With vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna close to U.S. regulatory approval, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is expecting doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to begin arriving in Illinois as early as Dec. 13.
Pritzker said the latest report is that Illinois will receive 109,000 doses initially. The state’s vaccination plan follows federal guidelines in terms of priority of recipients. First in line, not surprisingly, are health care workers, residents and staff members of long-term care facilities, and members of the workforce who perform “essential functions.”.
Here’s what’s happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:
2:40 p.m.: ‘Totally unprecedented’: Concern grows as Indiana hospitals fill with COVID-19 patients
As winter comes, concern is growing as Indiana hospitals, intensive care units and emergency rooms are filling with COVID-19 patients.
In the past two weeks, all eight hospitals they serve, including St. Catherine in East Chicago, Franciscan Hammond, Franciscan Dyer and Methodist Northlake in Gary have been on bypass at some point, said Merrillville-based Northwest Ambulance owner Alechia Norwood.
That means, ambulances are told for a certain block of time a hospital is at capacity, directing them elsewhere. By comparison, as an emergency room nurse at Methodist Northlake in Gary from 2006-2015, it went on bypass only once for four hours, she said.
“This is totally unprecedented to see all of the hospitals on bypass,” Norwood said.
Franciscan Health, with hospitals including in Northwest Indiana, Indianapolis, Lafayette, and Olympia Fields, Illinois, is seeing a big jump in cases and a shrinking number of intensive care unit beds.
“In recent weeks, we have seen a surge in COVID cases across our system. Our inpatient bed occupancy rates are above 90% across the system. Currently, our ICU capacity is low, and varies from day to day, presently ranging between 11 and 20 ICU beds available systemwide. We have adequate ventilator capacity at all our hospitals,” spokesman Robert Blaszkiewicz said.
2:35 p.m.: States submit COVID-19 vaccine orders as many report record infections, hospitalizations and deaths
States faced a deadline on Friday to place orders for the coronavirus vaccine as many reported record infections, hospitalizations and deaths, while hospitals were pushed to the breaking point — with the worst feared yet to come.
The number of Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 hit an all-time high in the U.S. on Thursday at 100,667, according to the COVID Tracking Project. That figure has more than doubled over the past month, while new daily cases are averaging 210,000 and deaths are averaging 1,800 per day, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
2 p.m.: Chicago-area vaccination sites will be at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies — but also drive-thrus at schools, parks and maybe Six Flags
This fall, in anticipation of distributing vaccines against COVID-19, Lake County officials tried a small practice run to give out a large number of inoculations.
To get their annual flu shots, county workers drove through an outdoor clinic in a parking lot. After some initial hiccups, officials said, about 300 people were injected at the setup, with average wait times of about five minutes. Organizers hope to mount a similar plan of attack for the coronavirus.
As part of a nationwide effort against the pandemic, Chicago-area health officials are rushing to prepare for vaccinations on a scale never before seen.
In some suburbs, officials say, that is likely to mean drive-thru sites, similar to the mass testing sites currently operating. In Chicago, due to its higher population density, plans call for vaccinations through traditional health care channels like doctors, clinics and pharmacies.
1:01 p.m.: Thanksgiving takeout disasters offer lessons learned on how to do holiday carryout in a pandemic
On a sunny yet chilly Thanksgiving Day, nearly a dozen parties waited over an hour for pickup orders at an independent Chicago restaurant. Across town, a chain restaurant canceled delivery dinners last minute, ruining the holiday for a young couple working from home with their new baby.
Nearly a year into the pandemic, how can you try to avoid dining disasters when ordering for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s? Three local restaurant owners share hard lessons learned, for restaurateurs and customers alike.
12:36 p.m.: Experience gifts were gaining steam before the pandemic. From DIY meal kits to flexible memberships, here’s what they look like now.
Finding the perfect gift is always hard. This holiday season poses a whole new set of dilemmas for people who prefer to give memorable experiences rather than stuff.
Will that spring concert happen, and if it does, will the recipient feel comfortable going? Is a “date night” gift of dinner and a show still exciting if that means a Netflix subscription and DoorDash gift card?
