Fall booster shots targeting the omicron COVID variant could come sooner than initially expected.
That’s welcomed news as the BA.5 variant continues to dominate cases, with many counties in the Chicago area falling out of the high transmission alert level.
Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
For those who contract COVID amid the wave of BA.5 omicron subvariant cases, how long do symptoms last and which might take longer to resolve?
For those who do experience COVID symptoms, certain conditions may last longer than others.
Read more here.

Moderna announced Friday it is suing Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, alleging the two companies copied Moderna’s technology in its development of their COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty.
Moderna said in a news release that Pfizer and BioNTech infringed on patents filed between 2010 and 2016 covering its mRNA technology, which Moderna used to develop its own COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax.
Read more here.
Cases of coronavirus have begun to flatten in recent weeks, and that trend is being demonstrated in the Chicago area, as just one county remains at a “high community level” of the virus.
A total of five Chicago-area counties, including Lasalle, Kendall and Kankakee counties, are currently at a “low community level” of the virus, according to data released on Thursday afternoon.
LaPorte County in northwest Indiana is the lone Chicago-area county to remain at a “high community level” of the virus, with residents there urged to wear masks due to an escalation in cases and hospitalizations related to COVID.
Read more here.
After the Food and Drug Administration advised drug companies to formulate COVID-19 vaccines that would specifically target the omicron variant of the virus this summer, it appears that those shots could be making their way into arms within the next month.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have sought regulatory approval from the FDA to offer the “bivalent” shots, which would target both the original COVID-19 virus and the omicron subvariants that have become the dominant strains of COVID in the United States.
Here’s everything we know about where things stand with booster shots in the United States.
According to the latest COVID update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the BA.5 lineage of the omicron variant is now the most prevalent strain of the virus in the U.S., accounting for more than 88% of recent cases.
And while Chicago has shifted down from a “high” level of community COVID transmission to “medium,” COVID cases are still prevalent across the city and state. In fact, Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health said in a Facebook Live update Tuesday that the BA.5 variant “is the most contagious version” of COVID yet.
Read more here.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, his office announced Thursday, the same day Chicago’s top doctor also revealed she had contracted the virus.
“Secretary White has mild symptoms and is conducting work from home while in quarantine,” a statement from White’s office read. “White is double vaccinated and twice boosted. He is following appropriate CDC and IDPH quarantine guidelines.”
Read more here.
Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s Department of Public Health commissioner, has tested positive for COVID, a statement from the department said Thursday.
“Last night, for the first time in the pandemic, I tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement read. “I am experiencing some cold-like symptoms and fever but am otherwise well, which I credit to the fact that I’m fully vaccinated and boosted. I will continue to work from home while following the CDC guidelines for isolation.”
Read more here.
Despite clinical trials showing that it could significantly reduce the risk of death in COVID patients, studies have shown that antivirals like Paxlovid are being “vastly underused” during the pandemic.
The study, conducted by a consortium of universities that includes Northwestern, Northeastern, Harvard and Rutgers, found that only 11% of surveyed COVID patients were prescribed an antiviral therapy as part of their treatment.
Read more here.
Jill Biden is the latest high-profile case of “COVID rebound,” as the White House announced Tuesday that the 71-year-old first lady had tested positive for the virus after testing negative just days before.
In recent weeks, President Joe Biden also wrangled with the ailment, leaving many Americans curious about just how frequent it is in patients who contract the virus.
While it’s not common, a return of COVID symptoms after initial improvement can occur in nearly 30% of cases, and in some instances, a positive test result can occur even after several negative tests, according to a study.
Here’s what we know about the phenomenon.
With COVID guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changing once again, there’s one important distinction health experts want people to know.
The CDC changed its recommendations last week, releasing new quarantine guidance, among other things.
Chicago’s top doctor, however, said many are confusing quarantine and isolation – and she’s hoping to clear that up.
Read more here.
As omicron subvariants continue to make up roughly all COVID cases in the U.S., marking a shift in the most common symptoms and in the virus’ incubation period, how long will symptoms last?
For those who do experience symptoms, some may last longer than others.
Read more here.

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