Changes to Travel Advisories for Chicago, BA.2 Growth – NBC Chicago

Changes to Chicago’s travel advisory are set to go into effect on Friday, but what will the new guidelines mean for you?

The changes come as the BA.2 variant is now dominant in parts of the United States and may soon account for the majority of cases in the Midwest.

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

Changes to Chicago travel advisories begin Friday. Here are the new guidelines

Chicago’s travel advisory will be different starting Friday, as city officials announced changes to the structure of the advisory.

When asked about masks at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, travelers said face coverings provided an element of comfort amid crowded flights. Reporting by Chris Coffey of NBC 5.

Following changes made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city said it will instead classify counties and locations as low, medium or high risk, based on data provided by the CDC. Residents should check the map for the latest information before travelling.

Here are the new guidelines.

Chicago’s top doctor discusses new travel advisory, why city made changes

New travel advisory policies implemented by the City of Chicago go into effect this week, and the city’s top doctor explains why the new mitigations were put in place.

Previously, anyone traveling to a high-risk COVID zone was encouraged to take a COVID test and self-quarantine for at least five days after returning, but under the new guidelines, those parameters have changed.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, says the new measures and recommendations are consistent with changes made by the CDC.

Learn more here.

As the BA.2 variant causes an increase in cases in New York, cases are also starting to increase in the Midwest

As New York begins to see an omicron subvariant become the dominant strain in the city, the Midwest is also beginning to see more cases emerge.

According to the CDC, the so-called “stealth” variant of omicron BA.2 has led to an increase in cases in the New York area, with the strain now accounting for at least 52% of new COVID cases in the region in recent times. weeks, according to estimates.

Nationally, the BA.2 variant is responsible for 35% of new infections.

Learn more here.

Illinois reports more than 1,700 new COVID cases as hospitalizations remain near record lows

The state of Illinois has remained consistent with its average number of new daily COVID cases for the past few weeks, but Thursday saw a slight increase in those numbers, with more than 1,700 new probable and confirmed cases reported over the past few weeks. last 24 hours.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state reported 1,723 new cases in the past day, pushing the state’s daily average to 1,160 cases per day over the past week.

Learn more here.

Airline mask mandate: when the requirement expires and what to know before you travel

With a busy spring break season underway, travelers are asking about the nationwide transit mask mandate before heading out on their getaways.

Citing a recommendation from federal health officials, the Transportation Security Administration announced the extension of its mask requirement on public transportation through April 18.

As part of the mandate, face coverings will continue to be mandatory on buses, trains and planes as well as in transportation facilities.

Learn more here.

When could the COVID vaccine start for children under 5 and which vaccine is best?

COVID vaccines for children under 5 took a big step forward on Wednesday as many parents anxiously await approval for the only age group not yet eligible for vaccination as the restrictions lift in the United States

Already, Chicago has lifted its masking and vaccination mandates and Illinois has lifted its indoor mask and school mask mandates.

The changing guidelines surrounding COVID, not just in Illinois, have many parents wondering how best to protect their children. The country’s 18 million children under 5 are the only age group not yet eligible for vaccination.

As the race is on to get the youngest members of the population vaccinated, which vaccine will work best and when might it be approved?

Here’s what we know so far.

“Major power surges” reported worldwide. What does this mean for the United States, Chicago?

COVID is on the rise in several countries around the world, and while that has already been an indicator of what to expect in the United States, what could make this time different?

Experts are predicting a potential increase in cases, particularly around the BA.2 subvariant, with some places seeing current metrics close to what Chicago reported at the height of its omicron surge.

“We see countries with 50% positivity, 60% positivity, 30% positivity, you know, even like the UK more than 10% positivity,” the public health department commissioner said on Tuesday. Chicago, Dr. Allison Arwady during a COVID update.

What makes it different? Learn more here.

Chicago to cut some COVID programs, officials say

Chicago plans to scale back its at-home vaccination program and gift card incentives as demand declines.

Dr. Allison Arwady, the city’s health officer, said Tuesday that home vaccinations will be offered four days a week instead of seven starting April 1.

See more of the expected changes here.

Chicago health officials ‘keeping a close eye’ on slight increase in COVID measures

Chicago’s COVID metrics have seen an uptick over the past week as health officials closely monitor signs of an increase due to the BA.2 variant, but the city’s top doctor says levels remained “very much under control”.

Chicago’s average daily number of new cases climbed this week to 156, from 136 the previous week, according to the city’s dashboard, although the number continues to remain well below the 5,189 seen earlier this year.

The positivity rate also rose slightly to 0.8% from 0.7% last week.

Learn more here.

The BA.2 subvariant should be dominant in Chicago by the end of the month, according to Top Doc

The BA.2 omicron subvariant is expected to make up most of Chicago’s COVID cases by the end of the month, the city’s top doctor said Tuesday.

Noting a slight increase in cases, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said while the risk of COVID remains low in the city, data shows that the number of cases of the subvariant BA.2 doubles every week.

“All we’re seeing right now in Chicago and the Midwest is omicron. We’re seeing two main subvariants of omicron: the B1, which is the one that hit us during the surge, is still d ‘about 69% and BA.2, which is the one we’re monitoring that’s more contagious than B.1 and probably part of what’s driving this increase globally, is just over 30% at this point In Chicago, we’ve seen BA.2 doubling roughly every seven days, so we think we’ll see a predominance, which means most of our cases will be this BA.2, by now the end of the month.

Learn more here.

Symptoms, transmissibility and more: what we know about the BA.2 subvariant

What is the BA.2 omicron sub-variant and will it lead to another push in the US?

Experts say what happens in the coming weeks in the United States could be key to whether or not the United States will follow in Europe’s footsteps.

So what is BA.2, what are the symptoms associated with it, where was it detected and how contagious is it?

Here is a breakdown.

COVID vs cold symptoms: here’s how to tell the difference

If you’ve had a runny nose recently, you might be wondering if you have a cold, allergies, or maybe COVID-19.

Health officials say it can be hard to tell how you feel based on symptoms, but getting tested is one way to find out. This includes people who have been vaccinated, experts say.

Learn more here.

NBC Chicago

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