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(WTTW News)

The county has seen virus-related hospitalizations increase for 10 consecutive days; and for three days, the availability of intensive care unit beds has dipped below 20%, according to public health data reported Thursday.

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(Andrés Rodríguez / Pixabay)

More than 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in suburban Cook County. While the pace of vaccinations is ramping up, infections are rising, keeping contact tracers busy doing vital work to stop the spread of the virus, officials say.

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(WTTW News)

Suburban Cook County residents ages 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, and while eligibility in Chicago doesn’t expand until April 19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said adults in Chicago are also “absolutely welcome” to sign up at any state-run mass vaccination site starting Monday.

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(JamesDeMers / Pixabay)

Suburban Cook County health officials are extremely concerned with the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations but are holding off on reimposing mitigations to curb the spread of the virus, at least for now.

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The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Chicago were administered at the Loretto Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

New appointments at Cook County’s mass vaccination sites for those now eligible will open at 6 p.m. Wednesday online. 

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(JamesDeMers / Pixabay)

The move comes a day after the city of Chicago loosened restrictions on outdoor businesses and social gatherings.  

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Empty jury box area readied for members of the jury in the courtroom of Judge Vincent Gaughan at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

Opening statements and testimony began Tuesday in the burglary trial of Glenn Whitmore, one day after the court selected its first jury for a criminal trial since March 2020.

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(WTTW News)

Vaccine eligibility in Illinois will open up to everyone by April 12, but there are a lot of different windows of eligibility leading up to that date.

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Sharone Mitchell Jr. appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, March 22, 2021. (WTTW News)

Sharone Mitchell Jr. is coming in at a turbulent time: Jury trials resumed Monday with a massive backlog of cases, and a controversial criminal justice bill was signed by the governor last month. All of this, of course, comes against the backdrop of COVID-19.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces the opening of a new COVID-19 vaccination site in Forest Park on Monday, March 22, 2021. (WTTW News)

A year after the state shut down to stop the spread of the coronavirus, officials announced the opening of a new mass vaccination site in Cook County that will be open to all eligible Illinois residents starting Friday.

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The city is expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines. (WTTW News)

Chicago is pushing ahead with plans to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and President Joe Biden has asked states to make all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1. But local governments say further expansion is entirely dependent on vaccine supply.

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(WTTW News)

Officials will open new appointments at the county’s five mass vaccination sites for the residents who are newly eligible at noon Friday. More than 68% of individuals 65 and older in suburban Cook County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said.

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(WTTW News)

A just-launched program will bring coronavirus vaccines to residents at temporary pop-up sites across suburban Cook County as part of an “equity-focused approach to the vaccine distribution,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Thursday.

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(WTTW News)

Applications for the new program are being accepted through April 9. Suburban residents can receive up to $15,000 in assistance to cover up to 12 months of missed rent and utility payments and up to three months of future rent payments. 

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(WTTW News)

Officials also announced the loosening of restrictions on alcohol sales and increased capacity for indoor fitness classes, performance venues, movie theaters and personal services. 

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Empty jury box area readied for members of the jury in the courtroom of Judge Vincent Gaughan at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans announced target dates to resume in-person jury trials on March 22 at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th Street and on March 29 at the Bridgeview Courthouse.