We have lifted the paywall on this story. To support essential reporting, please consider becoming a subscriber. COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to everyone 16 and older in more than 84 of Illinois’ 102 counties following Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s decision two weeks ago to allow local health departments seeing waning vaccine demand to expand eligibility.
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COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to everyone 16 and older in more than 84 of Illinois’ 102 counties following Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s decision two weeks ago to allow local health departments seeing waning vaccine demand to expand eligibility.
Officials, who previously had not revealed how many counties might expand eligibility, released the number on Monday. The list of counties can be found on the state Department of Public Health website.
Also, the CDC has asked Walgreens to start spacing first and second doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine three weeks apart instead of four, in line with the federal agency’s guidance.
Generally, people getting vaccine appointments at Walgreens have been scheduled to receive their second doses four weeks after their first shots, whether they’re getting vaccines made by Pfizer or Moderna. The CDC recommends 28 days between first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine, but 21 days between doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is set to announce he is shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines. Every adult in the U.S. will now be eligible by April 19 to be vaccinated.
Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area:
9:25 a.m.: Some southwest suburban schools are offering more classroom time for screen-weary students
With the school year entering the final stretch, some southwest suburban school districts are boosting how much time students are spending in the classroom.
The schedule changes will, in nearly all instances, at least double the time students are physically in school and come after new guidance from the state that gives school districts more breathing room in accommodating students.
High school districts 218 and 230, and elementary districts such as Orland Park’s 135 and District 146 in Tinley Park have, or soon will, increase face time between students and faculty.
Districts will continue to offer remote learning as an option for students and their families who don’t feel comfortable being in school buildings.
Beginning April 12, District 218, with high schools in Blue Island, Oak Lawn and Palos Heights, will move to a schedule that permits all students who want to be in buildings to attend four days a week. Currently, school populations are split in half, with each group attending two days per week.
Orland District 135 will shift to full school days five days a week beginning April 12.
7 a.m.: Biden to give states earlier deadline to make all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccine
President Joe Biden was set to announce Tuesday that he is shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines.
Biden was set to make the announcement at the White House later Tuesday following a visit to a vaccination site in Virginia, a White House official said.
With states gradually expanding eligibility beyond such priority groups as older people and essential, front-line workers, the president plans to announce that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible by April 19 to be vaccinated, the official said.
7 a.m.: Indiana’s mask mandate ends, but some cities keeping it
Hammond is the latest Lake County municipality to extend its COVID-19 mask mandate.
The state’s mask mandate expires Tuesday, though masks will still be recommended and will be mandatory in all state buildings and schools. Local governments have the option of imposing their own mask mandates.
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. announced Monday that the city’s mask mandate will be extended through May 31 in all city government buildings, offices or facilities. The mandate does not apply to private businesses “who are encouraged to institute social distancing requirements and masking requirements as they see fit,” according to a statement.
After Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the mask mandate expiration, In Gary, where a new mass vaccination site opens Wednesday, Mayor Jerome Prince said that the city will continue its face covering mandate for two more weeks.
As of Monday, statewide more than 691,000 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported and 12,668 Hoosiers have died of the virus, according to the Indiana Department of Health dashboard.
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