,

Governor: “We are running out of time as our hospitals run out of beds”

|
Diners wear face masks as they sit outside a restaurant in Chicago. (WTTW News)

After a weekslong surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday announced an indoor mask mandate for all Illinois residents and a vaccine requirement for pre-K through 12th grade teachers and staff, among others.

, ,
|
(WTTW News)

With classes for students in pre-K through 12th grade set to resume across Illinois in the coming weeks, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday announced a mask mandate for all students and staff at public and private schools.

|
(FotoshopTofs / Pixabay)

A Cook County man in his 80s who became ill in mid-June is the first person known to have contracted the West Nile virus in Illinois this year, according to state health officials.

|
People wearing masks line up for a food drive in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side on April 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

Echoing a masking announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois health officials are recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in school settings and in areas where COVID-19 is spreading.

,
|
(WTTW News)

Chicago officials have reinstated the city’s COVID-19 travel advisory as cases spike with the spread of the delta variant of the virus in Missouri and Arkansas. The order had been suspended for 42 days.

,
|
(WTTW News)

People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 should continue to wear face coverings in crowded settings and maintain 6 feet of social distance when inside businesses and venues, even after Illinois moves into phase 5 of its reopening plan, according to new guidance.

|
Dorothy Wright-Foulkes filters wastewater samples. (Credit: Illinois Department of Public Health)

Health officials are launching a statewide system to monitor COVID-19 and its variants in wastewater that will provide early warnings of a potential outbreak on a county-by-county basis.

,
|
(WTTW News)

As schools across Illinois welcome back more students for in-person learning, state officials have announced a new investment to increase access to COVID-19 testing “at low or no cost.”

,
|
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces that COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held in office buildings as employees return to work at a news conference Monday, May 10, 2021. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

Vaccination clinics will open in office buildings in downtown Chicago and across the state as officials continue to get as many people vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. The vaccines will allow the city to put “the pandemic in the rearview mirror,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.

|
(WTTW News)

“The days of vaccine scarcity are over,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday. “Today, we’re initiating the expansion of vaccine administration to physician offices across the state of Illinois, allowing them to become COVID-19 vaccine providers for their patients.”

|
(StockSnap / Pixabay)

Black women are three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than their white counterparts, according to a new report. While that disparity has narrowed, officials say it’s not due to conditions improving for Black women but instead worsening conditions for white women. 

|
(WTTW News)

“Our young adults have a key role to play in bringing this pandemic to an end,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement Friday announcing state-supported mass vaccination sites will have appointments available specifically for college students starting this weekend.

|
(WTTW News)

New funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will allow Illinois to “move quickly to further expand our aggressive efforts to reach those most vulnerable to COVID-19,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. 

,
|
(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.

,
|
(WTTW News)

The final decision on vaccine eligibility remains with local health departments, officials said. That means the change will not expand eligibility in areas of the state, like Chicago and Cook County, where demand for the COVID-19 vaccine continues to far outpace supply.

|
(Mimzy / Pixabay)

A new call center will help eligible Illinois residents — including those without access to the internet — secure a coveted COVID-19 vaccine appointment by phone.