New mask-wearing guidelines out as more people get vaccinated

Chronicle Media

Even after you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the CDC is recommending taking precautions — like wearing a mask indoors around people not in your immediate circle.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Friday, April 23 reported 3,369 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 22 additional

IDPH reporting a total of 1,316,091 cases, including 21,777 deaths since the pandemic began, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.

As of Thursday, April 22, 2,112 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 506 patients were in the ICU and 230 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from April 16-22 is 3.6 percent.  The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from April 16-22, 2021 is 4.3 percent.

A total of 8,610,478 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Friday, April 23, 12:01 a.m.  The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 118,741 doses.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what is known about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions — like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces — in public places until we know more, the CDC posted on its website.

These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or;
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are not fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated, according the federal guidelines.

Unemployment rates up, jobs down

The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in all 14 Illinois metropolitan areas in March, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The unemployment rate increased over-the-year in all metro areas. The official, BLS approved sub-state unemployment rate and nonfarm jobs series begins in 1990. Data reported prior to 1990 are not directly comparable due to updates in methodology.

“As the state moves through pandemic recovery and the economy begins to heal itself, the major focus remains on assisting claimants and providing support to those still impacted,” said Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes.  “IDES remains committed to administering benefits and providing job-matching services to individuals dislocated from their jobs as a result of the pandemic and eager to jump back into the workforce.”

The number of nonfarm jobs decreased in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas. The metro areas which had the largest over-the-year percentage decreases in total nonfarm jobs were the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division, the Kankakee area and the Decatur region. Three metro areas recorded their lowest total nonfarm jobs for the month of March on record (dating back to 1990).

Over-the-year, the unemployment rate increased in all 14 metropolitan areas.