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Illinois COVID-19 Updates: Tom Dart Tests Positive, State Reports More Than 7,800 New Cases – NBC Chicago

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronavirus/illinois-covid-19-updates-state-capitol-to-forego-holiday-decoration-illinois-game-canceled/2381881/

Illinois COVID-19 Updates: Tom Dart Tests Positive, State Reports More Than 7,800 New Cases - NBC Chicago

Note: Any news conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot or other officials will be streamed in the video player above.

Here are the latest coronavirus headlines from around the state of Illinois.

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart Tests Positive for COVID-19

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart has tested positive for coronavirus and is quarantining at his home, officials announced Saturday.

According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Dart was tested for the virus on Tuesday and received his positive test results on Friday.

The sheriff was last in the office on Nov. 19. He began to feel symptoms of the virus on Friday and immediately self-quarantined.

Illinois Officials Report 7,873 New COVID-19 Cases, 108 Additional Deaths

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,873 confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus on Saturday, along with 108 additional deaths attributed to the virus.

According to the latest figures released by the department, the state has now reported 712,936 total cases of the virus since the pandemic began, along with 12,137 fatalities.

The state performed an additional 79,055 tests over the last 24 hours, giving the state a total of 10,368,278 tests performed during the pandemic.

Deck the Halls? Not at the Illinois Capitol Due to COVID-19

The coronavirus has extinguished some traditional holiday cheer at the Illinois Capitol.

There will be no Christmas tree nor any holiday displays inside or outside the building, The State Journal-Register reported.

The Capitol for months has been closed to all but employees and others with permission. Tours were suspended months ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lights on the Capitol dome won’t be used for the second consecutive year. Engineers have recommended that an observation deck, which is typically used to anchor the lights, should be fortified.

Saturday’s Ohio State-Illinois Game Postponed Due to Positive COVID-19 Tests

The University of Illinois’ home football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes has been postponed after a series of positive COVID-19 test results within the Ohio State program.

The school made the official announcement Friday night, cancelling the Saturday morning game between the two schools that was set to be played at Champaign’s Memorial Stadium.

The announcement came after a second round of coronavirus testing of the Ohio State roster on Friday. The school said that it had seen an increased number of positive COVID-19 tests earlier Friday, with head coach Ryan Day among those who tested positive for the illness.

Chicagoland Christmas Trees Selling Fast Amid Pandemic Restrictions

The coronavirus pandemic has made Christmas tree hunting a bit different this year, but that hasn’t stopped families from making sure to get their trees in time for the holiday season.

Some Christmas tree farms in Illinois are requiring reservations, due to the pandemic, and as of Friday afternoon, many times were already sold out for the weekend.

The early and high demand for trees comes during an ongoing Christmas tree shortage across the country. According to experts, this shortage has its roots (pun intended) in the 2008 global recession, which led to a slowdown in planting seedlings.

It can take a tree 7 to 20 years to reach the desired height, so business owners can’t flood the market overnight, no matter how high the demand is.

Farmers are now raising their prices on Christmas trees, which could be passed down to the consumer.

Illinois COVID Metrics: A Region-by-Region Look at the State’s Latest Coronavirus Data

All 11 of Illinois’ healthcare regions are currently operating under Tier 3 coronavirus mitigation rules, but some regions are trending in the right direction to have those rules eased in the coming weeks.

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More than 49,000 people sign up for Harris County COVID-19 vaccine waitlist on Day 1 – KHOU.com

https://www.khou.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/vaccine/thousands-sign-up-for-harris-county-covid-19-vaccine-waitlist/285-1628ffa9-9508-4755-9f22-fcc413177c57

More than 49,000 people sign up for Harris County COVID-19 vaccine waitlist on Day 1 - KHOU.com

Officials at Harris County Public Health blame a surge in traffic with causing the website to go down for two hours.

HOUSTON — More than 49,000 people signed up for Harris County’s new COVID-19 vaccine waitlist during its first few hours of operation.

According to the Harris County Judge’s Office, 49,287 people had signed up as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The portal launched around noon.

Officials at Harris County Public Health blame a surge in traffic with causing the website to go down for two hours.

Unlike vaccine sign-ups in other counties and cities in the Houston area, Harris County’s process is not first-come, first-serve.

RELATED: Harris County’s COVID-19 vaccine portal is now online — all residents can sign up

“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine shouldn’t be like the Hunger Games,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, during a Monday press conference on the portal launch. “It shouldn’t be about who can hit refresh on a browser the fastest.”

