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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago officials will not immediately reimpose an indoor mask mandate because the city’s hospitals are not being strained by the number of people seriously sick with COVID-19.

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Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady speaks Thursday, May 26, 2022. (WTTW News)

More than 100 cases of the virus have been reported globally, including in North America. While city officials are monitoring the situation, “at this point it has not been an explosive kind of outbreak,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

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(WTTW News)

 “The expansion of the CARE program will ensure residents can be connected to trained specialists in behavioral and mental health, providing better outcomes for 911 callers and communities,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

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(Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash)

Starting Thursday, Chicagoans calling the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances can be transferred directly to treatment provider Family Guidance Centers, Inc. to receive immediate medication-assisted recovery. 

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Since May 5, federal health officials have warned all residents of Cook County that they face a “medium” risk of contracting COVID-19. Since then, Chicago health officials have “strongly” urged Chicagoans to wear a mask when they are indoors, particularly in a crowded setting where they are unaware of the vaccination status of those around them.

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Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, appears on “Chicago Tonight” on May 9, 2022. (WTTW News)

Chicago, Cook County and several surrounding counties have all recently been designated as being at “medium risk” of their residents contracting COVID-19. 

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the news media Tuesday April 19, 2022. (Heather Cherone/WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has vowed to ensure Chicago remains a safe haven for women seeking an abortion or other reproductive health care.

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(WTTW News)

Data provided by Chicago health officials to WTTW News show fewer than 10 outbreaks at Chicago day care facilities between Jan. 2 and March 20, but officials acknowledged there were likely more outbreaks.

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CTA free face mask dispenser. (Courtesy of Chicago Transit Authority)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued the revised executive order hours after Chicago health and transportation officials told riders a state order required them to keep masking up.

State Contact Tracing Surge Center Handling Bulk of Cases

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(StockSnap / Pixabay)

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, city and county officials hired hundreds of contact tracers to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as the sheer number of cases overwhelmed local health departments. But as the coronavirus pandemic enters an endemic phase, contact tracing will become more targeted, according to officials.

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(WTTW News)

“I don’t anticipate, you know, more serious consequences in terms of work stoppages,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said, “but we will continue to work together because we have it in both our best interests to keep our community safe.”

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Program pairs police with mental health professionals to respond to some calls

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(WTTW News)

Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) teams — which are comprised of police officers trained in crisis intervention, a mental health professional and a paramedic — fielded 134 separate mental health crisis calls between Sept.13, 2021 and Wednesday, according to new city data.

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A bartender mixes a drink at the Chicago restaurant 14 Parish. (WTTW News)

After 182 days, Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted the statewide mandate on Monday as confirmed cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations continued to drop precipitously after the surge driven by the omicron variant. 

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(WTTW News)

The city will end its indoor mask mandate Monday. Plus, restaurants, fitness centers and bars will no longer require customers to show proof of vaccination for entry. We spoke with Chicago’s top doctor about recent COVID-19 metrics.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the news media on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. (Heather Cherone/WTTW News)

“It’s important for us to recognize this moment for what it is: a huge step forward in our effort to overcome COVID-19,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

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An aerial shot of the newly constructed Southside Recycling, 11600 S. Burley Ave. (Courtesy of Reserve Management Group)

Officials with the Chicago Department of Public Health rejected the permit because of the “potential adverse changes in air quality and quality of life that would be caused by operations, and health vulnerabilities in the surrounding communities.”