Coronavirus

An illustration of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and vaccine manufacturer Pfizer are holding a town hall tomorrow at 10 a.m., “The COVID-19 Vaccine and You: Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy.”

Lisa Coen, the U.S. public affairs lead for Pfizer Vaccines, will address common questions about the vaccine with Raoul, who got COVID-19 and recovered from it last summer.

With German company BioNTech, Pfizer manufactures one of two vaccines cleared for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in the United States; Moderna makes the other one.

A vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson — which, alongside Moderna, had safety trials conducted at the University of Chicago last yearwas found this week by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent serious coronavirus infections. 


Chicago's COVID-19 positivity rate is 3.1%, lower than it had ever been over the summertime, between the two surges. The most recent positivity rates for the Hyde Park ZIP codes are lower than 1%.

Five percent is the city's target positivity. A citywide positivity of less than 2% is one of the metrics — alongside fewer than 20 diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Chicago per day, fewer than 20 emergency room visits for COVID-like illnesses and fewer than 20 intensive care unit beds occupied by COVID-19 patients — that the city would need to reach with week-to-week stability to show controlled transmission of the coronavirus.

As of Feb. 17-23, the city's seven-day rolling average of daily cases was 251, indicating moderate risk according to the Chicago Department of Public Health and down 26% from the week before. 

As of Feb 14-20, COVID-19 percent-positivities remain below 5% in all four mid-South Side lakefront ZIP codes.

  • In 60653, covering North Kenwood and Bronzeville, there were 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19, compared to 27 from Feb. 7 to 13, and one death, the same as the week before. There was a 2.2% positivity rate out of 836 tests performed, down from 2.5% from the week before. The number of tests performed dropped 21%.
  • In 60615, covering northern Hyde Park, southern Kenwood and northern Washington Park, there were 21 confirmed cases, up from 19 the week before, and no deaths, same as the week before. There was a 1.1% positivity rate out of 1,863 tests, up from 0.9% the week before. The number of tests performed dropped 12%.
  • In 60637, covering southern Hyde Park, southern Washington Park and Woodlawn, there were 15 confirmed cases, down from 30 the week before, and one death, the same as the week before. There was a 0.4% positivity rate out of 3,806 tests, down from 0.8% the week before. The number of tests performed dropped 3%.
  • In 60649, South Shore, there were 12 confirmed cases, down from 31 the week before, and no deaths, the same as the week before. There was a 1.1% positivity out of 1,098 tests, down from 3.1% the week before. The number of tests performed rose 10%.

The city’s figures are accurate as of Wednesday, Feb. 24, recorded at chi.gov/coviddash and change as additional past data comes in.

From Feb. 13-19, the University of Chicago reported no positive cases out of 1,315 tests; the week before, the school identified three positive cases out of 4,456 tests. All test results are reported to the city.

Since Sept. 18, there have been 776 total coronavirus cases at the U. of C.

As of Feb. 22, there were 27 patients with COVID-19 at the U. of C. Medical Center. On Feb. 4, there were 41. At the height of the second surge, in November, there were around 110; at the height of the first surge, in April, there were 140.

The city's website for free COVID-19 testing is chicagocovidtesting.com; more information is available at chi.gov/covidtesting.

Testing is available on the mid-South Side at:

The city's website for vaccine information is www.chicago.gov/covidvax. The city's online platform for vaccine scheduling is zocdoc.com/vaccine.

Patient registration for the COVID-19 vaccine at the UCMC is not available at this time; vaccines are being offered to eligible patients through a lottery, with patients being notified when it is their turn to schedule an appointment.

Howard Brown is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to essential frontline workers and those aged 65 and older, with sign-up online at www.howardbrown.org/covid-19/vaccine.

The Cook County government is offering sign-up for vaccines at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov.

Vaccine signup is also available online through Walgreens and Walmart.

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