Officials have changed eligibility requirements for appointments at the United Center’s mass COVID-19 vaccination site, limiting appointments to Chicago and Cook County residents only.
Meanwhile, more Chicago Public Schools students return to classrooms on Monday for the first time in nearly a year
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
More CPS Students Return to Schools for In-Person Learning
More Chicago Public Schools students return to classrooms on Monday for the first time in nearly a year under the district’s phased plan to resume in-person learning.
Students grades 6 through 8 return to schools Monday, after staff for those grades, as well as students in kindergarten through fifth grade returned last week.
Pre-K and cluster program students and teachers returned last month after CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union reached a deal to reopen schools after weeks of acrimonious negotiations over safety protocols, vaccinations and more.
United Center Vaccination Site: Who’s Eligible to Book Appointments, and Who’s Not
After receiving additional guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, local and state officials have changed eligibility requirements for appointments at the United Center’s mass vaccination site, limiting appointments to Chicago and Cook County residents only.
According to an email sent by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office on Sunday, eligibility for appointments will indeed expand to residents age 18 or older with pre-existing health conditions and comorbidities, but appointments will only be available to Chicago residents after 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Find more information here.
Suburban High School Student Helping Strangers Obtain COVID Vaccine Appointments
Avi Rubin, a suburban Highland Park high school student, may not fit the current age requirement to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but he’s become quite familiar with the sign-up process.
As the founder of “Vaccine Volunteers IL,” Rubin has made it his mission to help complete strangers secure vaccination appointments. So far, he has helped around 70 Illinois residents obtain appointments.
During an interview with NBC 5 Sunday, he offered some advice for people who are signing up on their own.
“Start early at 12 a.m., because you know, appointments are posted throughout the day,” Rubin explained. “…Then I’ve also found that the autofill is a great feature, because cancellations… You won’t get those if you’re spending 10 minutes filling out your information.”
Those looking for assistance in obtaining an appointment can fill out Rubin’s online form or text “VACCINE” to 773-780-0074.
Eligibility for United Center Mass Vaccination Site Appointments Expands
On Sunday afternoon, eligibility for appointments at the mass COVID vaccination site at the United Center opened up to all Chicago residents who are 18 years of age or older and who have pre-existing health conditions.
In a significant change, appointments via Zocdoc will only be available to residents who live in the city of Chicago. According to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, the change was made at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Association to better ensure that vaccine appointments would be available to “vulnerable populations” in the city itself.
Anyone age 18 and over with underlying medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, obesity and other comorbidities, can sign up for appointments.
Read the full story here.
Coronavirus by the Numbers: COVID-19 Metrics in Each of Illinois’ Health Care Regions
Key coronavirus metrics are still improving in many Illinois counties, according to the latest data released by the state’s Department of Public Health on Sunday afternoon.
Currently, the lowest positivity rate in the state can be found in Region 5, located in the state’s southeastern corner. There, the positivity rate on all tests over the last seven days is currently at 1.6% and dropping, officials say.
The highest positivity rate in the state is in Region 8, comprised of Kane and DuPage counties. There, the positivity rate is at 4.5%.
Find the complete details here.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 1,068 New Cases, 14 Deaths, Nearly 100K Vaccinations Reported
Health officials in Illinois confirmed just over 1,000 new cases of coronavirus and 14 additional deaths on Sunday, with nearly 100,000 additional doses of the COVID vaccine administered to state residents.
According to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, a total of 1,068 new confirmed and probably COVID cases were reported over the last 24 hours, bringing the state’s total to 1,198,335 cases since the pandemic began last year.
The 14 new deaths bring the state to 20,763 fatalities related to the virus, according to health officials.
In the last 24 hours, state health officials say 68,094 new test specimens were returned to state laboratories, bringing the statewide total to 18.6 million tests performed.
As of Sunday morning, 1,141 Illinois residents were hospitalized due to the virus, the lowest number recorded since the pandemic began to spread last spring. Of those patients, 255 are currently in ICU beds, and 112 are on ventilators as they battle the virus.
Read more here.