(agilemktg1 / Flickr)

The State Health Improvement Plan is part of a larger five-year plan that Illinois officials will use to outline and address the major public health issues facing the state.  

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra is pictured at a news conference in Springfield in May 2023. IDPH is warning Illinoisans to take precautions against the spread of respiratory viruses as hospitalizations rise. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

COVID-19 hospitalizations up in recent weeks, masks recommended in certain settings

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 were up 22% statewide last week compared to the week before.

Rush Hospital outreach street nurse Joshua Dueshop vaccinates a resident of the Martha Washington senior apartments in North Center. (Amanda Vinicky / WTTW News)

While the public health emergency is officially over, COVID-19 is still making people sick, and health officials say they’ve entered a new front.

An illustration if the medication Beyfortus. (Credit: AstraZeneca)

Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said manufacturers, who are making the immunization for the first time, underestimated demand.

(Pexels / Kei Scampa)

The state still has a long way to go toward ensuring that all Illinois residents can have a safe and healthy pregnancy, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a press release.

(WTTW News)

It’s been three years since the first Chicago COVID-19 case was confirmed. Since then, more than four million people in Illinois have been diagnosed with coronavirus; it has killed more than 36,000 people in the state.

(WTTW News)

Illinois reported 3,314 new COVID cases Tuesday, leading to about a 7% increase from last week. Meanwhile, data shows RSV cases are on a steady decline and the virus could finally be peaking.

Dr. Sameer Vohra took over the Illinois Department of Public Health earlier this month. (WTTW News)

Dr. Sameer Vohra took over the Illinois Department of Public Health earlier this month.

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

By declaring the state a disaster area for the disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health will be able to more quickly coordinate the agency’s response to the spread of the virus and distribute vaccines more efficiently, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Dr. Sameer Vohra (Credit: Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that he has appointed pediatrician Dr. Sameer Vohra to lead the state health department starting Aug. 1.