Hidalgo said the selection process will be randomized and use prioritization based on state guidelines.

All residents can sign up for the waitlist, even if they’re not yet eligible for the vaccine. Currently, Texas is offering the vaccine to people in Phases 1A and 1B.

“The benefit of that is that in a couple of months, once the state makes vaccines available to another segment of the population, we’ll have those folks already on the waitlist, and we’ll be able to reach out to them according to whatever the state designates,” said Hidalgo.

People can register at readyharris.org or call 832-927-8787.

On Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Hidalgo reminded residents via social media that they can still call Wednesday or visit the signup website later in the week.

Harris County is currently receiving about 9,000 vaccines per week from the state.

Hidalgo says they’re building more capacity for when they get more supply. County officials hope to eventually operate six vaccination sites and a mobile location.

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Tyler Perry Explained Why He Got Both Doses Of The COVID-19 Vaccine – BuzzFeed

https://www.buzzfeed.com/larryfitzmaurice/tyler-perry-covid-19-vaccine-special

Tyler Perry Explained Why He Got Both Doses Of The COVID-19 Vaccine - BuzzFeed

“The information that I’ve found has been very helpful.”

You know Tyler Perry.


Christopher Polk / Getty Images

The media mogul recently appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss with cohost Gayle King his experience receiving both shots of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, after he was asked by health officials to take it in order to encourage confidence.

View this video on YouTube


CBS / YouTube / Via youtu.be

“I took my first one Jan. 4, and I took the second one yesterday,” he explained. “I had no reaction to the first shot. This shot that I just took yesterday, I woke up with some aches and pains. But I took some Advil about an hour ago and I feel fine now.”

“I didn’t really feel like I could trust it,” Perry also said while discussing the science behind the vaccine. “But once I got all of the information, found out the researchers, I was very, very happy.”


Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

And now that Perry’s educated himself and received the vaccine, he’s hosting a TV special on BET this Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST called COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special.

“If you look at our history in this country, the Tuskegee experiment, Henrietta Lacks, it raises flags for us as African American people,” Perry told King while discussing the special, which will include him interviewing medical experts. “So I understand why there’s a healthy skepticism about the vaccine.”


Nathan Congleton / NBC / Getty Images

“I have a crew that works for me, and they’re largely African American people who were all skeptical about the vaccine. When they sat in the room, as they worked on the cameras, and doing hair and makeup…they listened to all the information and by the time we got to the end of it, they all wanted to take it.”

“it all goes back to getting the correct information and getting it from people that you trust and you understand. I think this last administration did a lot of damage in eroding trust, when it comes to this vaccine. But the information that I’ve found has been very helpful.”


Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images

COVID-19 is still spreading across the United States. There are safety precautions you can take in your everyday life to prevent getting or giving COVID-19: wear a mask, practice social distancing, and get tested when necessary. Head to the CDC’s website for information about how to get a COVID-19 test in your state.

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CO ahead of schedule for administering COVID-19 vaccinations to seniors – KTVZ

https://ktvz.com/news/2021/01/26/c-o-ahead-of-schedule-for-administering-covid-19-vaccinations-to-seniors/

CO ahead of schedule for administering COVID-19 vaccinations to seniors - KTVZ

(Update: adding video, comments from Deschutes County Health Dept.)

Residents 75 and older can now make an appointment to get vaccinated

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Central Oregon is one of the only areas in the state to gain approval to start vaccinating all residents age 75 and older. That puts the region well ahead of schedule, as the Oregon Health Authority’s latest distribution plan said that group was not scheduled to become eligible until Feb. 14.

That’s largely thanks to a successful vaccination event at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond. From Wednesday through Sunday of last week, 4,600 people were vaccinated, mainly educators and child care providers – a group that, according to OHA, was not supposed to be able to receive vaccines until this week.

Officials said 10,000 more vaccines are due at the fairgrounds this week. Moving forward, vaccinations will be administered there Tuesdays through Saturdays.

The supply is on a week-to-week basis, so Central Oregon might not always be faster than the rest of the state.

Morgan Emerson, public information officer with the Deschutes County Health Department, told NewsChannel 21 more than 12,600 people have been vaccinated in the county as of Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the department has opened up its vaccination interest form for all residents in Central Oregon. So people who live in Jefferson and Crook counties can start filling it out.

