55,505 vaccine doses administered, 538 new cases and 32 deaths reported Saturday

55,505 vaccine doses administered, 538 new cases and 32 deaths reported Saturday


Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday made official what he’s been saying for months: Nearly all coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses and activities will be rescinded next week when the state enters the final phase of his reopening plan.

The state will lift remaining capacity limits, social distancing requirements and health screenings mandates on June 11, removing the rules for the first time since Pritzker’s stay-at-home order went into effect in March 2020. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday that Chicago would join the rest of the state in fully reopening, ahead of a previous July 4 target date.

Illinois public health officials on Saturday reported 538 new and probable cases of COVID-19 and 32 additional deaths. Officials said 68% of Illinois adults have received at least one vaccine dose and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Here’s what’s happening this weekend with COVID-19 in the Chicago area:

Saturday

55,505 vaccine doses administered, 538 new cases and 32 deaths reported

Illinois public health officials on Saturday reported 538 new and probable cases of COVID-19 and 32 additional deaths. That brings the state’s totals to 1,384,903 cases and 22,912 deaths.

There were 50,827 tests reported in the previous 24 hours, and the seven-day statewide positivity rate is 1.3%.

There were 55,505 doses of the vaccine administered Friday, and the seven-day rolling average of daily doses is 36,130. Officials said 68% of Illinois adults have received at least one vaccine dose and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.

—Chicago Tribune staff

‘I can feel the clouds lifting.’ Many long-haul COVID patients report improvement post-vaccination, surprising medical experts.

Wendy French of northwest suburban Lake in the Hills used to run 10 miles a day several times a week before she caught COVID-19 in September, which left her fatigued and suffering from a variety of symptoms for months after the virus was supposedly gone.

The previously healthy 45-year-old stopped running and even began dreading typical household chores like doing laundry, because it required standing up for so long that she grew tired.

But after French got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in mid-April, she described feeling healthy for the first time in more than seven months. The second dose in May brought greater improvement to her health.

“I felt really good the next day after the first one,” she said. “I had more energy than I’ve had in weeks.”

It’s a phenomenon that has surprised — and elated — medical experts: A growing number of COVID-19 “long-haulers,” those with lingering long-term symptoms linked to the virus, are reporting sudden improvement after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Initial research has found that anywhere from 30% to 40% of these patients describe some symptom relief post-vaccination, the latest medical mystery posed by the new virus.

It’s still unclear why some coronavirus survivors don’t seem to get better weeks or even months after infection. Now scientists and physicians are trying to understand why many of these patients seem to feel better after getting vaccinated, improvements that ranges from a mild decline in symptoms to a life-changing return to their pre-COVID health.

Read more here. —Angie Leventis Lourgos


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