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COVID-19 News Update

JANUARY 28th, 2022

Recognizing 2 Years of the Pandemic

When did you predict that the pandemic would be over? Many thought it would be over well before the end of 2020. However, with the start of 2022, we have reached an unexpected milestone; the 2-year anniversary of the first reported COVID-19 case in Illinois. Here are other milestones that have been achieved since that first case.

  • On January 24, 2020, IDPH reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Chicago resident who returned from Wuhan, China on January 13, 2020.
  • On February 11, 2020, IDPH announced the ability to conduct testing for SARS-CoV-2 making Illinois the first state to be able to perform in-state testing.
  • On March 17, 2020, the first Illinois death from COVID-19 was reported
  • On December 15, 2020, the first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Illinois.
  • In January 2021, the first WCHD vaccine clinic opened.  In March and April of 2021, the WCHD mass vaccination sites opened; approximately 86,000 vaccinations were administered in four months.
  • In June 2021, children 12 – 17 years old became eligible for vaccination.
  • In November 2021, children 5 -11 years old became eligible for vaccination.
  • As of January 24, 2022, over 17.8 million vaccinations have been administered in the State of Illinois, approximately 1.1 million in Will County.

A full timeline of WCHD events can be found in last month’s newsletter; click here.  Join us in recognizing these significant milestones that have led up to this 2-year marker by bringing someone, maybe yourself, to get vaccinated.


Viruses survive by changing, mutating. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has mutated many times during the pandemic and it is reported that approximately 85% of current infections are caused by the newest variant, Omicron, as shown on the chart.

As communicated from the CDC, early research and data indicate that Omicron will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, and breakthrough infections among those who are fully vaccinated is likely. Additionally, infected individuals can transmit the Omicron variant of the virus, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. The remarkable increase in infections is believed to be caused by two factors: increased transmissibility and the variant’s ability to evade the immunity of vaccinated individuals and those who have had a previous COVID-19 infection. While the proportion of infections resulting in severe outcomes may be less compared to previous variants, due to the high transmissibility of Omicron the absolute number of cases will likely result in a substantially high volume of cases with severe outcomes.

The current vaccines are expected to protect against Omicron despite breakthrough cases among the vaccinated. The vaccine continues to prevent severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. The transmissibility of Omicron further emphasizes the need for continued masking and the importance of vaccination and boosters to prevent severe illness or death.


First Dose Vaccination?

We are seeing a significant increase in first dose vaccinations throughout Will County. We are so glad to hear you are ready to become vaccinated.

Click below to schedule a first dose vaccination appointment or call 815-774-7386.


Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.

Order your tests now so you have them when you need them.

Pfizer and Moderna Booster Dose for 18+ Now Recommended after 5 months.

Will County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation to shorten the interval from 6 months to 5 months for when people who have received the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines can get a booster dose.

Pfizer Booster Dose
for 12-17 Year Olds

Booster doses have been approved for all persons aged 12-17 years at least five months after their primary series under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.

The Updated FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization Form can be accessed HERE.

Mask Up Will County!

Masks continue to be one of the most effective ways to prevent spreading and becoming infected with COVID-19. Masks prevent you from unintentionally or unknowingly transmitting COVID-19 to others when you speak, cough, sneeze, etc., and masks help to protect you from breathing in airborne virus particles from others.

What type of mask is best? Generally, a mask that fits snugly around your face to prevent air leaks and a mask that is comfortable so that you will be more likely to wear it consistently. Also, CDC recommends that cloth masks be made of multiple layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric. You need to consider masking information based upon your work, your health, or the health of others around you.

Click here for more information about types of masks and mask safety.

Isolation and Quarantine guidelines for the general public

IDPH has adopted CDC guidance on shortening isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19 for the general public.

Uncertain how long to quarantine?
Use the CDC quarantine chart to guide your way.

Covid-19 Testing Sites

The Will County Health Department relies our state health department partner, IDPH, and their COVID-19 testing locations to support the testing needs of Will County residents while we deploy our resources toward the preventative measures of timely delivery of booster vaccinations and clinics to support the continually expanding vaccine eligible populations. With the recent spike in demand for testing, we have requested that IDPH re-establish testing locations in Will County. Until then, if you have a need for testing, we recommend the following IDPH COVID-19, PCR testing sites. Test results can be expected within 24-48 hours. High volume of testing may increase test processing time.

Click Here for Shield Testing locations including Joliet Junior College (nasal swab method)

Click Here for Appointment scheduling for SHIELD testing location

Nearby IDPH Drive-thru, PCR COVID-19 Testing Locations
(nasal swab method)

  • 2450 Farnsworth Rd, Aurora
  • 15800 S. State St., South Holland (South Suburban College)

Click Here for Appointment scheduling for IDPH Drive-thru Testing

This can also be completed while in line at the site with a Smart Phone.   Once completed, click on visits, and then click on schedule an appointment.  This will make all IDPH testing site locations available to the user.

