‘Stealth Omicron’ Discovered, Denied COVID Stats – NBC Chicago

Officials announced that they had detected the first case of the BA.2 omicron sub-differentiation, commonly known as “stealth omicron” in Illinois.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations are steadily declining statewide, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

COVID by the numbers: Cases, hospitalizations continue to drop rapidly as peaks past Omicron

The state of Illinois has reported the fewest new COVID cases in more than a month as indicators continue to plummet in several key areas.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state reported 6,654 newly confirmed and likely COVID cases in the past 24 hours, the lowest number of reported cases in a single day since December 13.

The state is currently recording an average of 11,873 new COVID cases per day, further reducing that number significantly. According to IDPH data, that number marks a 63.5% drop in daily new cases since Illinois peaked on January 12, and the average number is the lowest since December 21. .

Officials are also reporting a slow decline in the number of deaths the state has seen from COVID, with 28 new deaths reported in the past 24 hours. The state currently has an average of 108 deaths per day from the virus.

Finally, hospitalizations are continuing to decline rapidly, with 3,870 hospitalized patients now positive for COVID in the state. That was the lowest number since December, with a 47.6% drop in hospital admissions in just the past two weeks.

Read more here.

Illinois COVID Indicators: Trends in each of the state’s 11 healthcare regions

The state of Illinois has been reporting a decrease in COVID cases, positive rates, and hospitalizations in recent weeks, and those trends are also becoming more apparent at the regional level.

According to data released Monday by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the fastest declines in COVID figures are occurring in Chicago and suburbs of Cook County, areas where the omicron variant first spread rapidly. .

In Cook County, the positivity rate fell from 14% on January 21 to 6.9% on January 28, concurrent with a rapid decrease in COVID-19 related hospitalizations.

The city of Chicago also experienced a similar drop, falling from 11.9% on January 21 to just 4.8% on January 28, by far the lowest number in the state.

Below is a breakdown of COVID metrics in each of Illinois’ 11 healthcare regions.

Details of the variant version of COVID found in Illinois, Wisconsin

A version of the omicron variant dubbed the “stealth omicron” is being monitored by scientists and medical professionals around the world and has now been detected in both Illinois and Wisconsin, according to health officials. .

According to officials at Northwestern University, the first case of the omicron subvariable BA.2 was discovered in Illinois on Monday. The first case in Wisconsin was also reported on Monday, according to Milwaukee County health officials.

This version of the coronavirus is considered by many to be more stealthy than the original version of omicron because specific genetic characteristics make it more difficult to detect in PCR tests.

Read more here.

Illinois Reported First Case of ‘Stealth Omicron’ Subvariant BA.2

The first case of the omicron sub-variable BA.2, commonly known as “stealth omicrons,” has been detected in Illinois, Northwestern University officials said Monday.

The case was discovered by Northwestern Medicine’s Center for Pathogen Genomics and Microbial Evolution (CPGME) over the weekend, according to a statement from university officials.

The individual contracted for this variant was tested for COVID-19 on January 18, however additional information about that person, including where they are in Illinois, is not available. This is not the first case discovered in the Midwest as a The Milwaukee County health official said Monday the secondary variable has also been reported in Wisconsin.

Read more here.

Chicago Public Schools shortens isolation and quarantine for students and staff

Chicago Public Schools will reduce the recommended quarantine and isolation periods starting Tuesday in accordance with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidance.

According to CPS and health officials, children and staff who test positive regardless of their immunization status will need to quarantine for five days instead of the previously announced 10 days.

According to CPS, transitioning to a 5-day quarantine will impact students differently depending on immunization status, symptoms, and whether an infection has been identified.

Read more here.

Free COVID Test Kits: How and Where Can Illinois Residents Get Them

There are currently ways for some Illinois residents to order free COVID testing kits, but your options depend on where you live as federal and state programs begin.

At certain ZIP codes in 14 Illinois counties, thousands of rapid at-home COVID tests are being made available free of charge, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced last week.

That’s the government program that kicked off earlier this month for all Americans.

Here’s what to know about how and where in-state residents can get a free COVID test kit.

