the U.S. will soon need to show proof of a negative test for COVID-19, health officials announced Tuesday.

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(AP Illustration / Peter Hamlin)

The short answer: Yes. Regardless of previous infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people should plan on getting vaccinated when it’s their turn.

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Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 at the North Riverside Health Center. (WTTW News)

“Most people survive this illness but some don’t,” Illinois’ top doctor said before receiving her first dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. “I don’t want to gamble with my life and I don’t want anyone else to gamble with theirs.”

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(WTTW News)

Under the new system, which will take effect Friday, a state will be placed in one of two categories — orange or yellow — based on whether it has more than 15 new COVID-19 cases per day, per 100,000 population, officials said.

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U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 22, 2020 via Zoom. (WTTW News)

Illinois U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider is the third Democratic member of the House who has tested positive for COVID-19 after being forced to go into lockdown during last week’s violent siege at the U.S. Capitol.

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