Since its launch last Saturday, Emerson said about 28,000 people have signed up. Once people become eligible, they’ll get a notification from the health department that says they can schedule a vaccination appointment at www.stcharleshealthcare.org.

In less than 24 hours after Monday’s announcement, more than 6,000 Central Oregonians in Phase 1B – Group 3 (75+ years old) received the notification.

“When we sent out that notification, we had thousands of vaccine appointments available for Central Oregon residents age 75 years or older,” Emerson said. “Appointments are still available, and people can schedule online.”

Emerson aid there is no set date for when people in Phase 1B – Groups 4 and 5 will become eligible. As of now, OHA says people 70 and older will qualify the week of Feb. 21, while those 65 and older qualify the week of Feb. 28.

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Coronavirus in Oregon: 796 new cases, 22 new deaths as Brown slightly eases business restrictions – OregonLive

https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2021/01/coronavirus-in-oregon-796-new-cases-22-new-deaths-as-brown-slightly-eases-business-restrictions.html

Coronavirus in Oregon: 796 new cases, 22 new deaths as Brown slightly eases business restrictions - OregonLive

Oregon reported 796 new coronavirus cases and 22 deaths Tuesday as Gov. Kate Brown said some businesses in the hardest-hit counties can now allow a very limited number of customers inside after previously mandating closures.

Among the minor changes, indoor buildings such as museums, gyms and movie theaters that have more than 500 square feet of space will be allowed to have up to six people at a time, up from zero. The new restrictions don’t apply to restaurants.

While Tuesday’s new case numbers exceeded Monday’s numbers by hundreds of cases, they did not break the downward trend Oregon has seen since Jan. 15. The current weekly average of new cases per day is 698 compared to 1,309 daily cases the week of Jan. 14.

Here are today’s coronavirus numbers:

Where the new cases are by county: Baker (1), Benton (21), Clackamas (100), Clatsop (11), Columbia (8), Coos (2), Crook (8), Curry (2), Deschutes (70), Douglas (20), Harney (9), Hood River (8), Jackson (49), Jefferson (1), Josephine (14), Klamath (19), Lake (3), Lane (50), Lincoln (6), Linn (12), Malheur (16), Marion (61), Morrow (1), Multnomah (195), Polk (11), Sherman (1), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (18), Union (6), Wallowa (1), Wasco (2), Washington (37) and Yamhill (31).

Deaths: Oregon’s 1,883rd death linked to COVID-19 is a 74-year-old Clackamas County man who tested positive Jan. 22 and died Jan. 25 at Portland VA Medical Center.

The 1,884th death is an 84-year-old Crook County man who tested positive on Jan. 16 and died on Jan. 22 at his residence.

The 1,885th death is a 79-year-old Coos County man who tested positive Dec. 19 and died Jan. 24 at Bay Area Hospital.

The 1,886th death is an 84-year-old Deschutes County woman who tested positive Jan. 20 and died Jan. 23 at St. Charles Bend hospital.

The 1,887th death is a 96-year-old Douglas County woman who tested positive Jan. 15 and died Jan. 25 at her residence.

The 1,888th death is an 82-year-old Douglas County man who tested positive Jan. 14 and died Jan. 23 at Mercy Medical Center.

The 1,889th death is an 82-year-old Hood River County woman who developed symptoms Jan. 12 after contact with a confirmed case and died Jan. 22 at her residence.

The 1,890th death is a 64-year-old Jackson County man who tested positive on Jan. 10 and died on Jan. 24 at Providence Medford Medical Center.

The 1,891st death is a 72-year-old man Klamath County man who tested positive Jan. 15 and died Jan. 23 at Portland VA Medical Center.

The 1,892nd death is a 68-year-old Klamath County man who tested positive Dec. 31 and died Jan. 23 at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

The 1,893rd death is a 58-year-old Marion County man who tested positive Dec. 31 and died Jan. 21 at Salem Hospital.

The 1,894th death is a 76-year-old Marion County woman who tested positive Dec. 8 and died Jan. 21 at Salem Hospital.

The 1,895th death is a 70-year-old Multnomah County woman who tested positive Jan. 4 and died Jan. 7 at her residence.

The 1,896th death is an 86-year-old Multnomah County woman who tested positive Jan. 19 and died Jan. 25 at her residence.