USPS Free COVID Test: How to Order, When to Ship, and More

The US Postal Service released an update last week regarding free COVID tests as shipments continue to arrive at homes across the country.

“The United States Postal Service is proud to fulfill its mission to serve the nation by providing COVID testing kits as part of this important public health initiative of the Biden Administration,” said Superintendent General Joe Biden. Post Office and CEO Louis DeJoy said in a statement Friday.

The site to order free tests for your household launched earlier this month, with some starting to arrive earlier last week.

Below is a breakdown of what you need to know about your tests and ordering.

Internal documents show path to rapid rise of controversial COVID testing company

It’s been a rough week for COVID testing companies that pop up as state and federal investigations heat up into some of their big companies. A rapidly growing industry is likely to experience a similarly rapid end.

The Centers for COVID Control, the Rolling Meadows-based testing company that manages hundreds of testing sites and is now the source of many federal and state probes, is likely to close.

The company’s owner told employees in a video conference Thursday night, according to a Block Club Chicago newsletter.

A statement to NBC 5 Responds didn’t go too far, saying it would suspend operations indefinitely.

Read more here.

Incubation period: How long should you isolate when you have COVID?

As coronavirus cases continue to spread across Chicago and Illinois and officials update guidance on the incubation period, how long should you be isolated from when you have the infection?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed its guidance, shifting isolation and quarantine times because some experts think the time frame where people are most contagious is earlier.

Here’s what we know.

Residents of These Illinois ZIP Codes Can Get Free Home COVID Tests from IDPH

In 14 Illinois counties, thousands of rapid at-home COVID tests are being performed free of charge, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday.

According to the department, 225,000 test kits are being made available through Project Access COVID Testing to people in certain zip codes.

Residents in eligible communities can order tests via AccessCovidTests.org, where they can sign up for free home delivery. Each household will then receive five tests, or one kit, within two weeks of placing an order. IDPH note is free shipping.

List of Eligible ZIP Codes here.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 123k new cases, 843 deaths last week as the number of cases decreased, the number of deaths increased

Illinois health officials reported 123,812 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, along with another 843 deaths and more than 310,000 doses of the newly administered vaccine, marking a decline in the number of cases but The number of deaths increased from the previous week.

Last week, the state reported 183,722 new cases and 746 deaths.

The drop in cases came after state officials reported it omicron peak has been reachedespecially the hospitalizations around.

Read more here.

Illinois State Magistrate Judges Ask for the Removal of Mask Duty in Schools

While Illinois’ COVID positivity rate is dropping, there are still mask mandates in place. A junior judge is considering a request to temporarily remove the mask rule in schools as well as the isolation guidelines. Where do all stand? NBC 5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern reports.

Walgreens Begins Free Distribution of N95 Masks. Where to get them in the Chicago area

On Friday, Walgreens announced that it had begun distributing the first wave of free government-made N95 masks, but the locations where you can get them are limited so far.

In the Chicago area, two stores were on the initial list of locations, but the Illinois-based pharmacy chain said more stores will be added soon.

“Masks have begun rolling out to the first wave of stores and will continue to roll out to additional stores in the coming days and weeks,” the company said in a statement. “We anticipate all participating stores will receive supplies by mid-February.”

See a list of locations.

Is ‘Stealth Omicron’ a new COVID variant? Here’s what the experts say

With experts globally now talking about a variant known as “stealth omicron”, many are wondering what exactly it is and is it a new COVID variant?

Chicago’s top doctor said “stealth omicron”, also known as BA.2, is not technically a new COVID variant and has not yet been classified as a variant by international authorities. concern or concern. It is actually a subvariant or subtype of the omicron variant.

“It’s still omicrons,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady said Tuesday. “It’s just… certain letters point one versus certain letters point two. It’s a slight variation on what’s being selected, but I wanted to be really clear that it’s even. not yet classified as a variant of interest… this isn’t even a new variant, it’s just considered a slightly different flavor of the kernel and we’ve seen that before. “

Read more here.

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronavirus/illinois-coronavirus-updates-stealth-omicron-detected-covid-metrics-decline/2745400/ ‘Stealth Omicron’ Discovered, Denied COVID Stats – NBC Chicago


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