As a result, suburban Cook County might again see an indoor dining ban or the gathering limit curtailed from the current cap at 50% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer, Rubin said.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to say fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without getting tested for the coronavirus or going into quarantine afterward.
Still, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urged caution and said she would “advocate against general travel overall” given the rising number of infections.
“If you are vaccinated, it is lower risk,” she said.
Here’s what’s happening this weekend with COVID-19 in the Chicago area:
Health officials in Indiana said Saturday they are investigating whether anyone was exposed to COVID-19 by Alabama residents following Friday night’s death of a Crimson Tide fan who was in Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament last weekend.
Luke Ratliff, a 23-year-old Alabama student, died after a brief illness, his father, Bryan Ratliff, told The Tuscaloosa News. The newspaper, citing multiple sources it did not identify, reported Ratliff died of complications related to COVID-19. The elder Ratliff could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday by The Associated Press.
“Based on a recent news story, the Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health are contacting the Alabama Department of Public Health to determine if anyone in Indianapolis may have been exposed to COVID-19 by any Alabama resident who visited Indianapolis in recent days,” the county said in a statement provided by the NCAA.
“We are conducting an investigation following the county and state’s standard contact tracing procedures.”
The younger Ratliff was hospitalized shortly after returning to Tuscaloosa on March 29, one day after attending Alabama’s game against UCLA at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the News reported.
102,215 vaccine doses, 2,449 new cases, 14 deaths reported
There were 64,116 tests reported. The seven-day statewide positivity rate as a percent of total test is 3.8%.
What to know about the CDC guidelines on vaccinated travel
If you decide to travel, you might still have some questions. Here are the answers.
COVID-19 restrictions, including indoor dining ban, ‘may very well’ return soon in suburban Cook County, public health official says
Cook County’s public health leader on Saturday said the suburbs could soon return to previous COVID-19 restrictions as the region grapples with what appears to be the start of a third coronavirus wave.
Dr. Rachel Rubin, co-lead of the Cook County Department of Public Health that guides COVID-19 response in most of the suburbs, sounded the alarm in a call with reporters following a rising caseload that began in March. As a result, suburban Cook County might again see an indoor dining ban or the gathering limit curtailed from the current cap at 50% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer, Rubin said.
“We may very well have to clamp down within a matter of days,” Rubin said. “I’m not promising that one way or the other.”
2,839 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 13 additional deaths reported
Illinois health officials on Saturday announced 2,839 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 1,254,185 and the statewide death toll to 21,361 since the start of the pandemic.
Officials also reported 62,694 new tests in the last 24 hours. The statewide positivity rate for cases is 3.8%.
The 7-day daily average of administered vaccine doses is 110,057, with 145,315 doses given on Friday. Officials also say a total of 6,188,607 vaccines have now been administered.
An $11 saliva test for COVID-19 helped dozens of Chicago-area schools reopen. So why are administrators scrambling to defend it now?
Facing immense pressure to keep classrooms open, dozens of schools across the Chicago region have relied on a crucial service: routine COVID-19 screenings conducted by SafeGuard Surveillance.
The company, founded by a Chicago virologist who serves on the LaGrange District 102 school board, analyzes saliva samples from students, teachers and staff for the possible presence of COVID-19. If the virus is detected, individuals are instructed to get an approved second test for official confirmation. Districts pay $11 per test, and samples can be processed the same night.
For months, the system worked smoothly. Officials in Glenbrook High School District 225, where up to 1,000 students are tested per week, say the program is “a valuable tool” to provide in-person learning. In Glenbard High School District 87, the test helped identify more than 60 infections, including a food service employee with no symptoms whose infection was caught before she reported to work, said Chris McClain, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.
“This has been a really valuable safety mitigation for our district to make our staff, students and community feel safer,” McClain said. “We’ve been very pleased with the program.”
But in recent days, school officials have found themselves scrambling to defend the saliva test. That followed a Tuesday New York Times story that singled out New Trier High School, one of SafeGuard’s biggest clients, saying it “may have inadvertently” misused it as a diagnostic tool.
Read more here. —Elyssa Cherney, Karen Ann Cullotta and Steve Schering
What to know about your vaccine card: Why it’s important, how to keep it safe, what happens if it’s lost and more
As vaccinations become more widely available for people in the United States and travel starts picking up, many people have started sharing their simple white vaccination cards on social media as prized new possessions.
Here’s everything you need to know about your vaccine record, why it’s important and how to keep it safe.
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