Socializing after vaccination, Phase 1B to expand this week – NBC Chicago


Can you start expanding your social circle after receiving the coronavirus vaccine?

Illinois medical experts intervened.

At the same time, the state is expected to expand the requirements on who is eligible for vaccines in Phase 1B of the state rollout this week.

Here are the latest COVID headlines from around the state:

Coronavirus in Illinois: 1,246 new cases, 34 additional deaths, nearly 60,000 vaccinations

Health officials in Illinois reported 1,246 new coronavirus cases Monday, along with an additional 34 deaths attributed to the virus.

According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Monday’s new cases bring the state to 1,175,655 cases of the virus since the pandemic began last year. A total of 20,303 deaths have been reported as a result of the virus.

The seven-day positivity rate increased slightly on Monday, and 2.8% of all tests were positive, according to IDPH. That’s a 2.7% increase the day before. The positivity rate in the people evaluated remained stable at 3.1%.

As for vaccines, the figures have continued to be affected by bad weather that limited deliveries of new doses in recent days. A total of 59,748 doses of the vaccine were administered in Illinois on Sunday, and the seven-day moving average is now 55,499 doses per day.

A total of 2,256,975 doses of vaccines have been delivered to providers in Illinois, along with 445,200 doses delivered to pharmacies as part of a federal program to inoculate staff and residents in long-term care facilities. Of those 2.7 million doses, 2,211,700 vaccines had been administered in Illinois as of midnight, including 282,820 for long-term care facilities.

Phase 1B Vaccine Eligibility Expands This Week

Illinois is ready to expand the list of people eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Phase 1B of its implementation, Governor JB Pritzker announced Wednesday.

The state hopes to increase eligibility beginning February 25, allowing people with “a high-risk medical condition” or comorbidity to be vaccinated. The list includes people with cancer, diabetes, obesity, pregnant women, and people with various other conditions.

Here is a list of what qualifies as a high-risk medical condition.

Chicago and Cook County do not expect to join the state in expanding eligibility.

To see where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can get vaccine information for your area, click here.

More staff return to Chicago public school classrooms Monday

More teachers and staff are expected to return to classrooms as the district prepares to welcome more students in the coming weeks.

In accordance with the CPS schedule, teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade were scheduled to report to school on Monday, a week before their students returned for in-person learning.

The move was part of an agreement between the district and the Chicago Teachers Union, following weeks of negotiations on a return to classroom instruction and vaccinations for teachers.

Top Illinois Doctor Says Huge Vaccine Availability Lacks Months away

Illinois’ top doctor promised wide availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to state residents, but said it will take months for the supply to meet demand.

Comments from Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike in a Chicago Tribune op-ed over the weekend come amid complaints of shortages and difficulties in getting appointments. The recent winter blast also delayed shipments, causing appointments to be canceled.

“It will be months before our supply comfortably exceeds demand, an obstacle we have always hoped for and the reason we have spent so much time and thought on the prioritization phases,” Ezike wrote. “Everyone deserves their turn to get the vaccine, and it is my promise to Illinois that we will make it happen, as efficiently, quickly, and fairly as we can.”

COVID-19 positivity rate is lowest since pandemic began, says Chicago’s best doctor

Chicago’s coronavirus positivity rate is the lowest since the pandemic began, the city’s top doctor announced Friday.

“I am also pleased to announce today that we are 3.5% positive in the City of Chicago,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. “That is the lowest positivity the city of Chicago has seen from COVID, since COVID came to Chicago.”

Arwady noted that during the summer, Chicago’s positivity rate fell below 4%, but never to the level the city is seeing as of Friday.

Chicago averages 323 new COVID-19 cases per day, Arwady said, down from the more than 3,000 cases per day recorded at the peak of the virus. The city’s daily case count is also below the limit for a “high-risk area,” according to the Chicago guide.

Can you socialize once you are fully vaccinated? Expert response

After receiving the coronavirus vaccine, when is it safe to expand your social circles or see your loved ones?

According to experts on NBC 5’s “Vaccinated Status” panel, the answer is a bit tricky.

“One thing we don’t know about the vaccine is whether people will continue to shed the virus if they become infected,” said Dr. Richard Novak, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UI Health. “The vaccine is very effective in preventing people from getting sick, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t gotten the infection. We don’t know that you know it yet. And if they do get the infection, we don’t know it decreases the amount of virus they’re shedding. and that come out of his body “.

According to Novak, the duration of immunity provided by the vaccine remains unclear.

“What we do know is that an immunity actually lasts for at least the three months that we have had in the study and, in fact, if we look at the levels of antibodies produced by vaccines, first, it is higher than a natural infection.” Novak said. “And the antibodies that the vaccine induces are more potent than natural infection, and the trajectory of the antibody decline is quite slow, so it is expected that the level of antibodies will continue to last at least a year or more, but not we do”. We won’t know until we complete the studies that are still in progress. “

Similarly, grandparents have asked when they can see their young grandchildren after receiving the vaccine, noting that children have been reported to be less susceptible to serious infections from the virus.

“We don’t want to risk the possibility of silently, silently and unconsciously transferring the virus to the baby,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. “The baby could be passed on to parents and other people in the home. So we still need to take precautions when we are mixing households.”

But what if both people have been fully vaccinated?

Full vaccination is said to occur two weeks after a person receives their second dose of the vaccine.

“To be honest with you, I think it’s pretty safe for two fully vaccinated people, that is, two weeks after their second dose, to expand their circle of friends to include other fully vaccinated people, and in a moderate way,” he said. Dr. Emily Landon, Executive Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention at the University of Chicago Medicine. “I think it’s probably pretty reasonable. But I think it’s really important, for the most part, to keep wearing our masks.”

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