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Hospitals in southern Illinois are facing a critical shortage of available ICU beds. (WTTW News)

Hospitals in parts of the state are facing a critical shortage of available beds in their intensive care units. The highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19, combined with low vaccination rates, has created an overwhelming situation for medical providers for the last month.

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(WTTW News)

Unvaccinated visitors to Chicago from 48 states as well as Washington, D.C., Guam and the Virgin Islands are urged to quarantine for 10 days or record a negative test for the coronavirus within 72 hours of their arrival, officials said.

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In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, a syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke, File)

COVID-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to where they were over the winter, wiping out months of progress and potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s argument for his sweeping new vaccination requirements. 

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(WTTW News)

The advisory now covers 48 states as well as Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, said Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s top doctor. “This is an encouraging snapshot of the nation’s daily COVID data, but by no means can we let our guard down now,” she said.

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(AP Illustration / Peter Hamlin)

The World Health Organization last month listed mu as a “variant of interest” because of concerns it may make vaccines and treatments less effective, though more evidence is needed. 

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(WTTW News)

Chicagoans who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 should not travel, Dr. Allison Arwady announced Wednesday, as officials expanded the city’s advisory designed to stop the spread of the still-surging virus to every state and territory in the U.S.

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FILE - In this March 27, 2020, file photo, a Walgreens sign is displayed outside the store in Wheeling, Ill. Walgreens will hike starting pay to $15 an hour beginning in October, as employers across the United States continue boosting wages to attract workers. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)

The August job growth the government reported Friday fell far short of the sizable gains of roughly 1 million in each of the previous two months. The hiring jumps in June and July had followed widespread vaccinations that allowed the economy to fully reopen from pandemic restrictions. 

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In this file photo, CPS students sit masked and socially distanced. (WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools students are scheduled to return for in-person classes Monday. But what will that return look like amid an ongoing pandemic? CPS parents join “Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices” for a panel discussion.

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Jodie Ford, an ICU nurse, moves electrical cords for medical machines, outside the room of a patient suffering from COVID-19, in an intensive care unit at the Willis-Knighton Medical Center in Shreveport, La., Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert)

The latest surge in coronavirus cases is overwhelming many intensive care units, causing hospitals and states to run out of ICU beds in some locations. A maxed-out ICU can become a staffing and logistical nightmare.

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(WTTW News)

The mandate is likely to trigger a legal battle with the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 7, which represents the city’s 12,000 rank-and-file officers.

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(WTTW News)

Chicago officials added four states to the city’s COVID-19 travel advisory on Tuesday as the number of cases continues to spike with the spread of the delta variant of the virus.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot talks about a vaccine requirement for city workers on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (WTTW News)

City workers will “absolutely” have to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday, promising a formal announcement in “days.”

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a mask mandate for all pre-K through 12th grade students and staff at public and private schools, along with day cares, as the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to surge across the state and the country, Aug. 4, 2021. (WTTW News)

The governor institutes a full pre-K through 12 mask mandate. The city’s casino process gets delayed. The governor’s race could get a new entrant. And fire sale Cubs take on the surging Sox.

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Nurse Jennifer Ulloa administers a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, July 27, 2021, at the county’s vaccination clinic in Whispering Pines, Calif. (Elias Funez / The Union via AP)

The nation’s top infectious disease expert warned Sunday that more “pain and suffering” is on the horizon as COVID-19 cases climb again and officials plead with unvaccinated Americans to get their shots.

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In this July 19 2021 file photo, employees check out customers at 2nd Street second hand store in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

New evidence showing the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be more dangerous than other versions has prompted U.S. health officials to consider changing advice on how the nation fights the coronavirus, internal documents show.

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Fears spike that Lollapalooza will be a super-spreader event, with thousands of locals and tourists attending amid surging delta variant cases. (WTTW News)

Fears spike that Lollapalooza will be a super-spreader event, with thousands of locals and tourists attending amid surging delta variant cases. Meanwhile, masking mandates make a comeback. Illinois Republicans battle each other over the Jan. 6 committee hearings. And the Cubs shed their World Series stars.