Click here for testing times and an expanded list of testing sites throughout the state.

For updated COVID-19 Youth and School resources, Click Here.

You can access Youth and School Data & Metrics and Youth and School Guidance, including music and sports safety, FAQ’s, testing for COVID-19, and school exclusion protocols.

Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Download our Frequently Asked Questions document by clicking below.

Download the PDF in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, or Urdu.

Secure Your Vaccination Card

How important is your vaccination card? It is part of your medical record. It may be needed to travel and to gain entry into businesses or social venues. It may be required for your employment record. Keep it in a secure and accessible place as you would your state ID. Bring it with you when getting any additional COVID-19 vaccinations so it can be updated.

Vax Verify

Want your vaccination record on your smartphone? The Vax Verify immunization portal now offers the SMART™ Health Card. The SMART™ Health Card allows users to download a QR code and access your vaccination record from your Smartphone.

5-11 Pediatric Pfizer Vaccination

The Illinois Department of Public Health has Adopted CDC recommendations for the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for children ages 5-11

Will County Pediatric Pfizer (ages 5-11) Vaccine Providers

Pediatricians, Pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Will County Health Department and other community partners will be providing Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine to children ages 5 to 11.

Bolingbrook Pfizer Pediatric Vaccination Opportunities for children aged 5-11

On 1/28, 2/18, and 3/11 we will offer Pediatric Pfizer 1st dose appointments at the WCHD Bolingbrook office. 

Children will be scheduled for their second dose appointment at the same location as follows:

• 1st dose on 1/28, will return on 2/18 for their 2nd dose
• 1st dose on 2/18 will return on 3/11 for their 2nd dose
• 1st dose on 3/11 will return on 4/1 for their 2nd dose

Schedule a COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment for Children aged 5-11 at Will County Health Department’s North Branch Office

323 Quadrangle Dr., Bolingbrook, IL 60440

Select Fridays: 1/28, 2/18, 3/11

Third doses for severely immunocompromised children aged 5-11 years old

The CDC is recommending that moderately or severely immunocompromised children aged 5-11 years receive a third dose of vaccine 28 days after their second dose. At this time, only Pfizer-BioNTech is authorized for children. Parents should talk with their pediatrician or health care provider about a potential third dose.




Third COVID-19 Vaccine Doses for People who are Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised.

A Third dose is NOT a booster dose!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to allow a third dose to be administered to people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised following a primary mRNA vaccine series.

Subsequently, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive a third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 weeks after their second dose, for a total of three doses. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorsed those recommendations. See the full CDC Media Statement here. 


Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people ages 5 and up receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

If your condition or medication isn’t on this list and you think you have a weakened immune system, talk to your healthcare provider about your medical condition and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate.

Individuals can self-attest and receive the third dose wherever vaccines are offered. This will help ensure there are not additional barriers to access for this vulnerable population receiving a needed third dose.


The third dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be the same vaccine as the initial series and administered at least four weeks after completing a primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series.


While vaccination is likely to increase protection in this population, even after vaccination, people who are immunocompromised should continue follow current prevention measures (including wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others they do not live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) to protect themselves and those around them against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.


Joliet Location Appointments

Pfizer Third Dose FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED Ages 5-11

Joliet Location Appointments

Pfizer Third Dose FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED Ages 12+

Joliet Location Appointments

Bolingbrook Location Appointments

Contact Tracing

Public Health Centralizing COVID-19 Contact Tracing

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working to centralize COVID-19 contact tracing efforts in order to get information about isolation and identifying close contacts to infected individuals as soon as possible during times when cases are surging, and to decrease the burden on local health departments across the state. All positive cases entered into the State’s data systems associated with a cell phone number will receive an automated text message from IDPH.


Warehouse Workers for Justice

Warehouse Workers for Justice is a worker center strongly advocating for stable, living-wage jobs in warehouses and distribution centers. They educate workers about labor rights and how to enforce those rights, organize in the workplace and community, and advocate for public and private policies that promote full-time work at living wages in the warehouse and transportation industries.  Warehouse Workers for Justice developed COVID-19 vaccination strategies specifically for workers and is also effective community-wide.  This encompasses education, community organizing, and removing barriers to vaccine access for groups employed in high-risk industries and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 transmission. Warehouse Workers for Justice is conducting extensive outreach in Will County to boost vaccine confidence and uptake and reduce barriers to vaccination through multiple partnerships.  As partners through the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Grant, Warehouse Workers for Justice staff developed effective outreach materials and messaging and is engaging workers and the public in conversations about the virus and the vaccine, while addressing common fears and misconceptions. The COVID-19 Response team is led by Program Director, Ilissa Valerio. Warehouse Workers for Justice continues to provide education and support pop-up vaccination clinics in collaboration with community partners. Through their efforts, they have reached over 796 community members.  To learn more about Warehouse Workers for Justice, visit: or  Thank you to these fearless advocates. We are grateful for your partnership!

