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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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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Family members wearing masks walk along the sidewalk in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Thursday, May 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

Indoor mask mandates for the city of Chicago and state of Illinois are ending Monday. But don’t leave home without one – you’ll still need it in some places. Here’s what you need to know.

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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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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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Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the news media Monday, Feb. 14. (Chicago's Mayor's Office)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot declined Monday to say whether the city is on track to lift its mask mandate along with the state or lift the vaccine mandate for patrons of restaurants, fitness centers and bars on Feb. 28.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted on Feb. 28 during a press conference on Feb. 9, 2022. (WTTW News)

Masks will still be required in most Illinois schools as state officials ask an appellate court to reverse a decision by a Sangamon County judge who ended the mask mandate in some Illinois schools, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

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(WTTW News)

The rate of COVID-19 vaccinations began growing faster among Chicagoans 18 and older as compared with any other age group, according to city data. 

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(WTTW News)

The state law, which applies in Chicago as well as the rest of the state, took effect Jan. 1. 

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(WTTW News)

More than 14,000 students and staff within Chicago Public Schools are currently either quarantining or in isolation due to COVID-19, but the district will soon be shortening the amount of time those people need to stay home from school.

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Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Department of Public Health, addresses the news media on Wednesday Jan. 19, 2021. (Chicago's Mayor's Office)

Chicago's COVID-19 test positivity peaked at 19.6% on Jan. 1, Arwady said, and hit 12.6% on Tuesday, the lowest rate since Dec. 28, according to city data. 

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Though N95 and KN95 masks are treated as disposable, single-use gear in clinical settings, in everyday life they can be reused for extended periods when cared for properly. We’ve got tips.

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(WTTW News)

“COVID is very real, it’s merciless, and unless you are fully vaccinated, your defenses against it are pretty low,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. 

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(WTTW News)

There were 16,581 new and probable COVID-19 cases recorded within the past 24 hours by the Illinois Department of Public Health. That’s the highest single-day total this year and the highest since November 2020, per IDPH data.

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(WTTW News)

Chicago's updated travel advisory includes 42 states, announced Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

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(WTTW News)

The omicron variant of COVID-19, which is believed to be highly transmissible, has been detected in Chicago, state and city health officials announced Tuesday.