Free mask distribution begins, 2 years after first case – NBC Chicago


Free government N95 masks are beginning to be distributed at select stores as Illinois continues its battle with the coronavirus pandemic two years after the state marked its first COVID case.

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

Free government COVID tests being sent. Here’s how to get yours

A week after the government launched its new website allowing Americans to get free COVID tests sent to their homes, some who placed advance orders reported deliveries were on the way.

Some on social media said they received their tests in the mail as early as Tuesday while others received email delivery updates saying their orders were due to arrive later this week.

Here’s a breakdown of what to know about testing and how to place your order.

Chicago’s top doctor will provide an update on COVID-19

Chicago’s top doctor is expected to give an update on COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, joined by CDPH Medical Director Dr. Geraldine Luna and Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez, are scheduled to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. to “provide an update on COVID-19 cases and data.” , talk about the drop in COVID cases in Chicago, and provide an update on how CPS is dealing with COVID. »

Watch live in the player above.

Free N95 masks now available at select Illinois stores with more to come

Some stores and pharmacies in Illinois have already begun distributing free government N95 masks to area residents.

Meijer began handing out free N95 masks to shoppers on Monday, becoming one of the first major retail chains to do so under a Biden administration initiative.

Meijer isn’t the only chain in the Midwest to start handing out masks.

Des-Moines-based Hy-Vee, which operates more than a dozen stores in Illinois, said the majority of its locations in the state have received shipments of N95 masks and have begun distribution.

Learn more here.

Illinois marks 2 years since first case of COVID-19

The first case of COVID-19 in Illinois was announced two years ago on Monday, January 24, 2020, according to state health officials.

The case was detected in a Chicago resident in her 60s who returned from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the first coronavirus outbreak, the Illinois Department of Public Health said at the time.

In a press release on Monday, Dr Ngozi Ezike, the director of IDPH, said when the first case was announced: “We never imagined that two years later we would still be fighting the virus with such ferocity. “.

Learn more here.

Illinois announces COVID-19 sick leave for vaccinated school employees

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Monday announced a statewide initiative to provide paid administrative leave to school employees who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a press release, Pritzker explained that he negotiated with the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers to keep students and teachers in the classroom safe without penalizing vaccinated employees for taking sick leave.

Learn more here.

Highland Park City Council extends proof of vaccination order

Highland Park City Council decided on Monday to extend a temporary order requiring proof of vaccination.

The order requiring proof of vaccination for the “on-site dining establishment” began Jan. 7 and was extended to Feb. 14 at the Monday evening council meeting.

Some restaurateurs say the mandate hurts their bottom line and drives many customers to eat elsewhere.

Currently, restaurants that do not comply with the order first receive a warning. If another complaint is received, an inspector visits the property and a Notice of Violation may be formally issued. A citation can be issued to businesses that do not comply, up to $750, depending on the city.

Learn more here.

FBI raids COVID testing company’s Illinois headquarters

The FBI raided the headquarters of a suburban Chicago-based COVID-19 testing company at the center of a state investigation.

A spokesperson for the Inspector General of Health and Human Services told NBC News on Monday that federal agents executed a search warrant at Rolling Meadows headquarters for the Center for COVID Control, which operates testing sites. COVID contexts across the country.

The FBI spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that the agency conducted “court-authorized law enforcement activity at Rolling Meadows” on Saturday.

Learn more here.

KN95, N95 and more: a look at the different masks and what you need to know about each

KN95, N95, fabric, surgical and more – there are plenty of options for wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

As pharmacies across the country prepare to distribute free N95 masks as part of a new government effort, what do you need to know about the different types of masks and how to use them correctly?

Here is a breakdown.

Walgreens is preparing for the first stores to offer free N95 masks on Friday

Walgreens is gearing up to start handing out free N95 masks this week, but when exactly can customers expect to be able to get one and how will they know which stores have them?

According to the Illinois-based pharmacy chain, the first stores to offer free masks are expected to begin distribution as early as Friday.

“We expect the first stores to begin offering masks on Friday, January 28 and will continue on a rolling basis in the days and weeks thereafter,” a company spokesperson told NBC 5 in a statement. “Participating stores will have signage indicating mask availability.”

Learn more here.

Is sneezing a symptom of COVID? How to tell the difference between the virus, allergies and the flu

Are sneezing a symptom of COVID-19?

People with allergies ask if their recent symptoms are caused by the cold environment, a cold, the flu or the coronavirus.

Experts say the only real way to know the answer is to test, but until then health officials say treat all possible symptoms assuming they are COVID-related.

Learn more here.


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