COVID-19 Outpatient Treatment

Therapeutic treatments are available for individuals who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19 or as a preventative medication for those, who due to being severely immunocompromised, are likely not to produce an effective vaccine response.

However, access to these treatments is extremely limited. Supply is limited in quantity and location. Regional hospital coordination centers, the population in IDPH COVID-19 regions, and participation and selection as a federal pharmacy partner were considered when determining supply allocations. Long term care facilities have been allocated supply through their participating pharmacies.

Due to limited supply, how these medications are administered, treatment effectiveness, and potential side effects, eligibility for these medications is very restricted. These medications require a prescription and eligibility must be determined by the individual’s physician.

Click here to learn more about COVID-19 therapies.

Click here to read the recent FDA release on therapeutic treatments.

Click a link below to schedule your first dose vaccine online.

Second dose appointment will be automatically scheduled after you check-in for your first dose. If you need to reschedule a second dose appointment, you must call 815-774-7386.

Vaccine Clinic Holiday closure: February 21st


Will County Health Department Vaccine Clinic

501 Ella Avenue, Joliet, IL 60433

MONDAYS from 9am – 3:45pm
TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS from 9am – 5:30pm


Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available

AFTER 10am 

Now with automatic second dose scheduling!


Will County Health Department North Branch Office Pfizer Vaccine Clinic

Regular Wednesday Pfizer Appointments for ages 12 & up

323 Quadrangle Drive, Bolingbrook, IL 60440

from 10am – 5:30pm


Schedule an Appointment Online or Call to Schedule your Vaccination at a Will County Health Department Vaccination Clinic.


County Level COVID-19 Risk Metrics

Hospital Resource and COVID Patient Data

Vaccinations By Zip Code

County Level COVID-19 Community Transmission Data

Cases: 7 Day Total


Cases: Total Per 100K


Positivity Rate


Pop-Up Vaccine Clinics

Beecher 200 U

660 Penfield St, Beecher

March 26th from 9am to 1pm

Adult & Pediatric Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Clinic

Plainfield Public Library District

15025 S Illinois St, Plainfield

March 26th from 11am to 3pm

Adult & Pediatric Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Clinic

St. Peter's Lutheran Church GYM

310 N Broadway St, Joliet

March 26th from 10am to 3pm

Adult & Pediatric Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Clinic

Joliet Public Library Black Road Branch

3395 Black Rd, Joliet

March 26th from 11:30am to 3:30pm

Adult & Pediatric Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Clinic

C.W. Avery Family YMCA

15120 W Wallin Dr, Plainfield

March 27th from 9am to 3pm

Adult & Pediatric Pfizer, & Moderna Clinic


You can sort by county
(use the little arrow that will appear when you hover over the County column to sort by County)

You can also zoom on map to a specific area

Availability of Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are widely accessible in the United States. Everyone ages 5 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone at no cost, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.

Many doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics offer COVID-19 vaccinations. Visit to find locations that are offering vaccines to everyone ages 5 years and older. Parents can check with their child’s healthcare provider, their local pharmacy, and health department about whether they offer COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more about how to find a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Event Request

Do you want to host a Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Event?


Do you know someone who is interested in receiving a COVID vaccine who is unable to get out of the house due to medical limitations?

Consider applying for our homebound vaccination program through the Will County Health Department! Click the link to apply, and we will follow up with you as soon as we can! We want to get everyone vaccinated, especially those who are most at-risk and homebound.

Our Progress

Over 63% of the population in Will County Are Fully Vaccinated!

Total number of vaccines administered



Total complete doses




of population fully vaccinated

Demographic Breakdown















Ages 5-11

  • 39,023 3.52% 3.52%

Ages 12-17

  • 91,190 8.23% 8.23%

Ages 18-64

  • 750,830 67.7% 67.7%

Ages 65+

  • 227,359 20.5% 20.5%



  • 590,541 53.3% 53.3%


  • 516,272 46.6% 46.6%


An easy way to stay updated on vaccine clinic hours and availability of appointments is to follow the Will County Health Department on Facebook. We post each morning the locations that are open that day for appointments and walk-ins.


Click here to visit our page and then follow/like us!

COVID-19 Questions?

Our team of Customer Service Representatives are ready to help answer any question.

Call our COVID-19 Call Center at:


The call center can help…

  • Schedule, Reschedule or Cancel your COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment through the Will County Health Department
  • Find a COVID-19 Vaccination Location near you
  • Find a COVID-19 Testing Location near you
  • Answer basic COVID-19 questions:
    • Information on available COVID-19 Vaccinations
    • General COVID-19 Vaccine related guidelines
    • Where to locate guidelines on the CDC website
  • Sign up for the Will County Health Department Weekly Newsletter
  • Obtain Proof of COVID-19 Vaccinations


Call Center Hours of Operations:
Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM