CDC has eased quarantine, testing guidelines
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois reported 3,735 new COVID cases and 26 deaths Friday.
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health says "daily deaths reported on weekends and at the beginning of the week may be low" and "those deaths will be captured in subsequent days."
There have been at least 3,620,877 total COVID cases in the state since the start of the pandemic and at least 34,539 related deaths.
As of Thursday night, 1,471 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 181 patients were in the ICU, and 67 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. Health officials say 18% of ICU beds are available.
The daily case rate per 100,000 population is at 32.5
A total of 23,114,591 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday and 65.42% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 8,829.
That test-to-stay protocol, which the CDC no longer recommends, is something CPS heavily-invested in, and now the district is reviewing whether practices might change.
At a West Side back-to-school event students and parents were eager for a different kind of school year.
"We hope that this is going to be as close to a normal year as possible. We're all vaxxed and boosted and have been out and about," said Edna Navarro-Vidaurre, CPS parent.
"As an educator, I am so excited just that we are able to take everything just once again to the next level," said Charles Anderson, principal of Michele Clark Magnet High School.
The CDC is now easing recommendations including for unvaccinated people, saying they no longer need to stay home after exposure to COVID if they have no symptoms. Instead, masking is recommended for 10 days and testing after five.
The guidance means all Americans, vaccinated or not, no longer need to quarantine as a precaution.
"It seems like these recommendations are more about personal responsibility at this point," said Dr. Zachary Rubin, clinical immunologist at Oak Brook Allergists. "That is concerning, though, for people who are immune compromised or elderly who are more susceptible."
The CDC also no longer recommending daily COVID school testing, called "test-to-stay," which for Chicago Public Schools allows unvaccinated students who are close contacts of a positive case to attend class with a negative test if they're asymptomatic.
This week, CPS touted its expansion of test-to-stay.
CPS said it's now "reviewing [the] newly-released CDC-guidance and will work in partnership with ... health experts ... to determine how ... current practices and plans might change."
But the teachers union is calling on CPS to honor their safety agreement, saying it will ensure a successful school year.