Metropolis to cut back some COVID packages, change journey advisories – Chicago Solar-Instances

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Chicago plans to chop again its at-home vaccination program and its present card incentives as demand wanes.

Dr. Allison Arwady, the town’s chief well being official, stated Tuesday at-home vaccinations might be provided 4 days every week as an alternative of seven starting April 1.

Medical professionals with syringes and vaccine doses will present up between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

Appointments scheduled by March 25 that fall in April might be honored whatever the day of the week.

Also starting April 1, eligibility for a $50 present card for getting jabbed might be restricted to individuals who stay within the 15 ZIP codes on the South and West sides the place lower than 70% of residents are vaccinated.

Arwady stated Chicago is in pretty much as good a spot, higher than a lot of the nation, regardless of a slight uptick of instances in latest days, which might be as a result of more-contagious BA2 subvariant of Omicron.

“It’s nothing to be alarmed about,” she stated.

While noting the pandemic is vastly diminished, she stated, “I want to emphasize that COVID is not over.”

“We’ve passed 80 million cases now diagnosed across the U.S., and it’s not going to be long before we pass the 1 millionth COVID death in the country,” she stated.

The nation’s COVID-19 loss of life toll stood at almost 972,000 on Tuesday.

Arwady and Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez stated they continue to be comfy with the varsity system’s mask-optional coverage however would reinstate a mandate if instances rise.

Martinez stated college students and workers at most faculties are nonetheless masked, and officers have adopted protocol at Coonley Elementary in North Center, the place 40 instances over the previous month have six school rooms again beneath a masks mandate.

“The vast majority of our students are wearing masks, the vast majority of our staff,” he stated, primarily based on his college visits the previous week. “I’m very thankful to those families that made that choice.”

Martinez stated contact tracing decided nearly all of the Coonley infections had been contracted when youngsters gathered for occasions outdoors of faculty hours. About 90% of Coonley college students are absolutely vaccinated, officers stated, properly above the 45% of youngsters districtwide.

Anyone in want of vaccination or booster can go to chi.gov/covidvax for extra data or name the town’s COVID-19 hotline at 312-746-4835.

The Chicago Department of Health additionally introduced adjustments to its journey advisories. Beginning Friday, it would use county-level information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an alternative of state-level information. Counties might be color-coded to replicate low, medium or excessive threat.

Travel suggestions had been made primarily based on a state’s variety of COVID-19 instances per 100,000 residents.

Asked if she had any plans to exit her publish as her state counterpart, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, did earlier this month, Arwady stated she isn’t going wherever.

“I have told my team that I am seeing this all the way through,” she stated.


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