,
|
Music fans line up to enter Lollapalooza on the first day of the festival, which returns to Grant Park from July 29 through Aug. 1, 2021. (WTTW News)

As thousands of music lovers flocked to Grant Park for the first day of Lollapalooza, a surge of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago and the suburbs prompted Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reimpose a mask mandate in state facilities for everyone, regardless of their vaccination status.

|
(WTTW News)

“To any who have been hesitating about being vaccinated, please I implore you to hesitate no longer. We’re very concerned about the spread of this so-called delta variant,” said Dr. Kiran Joshi of the Cook County Department of Public Health. “Please go out, get vaccinated.”

|
(Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash)

Opioid-related overdoses in Cook County increased by more than 40% last year. While this spike began in December 2019 — before COVID-19 was widespread — the pandemic accelerated the trend. We discuss the state of the opioid epidemic in the Chicago area.

,
|
(WTTW News via CNN)

Flowers, candy and jewelry are all go-to gifts for mom. But this year, Cook County officials say the No. 1 gift can’t be bought in a store. “This year all your mother wants for Mother’s Day is for you to get vaccinated,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. 

,
|
Downtown Evanston (WTTW News)

With Chicago officials targeting July 4 as a date to fully reopen, suburban Cook County officials hope to have “a similar, if not identical reopening schedule.”

|
Individuals are issued a COVID-19 vaccination card when they’re vaccinated. (Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

COVID-19 vaccination cards have become the proverbial golden ticket. But what should you do if you lose it or never get one in the first place? And how do you keep your card safe? Here’s what you need to know. 

|
(WTTW News)

Starting Friday, restaurants in suburban Cook County can serve up to 100 people indoors or no more than 50% capacity, according to officials.

,
|
(WTTW News)

The Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Cook County Department of Public Health restarted administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday, as officials said it is safe and effective.

|
(WTTW News)

Black and Latino residents of suburban Cook County, who are more likely to contract COVID-19 and experience severe illness and die, are getting vaccinated at a slower pace than whites and Asians, according to public health officials.

|
(WTTW News via CNN)

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine in suburban Cook County just got a little easier. Mass vaccination sites in Tinley Park and Matteson will accept walk-in appointments through Saturday in an effort to remove barriers to vaccination, according to officials.

|
(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.

|
(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.

,
|
(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.

,
|
(WTTW News)

Cook County leaders may have no choice but to impose new restrictions designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 amid a “very sharp” increase in infections, officials said Saturday. “We are in the beginnings of a new surge,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin of the Cook County Department of Public Health.

,
|
(JamesDeMers / Pixabay)

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

,
|
(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.