Chicago Park District officials were to make it official Tuesday: Lakefront parks and playgrounds, officially closed throughout the pandemic, finally are set to reopen, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office.



a hand holding a blue object: Howard Brown Health's medical assistant Mariasha Davis prepares a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine inside Trinity United Church of Christ on Feb. 13, 2021.


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Howard Brown Health’s medical assistant Mariasha Davis prepares a syringe with the COVID-19 vaccine inside Trinity United Church of Christ on Feb. 13, 2021.



a group of people that are standing in the snow: People stand in line outside Trinity United Church of Christ to get COVID-19 vaccines Feb. 13, 2021.


© Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
People stand in line outside Trinity United Church of Christ to get COVID-19 vaccines Feb. 13, 2021.

Many people have ignored the city’s playground strictures, and enforcement of the playground ban has been hardly consistent. But Chicago police have continued to enforce the closure of lakefront parks until this week, as first reported by Block Club Chicago, which reported Monday that lakefront aldermen announced the move starting Friday.



a man wearing glasses talking on a cell phone: Paul Antczak Jr., a nursing student, gives the first of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to Robert Koc, a buildings and grounds director for Lyons School District 103 at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago on Feb. 8, 2021.


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Paul Antczak Jr., a nursing student, gives the first of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to Robert Koc, a buildings and grounds director for Lyons School District 103 at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago on Feb. 8, 2021.

Meanwhile, difficulty in securing vaccination appointments continues in Illinois, worsened by last week’s delay in federal vaccine shipments caused by the extreme cold and winter weather. Some eligible Illinoisans have turned to social media groups for help.

The number of Illinois residents who have been fully vaccinated — receiving both of the required shots — has reached 571,260, or 4.48% of the total population. Over the past seven days, the state averaged 55,499 vaccines administered daily.

Also Monday, the virus death toll in the U.S. topped 500,000 Monday, all but matching the number of Americans killed in World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.

The lives lost, as recorded by Johns Hopkins University, are about equal to the population of Kansas City, Missouri, and greater than that of Miami; Raleigh, North Carolina; or Omaha, Nebraska.



a close up of a person wearing a hat and glasses: Alex Infante, a fourth-year pharmacy student, prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the vaccine pharmacy center that will be given to patients at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago on Feb. 8, 2021.


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Alex Infante, a fourth-year pharmacy student, prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the vaccine pharmacy center that will be given to patients at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago on Feb. 8, 2021.

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a person holding a wine glass: Sister Patricia Sanchez receives a COVID-19 vaccination from medical assistant Syreetta Stinson at Friend Health clinic on East 55th Street in Chicago on Feb. 18, 2021.


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Sister Patricia Sanchez receives a COVID-19 vaccination from medical assistant Syreetta Stinson at Friend Health clinic on East 55th Street in Chicago on Feb. 18, 2021.

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Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

7:17 a.m.: Park District to finally reopen lakefront, playgrounds, as well as indoor pools



a group of people sitting at a desk: Jada Johnson receives her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Armando Ambriz, medical assistant with Esperanza Health Centers, at the Gage Park vaccination site in Chicago on Feb. 19, 2021.


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Jada Johnson receives her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Armando Ambriz, medical assistant with Esperanza Health Centers, at the Gage Park vaccination site in Chicago on Feb. 19, 2021.

The Chicago Park District Tuesday was expected to announce the city’s lakefront, playgrounds and indoor aquatics centers will begin to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic forced them closed nearly a year ago.

The decision comes after the city’s public health department and Mayor Lori Lightfoot Monday touted the city’s test positivity rate dipped to 3.4%, “the lowest the city has been since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak,” the agency posted on social media.

The lakefront, its associated parking lots and public access points leading to park property east of Lake Shore Drive are to be reopened by Chicago Park District crews, according to an email from a city spokesman. The popular public spaces began to close last March, when city playgrounds also were locked.



Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot clenches her fist after she receives her second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Feb. 19, 2021, at the Gage Park vaccination site.


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot clenches her fist after she receives her second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Feb. 19, 2021, at the Gage Park vaccination site.

A precise timeline wasn’t available for the reopening of those playgrounds but after months of uncertainty, the city appears ready to make changes.

“During the upcoming weeks, the Chicago Park District will also unlock gates and prepare all 500+ outdoor playgrounds and nature play spaces to reopen,” according to the city statement.



an empty bottle on a counter: Empty bottles of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are shown at Will County Community Health in Joliet on Feb. 8, 2021.


© Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Empty bottles of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are shown at Will County Community Health in Joliet on Feb. 8, 2021.

Many people have ignored the city’s playground strictures, and enforcement of the playground ban has been hardly consistent. But Chicago police have continued to enforce the closure of lakefront parks until this week, as first reported by Block Club Chicago, which reported Monday that lakefront aldermen announced the move starting Friday.



a pair of feet on a table: Corinne Puchalla, a pharmacist with the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the vaccine pharmacy center that will be given to people at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago on Feb. 8, 2021.


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Corinne Puchalla, a pharmacist with the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the vaccine pharmacy center that will be given to people at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago on Feb. 8, 2021.

Spring registration for park district activities begins March 8, and “limited aquatics programming,” was expected to be on offer once the park district reopen indoor swimming pools.

Read more here. —Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas

7:01 a.m.: New state mass vaccination site opens Tuesday in Rockford

A state-supported mass vaccination site will launch Tuesday at the former Kmart on Sandy Hollow Road.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday the launch of the Rockford location and one in Collinsville. Both will be able to provide up to 1,350 doses per day at full capacity.

At the Rockford site, 1321 Sandy Hollow Road, Winnebago County public health officials joined city officials, state representatives and the Illinois National Guard to share information. This location will be appointment only and currently they are only taking those in the phase 1A category. Phase B starts Thursday. You can register online at wchd.org or by calling by calling 815-319-6705.

The city is leasing the site from developer Sunil Puri, founder of First Midwest Group.

Members of the Illinois National Guard have been activated to provide support in setting up additional mobile vaccination sites to reach rural and underserved communities.

Mobile sites will focus on central workplaces and congregate living this week, said Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Sandra Martell.

Winnebago County has vaccinated 39,027 people so far, Martell said, with 3.14% of the population having received at least one shot of the vaccine. —Rockford Register-Star

6 a.m.: Woman who died after transplant surgery in Michigan got COVID-19 from donated lungs

A woman who died after undergoing a double lung transplant at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor is the first known person to contract COVID-19 from donor lungs, according to a new case report published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

“To my knowledge, this is the first, and actually the only, documented transmission of COVID-19 to a recipient” from donated organs, said Bruce Nicely, chief clinical officer of Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery program.

The case represents “the worst-possible scenario” to play out in the pandemic that has killed more than half a million Americans, Nicely said, noting, however, that Gift of Life Michigan was not involved in this donation. The transplant occurred in late October and the donor was from out of state.

Read more here. —Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

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Illinois surpasses 2.2 million COVID-19 vaccines, but 7-day average still down.

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