Should you just give up and wrap up another sweater?
12:24 p.m.: Nancy Pelosi gives optimistic update, says momentum growing for COVID-19 relief deal
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave an optimistic assessment of the prospects for a mid-sized COVID-19 relief bill and a separate $1.4 trillion governmentwide spending bill on Friday, teeing up expectations for a successful burst of legislative action to reverse months of frustration on pandemic relief.
Pelosi told reporters that she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are in sync on a plan to reach agreement on the massive omnibus spending bill and to add COVID-19 relief to it.
Pelosi said a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road plan being finalized by a diverse gaggle of senators that she has endorsed as a foundation for the relief bill is a good effort, even though it’s a significant retreat from where Democrats stood before the election.
12:21 p.m.: U of I’s COVID-19 saliva test reaches 1 million mark
The University of Illinois has performed 1 million COVID-19 tests on its three campuses since launching its saliva-based technology, a point of pride for the state’s largest college at a time when many institutions have struggled to keep coronavirus infections at bay.
Most of the tests — more than 930,000 — were done at the flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign, where faculty researchers developed the test this summer, according to a news release. The Chicago campus has conducted more than 50,000 tests and the Springfield campus nearly 25,000. The test, run through the campus SHIELD team, has enabled administrators to keep classroom doors open and provide in-person learning opportunities this semester, University System President Tim Killeen said in the release.”
12:07 p.m.: 10,526 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 148 additional deaths reported
Illinois health officials on Friday announced 10,526 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 148 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 770,088 and the statewide death toll to 12,974 since the start of the pandemic. Officials also reported 112,634 new tests in the last 24 hours.
The seven-day statewide rolling positivity rate for cases as a share of total tests was 10.3% for the period ending Thursday.
11:27 a.m.: Illinois driver services facilities to remain closed through Jan. 4
Illinois driver services facilities will remain closed for in-person business until Jan. 4 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Secretary of State Jesse White announced Friday.
White’s office is encouraging people to use its website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com, for most services, including renewing driver’s licenses, identification cards and license plate stickers.
A handful of facilities will remain open for new drivers only, including two in Chicago: Chicago North, 5401 N. Elston Ave., and Chicago South, 9901 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
8 a.m.: CTU criticizes reopening plan for Chicago Public Schools as unsafe and inequitable: ‘We’re in the process of putting forward demands’
The Chicago Teachers Union bashed the city’s reopening plan for public schools on Thursday, calling for specific health guidelines and more thorough protocols before it can support bringing any students into classrooms in early 2021.
“We are in the process of putting forward demands in the city about how our schools can open,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey during a virtual event billed for Chicago Public Schools parents.
“To be clear, CTU is not advocating schools close. CTU is saying … if we’re going to do school, any plan has to have three elements to it: safety, there has to be an element of equity and there has to be an element of trust.”
Sharkey also insinuated that CPS is rushing the process because of “political pressure” to jump-start the city’s economy and to enable more parents to resume working.
The virtual event took place as Illinois saw the highest seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began, setting a national record. In Chicago, the seven-day rolling average positivity rate stands at 11.6%, with Black and Latino communities seeing the most cases and deaths, according to city data.
7 a.m.: ‘I think it’s time to get moving.’ Experts call for COVID-19 vaccination trials to begin for young children.
For more than half his life, Alexandra Haake Kamberos’ 18-month-old son has lived under quarantine conditions.
As a result, otherwise normal occurrences, like indoor playdates and trips to the grocery store, aren’t a regular part of the Chicago boy’s life right now, his mother said.
While people around the world wait for the authorization and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines that will eventually allow for a return to normal life, young children may have to wait longer. That is spurring an urgent cry from pediatricians to include these children in trials to reduce their delay in becoming vaccinated.
Children under 12 years old have not been part of the U.S. trials for vaccines that are showing promising results for inoculating people against the virus, which has infected more than 759,000 people in Illinois and killed more than 12,000 statewide since March.
That means that vaccines will likely be available for the general population of adults months before they are available for children because the trials need to be replicated with children as the test subjects, experts said.
Source by www.chicagotribune.com