This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

People identified as close contacts to someone suspected or confirmed with monkeypox are being offered the vaccine, as well as treatment with antiviral medication for those with more severe illness, according to city health officials.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

One week ago, federal officials lowered the risk warning level to high for Cook County. But even as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to drop, hospitalizations rose just enough across Cook County to trigger an increase in the warning level by federal officials.

(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city agencies announced the launch of the Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) program’s new data dashboard, which will provide regular updates on when and how these 911 calls are handled.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

COVID-19 posed a high risk in Chicago and Cook County for 21 days, but neither state, county nor city officials imposed new restrictions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Chicagoans should consider the CDC’s medium level of risk warning as “a yellow light of caution,” Dr. Allison Arwady has said.

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

“While the risk in Chicago remains low, CDPH wants the public to be able to make informed choices about gathering in spaces or participating in events where monkeypox could be spread through close or intimate contact,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

(WTTW News)
,

Thirty-two people were shot in 24 separate shooting incidents between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday night, according to the Chicago Police Department.

(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.

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.

(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.

(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. 

(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.

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. 

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.

(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.

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.

(StockSnap / Pixabay)

State Contact Tracing Surge Center Handling Bulk of Cases

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.