Cook County will release 25K vaccine appointments as the rise in COVID-19 cases forces Gov. Pritzker to rethink the reopening plan.
EVELYN HOLMES: Well, good morning. This afternoon, actually at noon, Cook County Health releasing roughly 25,000 more COVID vaccination appointments at four sites around the suburbs. This as concern continues to grow over the state's test positivity rate, which is continuing to go up. Keep this in mind, that after hitting an all-time low roughly two weeks ago, it has now increased by roughly 45%.
Now, with respect to today's vaccinations, eligible people under phases 1A, 1B, and 1B Plus, along with certain individuals previously in the 1C group, can now sign up for the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine because of new state guidelines. The bookings are here at Triton College and other surburban sites. There's also an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
Now, the state's positivity test rate is now the highest it's been all week, at 3.4%. The latest data shows that the state is reporting more than 2,600 new confirmed and probable cases and 25 additional deaths. Now, to date, roughly 2 million Illinois residents, almost 16% of the population, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The state is vaccinating an average of just over 99,000 people a day.
Now, Illinois officials now say, with this new information, that they may need to be rethinking that bridge approach to moving toward reopening the state, fully reopening the state, which was on pace to start next week. Now remember, all the vaccinations are by appointment only. If you want an appointment, you can go to the Cook County Health website or call their call center, which happens to be open from 8:00 to 5:00 today. Reporting live from the mass vaccination site here at Triton College in River Grove, Evelyn Holmes, "ABC 7 Eyewitness News."
- All right, Evelyn. And just to make sure everybody knows too-- so this week, Illinois is opening up vaccinations to more groups statewide starting tomorrow. Food and beverage workers, construction trade workers, also religious leaders outside of Chicago can all sign up to get their shots. And also happening tomorrow, Chicago will officially enter phase 1C. That means all essential workers and adults with underlying conditions will be allowed to get their vaccine. And we're also told all city-run vaccination sites will only schedule appointments for Chicago residents beginning tomorrow.