An increase in positive cases locally is confirmed by data compiled by the Stickney Township Public Health District. According to Louis S. Viverito, Stickney Township Public Health District President, the seven day average of daily positive cases has increased across the Township with some areas more than doubling since October.
As of December 9, the positivity rate across the Township ranged from 4.5% to 8.3%. The Illinois average rate of positivity as of December 17 was 4.9%.
“The biggest concern now is to not overwhelm the healthcare system by taking steps to avoid spreading COVID,” says Viverito.
As of December 17, there were 3,783 individuals in Illinois reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 787 patients were in the ICU and 353 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The Cook County Department of Public Health has issued a recommendation for increased mitigation practices for individuals and businesses. In addition to individuals getting vaccines and boosters, recommendations include getting a COVID test 2-3 days prior to celebrating the season with others, and staying home if you have a positive test result.
Businesses are urged to require patrons to be fully vaccinated for entry or to provide proof of negative test results. State and county masking requirements are still in effect for indoor spaces and activities and are crucial to limiting exposure and transmission of COVID-19.
To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.
Since December of 2020, vaccines for COVID-19 have been administered to millions of people in the United States and billions of people throughout the world. The FDA, CDC and the overwhelming majority of physicians recommend that all eligible persons get vaccinated for themselves, their loved ones and the communities we share.
We now have a vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 that has been found to be safe and effective. The Stickney Public Health District encourages all parents to strongly consider having their children vaccinated against COVID-19. The Health District will be providing this vaccine in the coming weeks. In the meantime, pharmacies and pediatricians will be providing this vaccine as well. More information on the schedule for these vaccines will be forthcoming.
The Health District continues to offer all the other vaccines for COVID-19, including boosters. Appointments are being taken through the hotline (708) 634-4500.
Previously, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for use in individuals ages 12 years and older. The vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 years is a smaller dose (10 μg), a third of the dose for individuals 12 years and older (30 μg). The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, 3 weeks apart, for all eligible individuals.
The Governor and Dr. Ezike also announced a statewide indoor mask mandate for all Illinois residents, regardless of vaccination status, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates continue to increase. The masking requirements are effective Monday, August 30th. The public health requirements come as regions with low vaccination rates continue to see a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations. In IDPH region 5, Southern Illinois, with the lowest vaccination rate in the state at 44 percent, only 3% of ICU beds are available as the region experiences the highest case rate in the state. Since August 1st, local health departments across the state have reported 27 COVID-19 outbreaks at schools and currently hundreds of schools are being monitored for potential COVID-19 exposures.
To lower the number of breakthrough cases that require hospital admission, the majority of whom are 65 and over or immunocompromised, all healthcare workers, including workers at public and private nursing homes, must get vaccinated. Teachers and staff at pre-k-12 schools as well as personnel and students at higher education institutions are required to receive the vaccine. Workers and students in applicable settings must receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccination series or a single-dose vaccination by September 5, 2021. Second doses of the vaccine must be received by 30 days after the first dose.
Workers who do not receive the vaccine or those who opt out for medical reasons or based on a sincerely held religious belief must follow a routine testing schedule to detect cases early and prevent further spread. Testing will be required a minimum of once per week in schools and healthcare facilities. The frequency of testing may be required to increase in the event of positive cases.
Healthcare, school workers, and higher education personnel and students attending in-person classes who do not provide proof of vaccination will be prevented from entering healthcare and educational facilities unless they follow the required testing protocol.
While face coverings are not required outdoors, masks are strongly encouraged in crowded outdoor settings like festivals and concerts as well as for activities that require close contact with people who are not vaccinated.
These latest vaccine, testing, and mask requirements are a floor in the state's efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employers, schools, and other organizations can take additional health and safety steps to help bring an end to the ongoing pandemic. Governor Pritzker previously announced more stringent requirements regarding vaccination and testing for state employees at state run 24-7 congregate living facilities to protect the state's most vulnerable residents. Leaders in the private sector are encouraged to follow suit. Vaccination is the key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and returning to normal life. All Illinois residents over the age of 12 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost and proof of immigration status is not required to receive the vaccine. To find a vaccination center near you, go to vaccines.gov.
“As more businesses, events, organizations, and others require proof of vaccination, Illinois residents will be able to confirm using Vax Verify that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “With the current surge in cases, more people are making the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine and this new tool will aid residents in confirming their vaccination where needed.”
Illinois State Fair concert goers with tickets for the grandstand track area (also known as Standing Room Only) are required to provide a print or digital copy of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Ticket holders can register in Vax Verify to check their immunization record for documentation of COVID-19 vaccination.
More and more companies, such as United, Google, Netflix, Morgan Stanley, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ascension Health, and Lyft, are instituting vaccine requirements for at least some of their employees.
The verification system follows best practices to protect confidential health information. In order to download proof of vaccination, residents will go through a brief, one-time identity verification process to gain access to their immunization history. The State of Illinois utilizes Experian® as its identity verification service provider. Individuals who have placed a freeze on their credit will need to unfreeze their credit with Experian® and wait 24 hours before completing the registration process. After completing registrations, individuals can re-freeze their credit by contacting Experian®.
After the verification process, individuals can see their own record in the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE).
Immunization records are kept confidential and only the individual can access their vaccination history. Parents should talk with their child’s provider to confirm their vaccination status. Some individuals with very common names will need to take additional steps to securely prove their identities.
Go to vaccines.gov or call 1-800-232-0233 to find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you.
Forest Park, IL—Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) launched its “Destination: Vaccination” program August 2, which will provide free rides to many vaccination locations throughout suburban Cook County. The program will enable individuals with limited mobility or transportation issues to easily get vaccinated, removing a key barrier for many residents.
“Transportation is a critical barrier for those in traditionally underserved communities. We want to eliminate this barrier for residents who otherwise want to receive vaccinations,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Destination: Vaccination” is a partnership between CCDPH, Kaizen Health, and several Community Based Organizations (CBOs), to provide transportation for residents who need assistance getting to nearby vaccination clinics.
“We are providing additional access, education and outreach to encourage more individuals to receive the vaccination, but many barriers still exist. This partnership is an effort to bridge a gap that has continues to impact individual access to healthcare,” said Israel Rocha, CEO of Cook County Health. “We thank Kaizen and our CBOs for this partnership to help us provide a life-saving vaccine to Cook County residents.”
Residents who need a ride to a vaccination location can call 833-308-1988 to schedule a ride. The program is open to suburban Cook County residents, as well as Chicago residents who wish to utilize a Cook County Health location within the city. Kaizen can provide vehicles to accommodate most residents, including those in wheelchairs or those who require child seats. Though advanced scheduling is preferred, residents can call for a ride and one should arrive between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on time of day and fleet availability. This service is provided at no cost.
ARDS is a complication of COVID-19 that is responsible for 93% of the COVID-19 deaths in one study from Wuhan. In all causes of ARDS there is a 60% mortality rate in older patients.
Risk factors for vitamin d deficiency include the elderly, obesity (BMI >30) having darkly pigmented skin, and living in a northern latitude.
Above the 37th parallel you will not make enough.
The amount of vitamin D in food is only adequate to prevent rickets, the most obvious manifestations of deficiency. Therefore, oral supplements are the only way to ensure you are getting enough to help prevent colds, the flu, COVID-19 and its deadly complications. D3 is recommended. Infants need less than 2000IU/day.
Children 1-18 need 1000 to 4000IU/day. Adults should take at least 2000 IU/day.