Illinois’ seven-day average for COVID-19 vaccinations fell again to 83,239 Sunday, as Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is continuing to try to reach those who haven’t yet gotten a shot.
“As we’ve reached somewhere in the 50-60% range of vaccinations among our 16-plus population, there are just fewer people who are seeking it out,” Pritzker said during an appearance in St. Clair County on Friday. “That isn’t to say that there aren’t people who still desire to get vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, Pritzker on Friday acknowledged a failure of leadership in hiring a former legislator as director of the state’s Veterans’ Affairs Department following this week’s blistering report that found widespread mismanagement of last fall’s COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home where 36 veterans died.
In other COVID-19 news, eased restrictions Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday allow fans to attend indoor sporting events and outdoor festivals and increase capacity limits on bars, restaurants and houses of worship. Here is a breakdown of what is allowed under Chicago’s phase four rules.
Here’s what’s happening this weekend with COVID-19 in the Chicago area:
44,687 vaccine doses given, 1,860 new cases and 27 deaths reported
Illinois public health officials on Sunday reported 1,860 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 27 additional deaths. That brings the state’s total since the pandemic began to 1,339,728 cases and 22,019 deaths.
There were 73,159 tests reported in the previous 24 hours and the statewide positivity rate as a percent of total test is 3.4%.
There were 44,678 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered Saturday and the seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 83,239 doses. —Chicago Tribune staff
88,753 administered vaccine doses, 2,813 new COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths reported Saturday
Illinois public health officials on Saturday reported 2,813 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 32 additional deaths. That brings the state’s totals to 1,337,868 cases and 21,992 deaths.
There were 83,070 tests reported in the previous 24 hours, and the seven-day statewide positivity rate as a percent of total test is 3.5%.
There were 88,753 doses of the vaccine were administered Friday, and the seven-day rolling average of daily doses is 87,494.
Following blistering report on deadly COVID-19 outbreak at LaSalle home, Pritzker says he fell short in hiring of former VA director
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday acknowledged a failure of leadership in hiring a former legislator as director of the state’s Veterans’ Affairs Department following this week’s blistering report that found widespread mismanagement of last fall’s COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home where 36 veterans died.
Pritzker said he believed Linda Chapa LaVia, a veteran and former state lawmaker from Aurora, was “an ideal person to root out the problems in our veterans homes” following her role on legislative panels investigating outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease at the Quincy VA home where 14 veterans died.
“But,” Pritzker said, “I have to admit that if I knew then what I know now, I would not have hired her.”
The independent report from the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General and the law firm of Armstrong Teasdale detailed systemic mismanagement from top VA officials down to administrators at the LaSalle home, creating an “inefficient, reactive and chaotic” response to controlling the outbreak that began Nov. 1.
Chapa LaVia, who resigned in January and did not agree to be interviewed for the report, was cited in the report for her hands-off management style. The report found that she left her responsibilities to a nonmedical chief of staff who allowed local administrators to run their own homes, gave inaccurate guidance on the pandemic and refused to enlist outside help in the early stages of the outbreak.
High school proms are back, sort of. Some will have no dancing, no eating, no heels — and entrance might require a negative COVID-19 test.
Since the arrival of COVID-19, a shiny red satin prom dress has been sequestered in 18-year-old Rose Menichini’s closet, patiently awaiting its debut at the York High School prom.
Now, after more than a year of isolation, the lonely prom dress, and its owner, are ready for their close-up — not in a gymnasium or reception hall, but on the running track outside the Elmhurst high school.
The prom was originally planned for Chicago’s Navy Pier, which began its phased-in reopening Friday. But then school officials learned the venue at the pier they selected would not resume operations in time, leading to the alternate “Starry Night” outdoor celebration slated for May 15 at the York Stadium.
“We’ve all seen the Disney movies where the senior prom is the main event of high school, so this is kind of bittersweet,” said Menichini, who said dancing is forbidden due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the event will offer mini-golf, a photo booth and food trucks.
To be sure, like most everything involving the class of 2021, their proms and graduations this spring will be shaped by the pandemic. Some will prohibit dancing and eating. Many will be outside, with more than a dozen Chicago schools planning hourlong, mini-proms at Soldier Field. One suburban Catholic school will ask students to take a rapid COVID-19 test before they can enter the gymnasium. But after enduring more than a year of pandemic-related cancellations, in-person proms and graduations are finally giving the class of 2021 and their families reasons to celebrate.
With Chicago’s capacity restrictions loosening, couples hope for larger weddings. But they’ll have to navigate tricky vaccination questions first.
When Nicole Bowles and Hosein Heidari sent out invitations to their August wedding, postponed by a year from the original date, Bowles couldn’t stand the thought of trimming the guest list to fewer than 50 people.
So Bowles, 33, of Albany Park, sent invitations to the full 120-person group and hoped Chicago’s COVID-19 capacity restrictions would ease. Those hopes got a boost Thursday when the city announced it would no longer count vaccinated people against the limits.
She plans to talk to family and friends about their vaccination status closer to the event, but many have already let her know they got their shots, she said.
“I feel like my doubts are slowly creeping away,” she said. “I’m crossing my fingers we don’t move backward.”
This year’s weddings will still look different, but progress on the vaccine rollout and Chicago’s move to loosen restrictions offer a path to weddings that would have been off limits last year, when couples who didn’t postpone stuck to microweddings, minimonies and elopements.
Breaking coronavirus news
Stay up to date with the latest information on coronavirus with our breaking news alerts.
Source by www.chicagotribune.com