Daywatch: Illinois starts next vaccine phase, Capitol riot tests loyalty of Chicago’s Trump supporters, and ultimate takeout guide

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Good morning, Chicago. On Monday, Illinois health officials announced 4,776 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 additional fatalities. In Chicago, city officials over the weekend renewed their stay-at-home guidance, urging city residents to stay at home as much as possible and keeping in place restrictions on gatherings.

Meanwhile, a more contagious variant of the coronavirus that was first identified in the United Kingdom late last year has been found in Indiana, state health officials announced Monday. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Here’s more coronavirus news and other top stories you need to know to start your day.

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Illinois to allow local health departments to start vaccinating those 65 and older, plus teachers and other essential workers

Local health departments soon will be able to start vaccinating those 65 and older against COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday, preparing the way for the much-awaited next phase of the vaccination program. Currently, the state is in phase 1a of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, which provides shots to health care workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities, amounting to some 850,000 people.

But not everyone eligible has opted to get the shot. Rather than waiting to use those doses, Pritzker said, those shots should be made available to the next round of 3.2 million eligible recipients in phase 1b — those 65 and older and those who are front-line essential workers.

‘I fear we’re not done with all this’: US Capitol riot tests the loyalty of Chicago-area Trump supporters

Some Chicago-area supporters of Donald Trump said the riot at the U.S. Capitol building last week snapped their fidelity to the president, while others insisted he was not to blame, and that they will remain in his corner even if it means splitting from the Republican Party.

Rex Huppke column: I took part in a pro-Trump attack on the US Capitol and now I have to face consequences? That’s tyranny!

In politically calculated move, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan suspends bid for another term but doesn’t bow out

Scandal-plagued Speaker Michael Madigan on Monday suspended his bid to keep running the Illinois House, even as he left open the possibility he could reemerge if Democrats can’t agree on a replacement. The move was politically calculated, an aide privately acknowledged, as Madigan plays a waiting game.

As CPS schools reopen, district vows to ‘hold employees accountable who are not reporting to work’ and will begin docking pay Tuesday

On Monday, the first wave of Chicago Public Schools students returned to classrooms, a day nearly 10 months in the making. For staff members who were absent without leave all last week and again on Monday, the district will lock those employees out of their Google Classroom and email accounts and will withhold pay starting Tuesday until they report to schools.

Takeout 100 — our guide to Chicago’s best restaurants for pickup and delivery right now

The best part about takeout in Chicago? All the stellar options. The worst part? Trying to decide which to eat. If there was ever a good problem to have, “too much great food” is the one — but it’s a problem we can help you solve. Enter our Takeout 100, an oversized guide to food and drinks to-go from restaurants and bars throughout the city and suburbs. Here’s the list with all the details you need to know.

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