Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is “making progress” in its coronavirus metrics and could soon enter the “Bridge Phase” of its reopening plan.
Meanwhile, the state is prepared to reach out to individuals believed to have skipped their second shots of the two-dose COVID vaccines.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Pritzker Says Illinois ‘Making Progress,’ Could Reach Bridge Phase Soon
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is “making progress” in its coronavirus metrics and could soon enter the “Bridge Phase” of its reopening plan, a new transition phase before reaching a full reopening.
“As you have seen in the numbers, they’ve been coming down gradually, which is terrific,” Pritzker said during a press conference to discuss an expansion of resources and vaccine accessibility in the state Monday. “We have a period of time that we wait – I think it’s another, I’ll have to look at the IDPH website lately, but it’s, you know, five or six more days of decline, which will allow us to move to the Bridge Phase and then on to Phase Five.”
To move into the Bridge Phase, the entire state needed to reach a 70% first-dose vaccination rate for residents 65 and older, in addition to maintaining the current required metrics of at least 20% ICU beds availability and holding steady on hospitalizations for COVID-19 or COVID-like illnesses, mortality rates and case rates over a 28-day monitoring period.
Illinois met the vaccination metric required to move to the Bridge Phase at the end of March, officials said, but did not advance because of increasing hospital admissions and COVID cases.
COVID Vaccine Hesitancy: Illinois Looks to Contact Those Who May Have Skipped 2nd Dose
After a new report revealed that millions of Americans have potentially skipped their second coronavirus vaccine doses, Illinois health officials say that they are prepared to continue following up with individuals who may have received one dose but not the follow-up shot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than five million people, or nearly 8% of those who were given a first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, have missed their second doses.
While it is unclear how many of those individuals live in the state of Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that the state is trying to do everything it can to overcome skepticism and fear of the treatments.
Pritzker says some of the disparity in numbers between doses one and two can be explained by getting the shots in different places, which can cause some issues in terms of properly counting those who have been vaccinated, but the state is prepared to reach out to individuals believed to have skipped their second shots.
Illinois Plans to Follow CDC Masking Guidelines: IDPH
With the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expected to update its guidance for wearing masks outdoors, what could that mean for Illinois? The state’s health department said it plans to follow CDC masking guidelines.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,137 New COVID Cases, 10 Deaths, 50K Vaccinations
Illinois health officials reported 2,137 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases and 10 additional deaths in the last day, along with over 50,000 vaccinations administered.
The newly reported coronavirus cases Monday bring the state total to 1,323,170 cases since the pandemic began. The additional deaths rose the total death toll to 21,836, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Researchers Looking Into Link Between COVID Vaccine and Menstruation
Anne Thompson received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine April 12, on what should have been the last day of her period. Her next period came a week a half early, prompting Thompson to wonder if the vaccine had somehow impacted her menstrual cycle.
It’s a question researcher Katherine Lee asked after her own experience. Lee reached out to Kate Clancy, an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, who then tweeted about it.
The overwhelming response prompted the researchers to create a survey, which they posted on social media. In all, 59,000 people have started the survey, describing varying experiences.
Cook County Now Accepting Walk-Ins at Mass COVID Vaccination Sites
Starting Monday, suburban Cook County’s mass COVID vaccination sites will begin accepting walk-ins.
The following mass vaccination sites will offer walk-ins:
- Tinley Park, 18451 Convention Center Drive (Moderna, age 18+)
- Matteson, 4647 Promenade Way (Pfizer, age 16+)
- River Grove- Triton College, 2000 5th Avenue (Pfizer, age 16+)
- South Holland- South Suburban College, 15800 State Street (Pfizer, age 16+)
- Des Plaines, 1155 E Oakton Street (Pfizer, age 16+)
- Forest Park, 7630 West Roosevelt Road (Pfizer, age 16+)
Walk-ins will be accepted from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to health officials. While individuals can now register at each site, appointments can still be made online or by calling 833-308-1988.
Chicago Offering Walk-In COVID Vaccinations at City-Run Sites
Chicago is now offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations at city-run sites as availability allows.
With vaccine eligibility expanded citywide to include residents age 16 and 17, Chicago Department of Public Health Dr. Allison Arwady encouraged people to bring family members to walk-up and be vaccinated.
“Let’s make this a family affair. Bring your parents, guardians, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and neighbors,” Arwady said. “The only way we can stop this pandemic and get back to the things we love is for all Chicagoans to step up and get vaccinated.”
Pause Lifted on Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine; Shots Resume in Chicago Area
U.S. health officials on Friday lifted the 11-day pause on the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID vaccine, allowing vaccinations to resume following reports of an extremely rare blood clot.
Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined the benefits outweigh the risks, emphasizing both have confidence the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.
In Illinois, providers who’ve already received doses of the vaccine were permitted to resume giving doses immediately, the state’s Department of Public Health said Friday night. Of the 760,000 doses allocated to the state of Illinois before the pause, a total of 290,000 were administered, health officials said.
‘COVID Arm’: What to Know After Getting the Moderna, Pfizer Vaccines
For many who get an mRNA COVID vaccine like Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, arm soreness is a common experience post-vaccination. But in some cases, there’s also what’s being called “COVID arm.”
“COVID arm” is used to describe delayed skin reactions such as rashes, which appear days after injection.
“If it is going to arise, it usually appears about a week after your vaccine,” Dr. Brita Roy, an internal medicine physician and director of population health for Yale Medicine said. “It‘s a red, swollen area at the site of the shot.”
Read more here.