Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine an update on the ongoing Federal response to COVID-19, June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The new variants, labeled BA.4 and BA.5, are offshoots of the omicron strain that has been responsible for nearly all of the virus spread in the U.S. and are even more contagious than their predecessors.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The threat of COVID-19 eased across Chicago and Cook County Thursday, as federal officials lowered the warning level to “medium” after two weeks at “high,” according to Centers for Disease Control data. However, Chicago Department of Public Health officials continue to recommend that residents wear masks indoors and on public transportation. 

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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.

(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.

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)

Nine cases of monkeypox have been detected in Chicago while one case has been identified in DuPage County, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

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More than 200 people across the country, including 11 in Illinois, have become ill after coming in contact with poultry in backyard flocks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

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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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Of the nine children under investigation for severe hepatitis, two-thirds tested positive for a common virus that causes cold or flu-like illness, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required in most public spaces, but some establishments still require it. What should you do if you’ve legally changed your name since getting the jab? Here’s what you need to know.

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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.

A nurse holds a vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, right, and a vial of the vaccine for adults, which has a different colored label, at a vaccination station in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo / Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The Food and Drug Administration’s authorization now opens a third shot to elementary-age kids, too — at least five months after their last dose. There is one more hurdle: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to formally recommend the booster for this age group.

Sara Atkins poses for a photo, in Wynnewood, Pa., Tuesday, May 10, 2022, while holding a pillow with an image of her father Andy Rotman-Zaid, who died of COVID-19 in December 2020. She channels her grief into fighting for global vaccination and better access to health care to honor her father. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

The confirmed number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out.

Deb Walker visits the grave of her daughter, Brooke Goodwin, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Chester, Vt. Goodwin, 23, died in March of 2021 of a fatal overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl and xylazine, an animal tranquilizer that is making its way into the illicit drug supply. (AP Photo / Lisa Rathke, File)

The provisional 2021 total translates to roughly one U.S. overdose death every 5 minutes. It marked a 15% increase from the previous record, set the year before. The CDC reviews death certificates and then makes an estimate to account for delayed and incomplete reporting.

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The U.S. firearm homicide rate in 2020 was the highest recorded since 1994, according to data published Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 2019 and 2020, the overall firearm homicide rate increased by about 35%, according to the new data in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Residents of seven northeast Illinois counties — McHenry, Lake, Cook, Kendall, DuPage, Will and Grundy — face a medium level of COVID-19 risk, according to the CDC. Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Chicagoans should consider the CDC’s medium level of risk warning as “a yellow light of caution.”

(valelopardo/ Pixabay)

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday announced it has learned about three suspected cases of severe hepatitis in children under 10 that are potentially linked to a strain of the adenovirus.