has recorded a total of 4,092,258 cases and 36,494 deaths, in 102
counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic. The
department is reporting 8,966 new confirmed and probable cases of
COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending March 12, and 63 deaths.
This week, IDPH also announced that it is working with the Illinois
State Board of Education (ISBE) to distribute HEPA (High Efficiency
Particulate Air) air purifiers to almost 3,000 schools throughout
the state to protect students and schools’ staff by reducing the
transmission of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. The $30
million program is funded through the CDC.
“I am very pleased to be working with our partners at ISBE to help
improve air quality in Illinois’ classrooms,” said IDPH Director Dr.
Sameer Vohra. “Data over these last three years have shown us the
critical importance of good ventilation to keep children and adults
safe from respiratory illnesses. These HEPA air purifiers are a
significant investment in our children. They will keep kids healthy
and in school, ensuring more opportunities for learning and
IDPH is also urging the public to seek treatment
for COVID-19 quickly if they test positive for COVID-19. Treatment
is widely available and IDPH announced recently that SIU Medicine
has made it easier to obtain care by offering a new telehealth test
to treat service for COVID-19, in partnership with the department.
The service is aimed at providing faster and easier access to
treatment for Illinoisans who contract COVID-19. Those who test
positive are encouraged to call 217-545-5100 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays
to schedule a telehealth appointment to determine if medical
treatment is recommended. Appointments will be offered on a
first-come, first-serve basis.
Additional options for obtaining tests and treatments can be found
at the following test to treat site or by contacting your provider
for treatment options, within 5 days of feeling ill.
IDPH is helping Illinoisans stay prepared for any future surge of
COVID-19 cases by offering 1 million free COVID-19 rapid antigen
tests to Illinois residents in all zip codes outside the City of
Chicago through a partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation’s
public charity, RF Catalytic Capital and its Project ACT (Access
COVID Tests) program.
Through Project ACT, IDPH is distributing up to one million at-home
antigen tests to 200,000 Illinois households. You can request one
package of five tests on a first-come-first-serve basis at the
Project ACT website. The tests will be delivered to the home
Free or low cost COVID-19 testing locations are
also available throughout the state, including in Chicago, and can
be found on the IDPH website’s testing locator page.
The CDC authorized two new bivalent booster vaccines on September 1
that include an mRNA component of the original strain to provide an
immune response that is broadly protective against COVID-19 and an
added mRNA component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and
BA.5 lineages to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused
by the omicron variant.
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Initially, the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent,
was authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18
years of age and older and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine,
Bivalent, was authorized for use as a single booster dose in
individuals 12 years of age and older. On October 12, the CDC
authorized the updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech for
children ages 5 through 11 years, and from Moderna for children and
adolescents ages 6 through 17 years.
On December 9, the CDC expanded its authorization for bivalent
boosters to include children aged 6 months to 5 years. Children ages
6 months through 5 years who previously completed a Moderna primary
series can now receive a Moderna bivalent booster 2 months after
their final primary series dose. Children ages 6 months through 4
years who are completing a Pfizer primary series will receive a
Pfizer bivalent vaccine as their third primary dose.
The updated boosters are available at pharmacies, hospitals, and
other healthcare providers. The best way to locate a vaccine
provider near you is to visit www.vaccines.gov and search for
bivalent booster availability.
As of last night, 824 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in
the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 107 patients were in the ICU
and 36 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary
seven-day statewide case rate is 70 COVID-19 cases per 100,000
In counties at the Medium Community Level, persons
who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of severe outcomes)
are advised to wear a mask in indoor public places. They should also
get up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or get their bivalent booster,
IDPH has been supporting pharmacies and healthcare providers in
efforts to increase their inventories of the various FDA-authorized
treatments. There are over 1,200 treatment locations in Illinois -
including all the major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7% of the
state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these
A total of 26,069,405 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as
of today. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered
daily is 3,398 doses, including the bivalent booster and first
doses. Since March 10, 23,783 vaccine doses were reported
administered in Illinois. Of Illinois’ total population, more than
79% have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, more than 71%
have completed their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines, and more
than 19% have received the bivalent booster dose, according to data
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Data indicates that the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes
from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for those
who are up to date on their vaccinations. All data are provisional
and are subject to change. Additional information and COVID-19 data
can be found at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html.
Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19
vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov. The federal
government has established a new website that provides an
all-purpose toolkit with information on how to obtain masks,
treatment, vaccines and testing resources for all areas of the
country at: https://www.covid.gov/.