The 1,897th death is a 70-year-old Umatilla County man who tested positive Dec. 23 and died sometime in January at Providence Portland Medical Center. State officials listed a date of death that included a typo, making the date unclear.

The 1,898th death is an 88-year-old Washington County woman who tested positive Dec. 9 and died Jan. 22 at her residence.

The 1,899th death is a 40-year-old Washington County woman who tested positive Nov. 19 and died Dec. 29 at her residence.

The 1,900th death is a 35-year-old Washington County woman who tested positive Jan. 8 and died Jan. 19 at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center.

The 1,901st death is a 73-year-old Washington County woman who tested positive Dec. 28 and died Jan. 20 at her residence.

The 1,902nd death is an 86-year-old Yamhill County woman who tested positive Jan. 11 and died Jan. 22 at her residence.

The 1,903rd death is a 77-year-old Yamhill County woman who tested positive Jan. 1 and died Jan. 18. State officials are determining where she died.

The 1,904th death is a 27-year-old Hood River County woman who tested positive Dec. 22 and died Jan. 23 at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. She had no underlying conditions.

Unless noted above, each person who died had underlying health conditions or state officials were working to determine if the person had underlying medical conditions.

Additionally, the Oregon Department of Corrections announced two deaths Tuesday that are not yet reflected in the state’s tally:

A man between the ages of 65 and 75 who was housed at Two Rivers Correctional Facility in Umatilla County who tested positive for COVID-19 and died at a local hospital Jan. 26.

A man between the ages of 55 and 65 who was housed at Two Rivers Correctional Facility in Umatilla County who tested positive for COVID-19 and died at a local hospital Jan. 26.

The prevalence of infections: On Tuesday, the state reported 1,165 new positive tests out of 23,706 tests performed, equaling a 4.9% positivity rate.

Who got infected: New confirmed or presumed infections grew among the following age groups: 0-9 (35); 10-19 (115); 20-29 (137); 30-39 (122); 40-49 (104); 50-59 (93); 60-69 (80); 70-79 (44); 80 and older (37).

Who’s in the hospital: The state reported 308 Oregonians with confirmed coronavirus infections were in the hospital Tuesday, 12 fewer than Monday. Of those, 70 coronavirus patients were in intensive care units, five fewer than Monday.

Vaccines: As of Monday, 40,775 Oregonians have been fully vaccinated, and another 222,385 have been partially vaccinated.

Since it began: Oregon has reported 139,355 confirmed or presumed infections and 1,904 deaths, among the lowest totals in the nation. To date, the state has reported 3,105,100 lab reports from tests.

— Fedor Zarkhin; [email protected]; 503-294-7674

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Essential workers are no longer priority in COVID vaccine rollout. Some worry they are expendable. – SFGate

https://www.sfgate.com/coronavirus/article/Essential-workers-are-no-longer-priority-for-15900105.php

Essential workers are no longer priority in COVID vaccine rollout. Some worry they are expendable. - SFGate

The shift to an age-based COVID-19 distribution has seemingly left essential workers not covered by California’s initial phase of the rollout high and dry.

California’s new plan, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday, is intended to simplify the thus-far convoluted distribution process for the vaccine in the state — and to ensure that assorted counties in the state adhere to a cohesive rollout plan for a limited number of vaccines.

The state will continue to vaccinate essential workers that are currently covered as part of Phases 1a and 1b’s first tier, such as health care workers, teachers and grocery and food laborers — but immunization for other essential workers may be delayed.


That includes workers in transportation, manufacturing and industrial services, among other essential workers.

It may also hamper the likelihood that incarcerated and homeless people get the vaccine.

The proposal has been condemned by some labor unions.

Service Employees International Union California, which represents healthcare workers, government employees, social workers and janitors, among other groups, roundly critiqued the shift away from occupation-based priority.

“Millions of working Californians, most of them people of color, have no choice but to leave their homes and work each day, exposing themselves, their families, and their communities to COVID-19 and its devastation,” said union president Bob Schnoover in a statement.

“California labeled these workers essential when the state wanted their service through the pandemic; if they are removed from the priority list for vaccination, the state is now saying they are expendable.”

Part of the public health rationale for the shift, the Sacramento Bee reported, is that inoculating older populations — who have the highest mortality rates and severe COVID-19 cases of any group — could lead to less hospitalizations and increased ICU capacity for the general population.

California continues to rank low in the nation on distribution, currently placing 45th in the percentage of doses used, per Bloomberg’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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