COVID-19 News Update
FEBRUARY 18th, 2022
Keep It Up Will County!
We are all anxious to move on from this pandemic and current data reveals a downward trend of COVID-19 cases. Vaccination remains our best tool to recover from this pandemic and get back to the things we love. A declining case rate and a rising vaccination rate gains us the upper hand in this pandemic.
If you are not vaccinated, call us; we will listen to your questions, provide information & guidance, & help you schedule a vaccine appointment.
Congressman Bill Foster facilitated a COVID-19, Vaccination for Kids discussion with community health and education leaders including well regarded, Joliet pediatrician Dr. Paul Aschinberg, Laura Barrett and April Elliot from Kane County Health Department, and Rachel Kinder, Superintendent of Valley View School District.
You can listen to the discussion here.
To keep you most informed, we have been refreshing our web pages. If you haven’t visited our website recently, take a look.
Isolation and Quarantine guidelines
IDPH has adopted CDC guidance on shortening isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19 for the general public.
Daycare and Early Care & Education
The CDC and DCFS issued new guidance for staff and children in Early Care and Education (ECE). The key changes within this guidance include a reduction in quarantine and isolation time from 14 days to 10 days and the ability to consider the previously announced 5-day quarantine protocol. The 5-day quarantine option applies only to those 3 years or older, who can consistently wear a mask when around others, and comply with other post-exposure or COVID-19 infection requirements. For those who are unable to consistently mask, a 10-day quarantine is recommended.
Since most ECE programs provide care for children who are not eligible for vaccination, it is imperative for ECE programs to use multiple strategies to prevent COVID-19 and minimize its transmission.
To review the full DCFS COVID-19 ECE Guidance, click HERE.
Uncertain how long to quarantine?
Use the CDC quarantine chart to guide your way.
Get free at-home COVID-19 tests
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.
& MORE! The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has announced a state distribution program that makes an additional 225,000 test kits available in 14 counties for eligible residents in vulnerable communities. In Will County, eligible individuals residing in zip codes 60432, 60435 and 60436 can order one test kit per household from this program. Each test kit includes 5 tests.
Moderna Vaccine Update
On January 31, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration granted Moderna full approval of their COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA approved vaccine will be marketed as Spikevax and has the same formulation as the 2-dose Moderna primary series vaccine administered to date. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine under emergency use authorization continues to be available for booster doses and 3rd dose administration for certain immunocompromised individuals.
To read the full press release, click 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. Individuals who are symptomatic or feeling unwell, are within 10 days of testing positive, or have had a close contact exposure, should always wear a mask when around 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.
Read what health experts at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health have to share about types of masks, mask care and use, and how long we might be wearing them. CLICK HERE
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.
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)
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.
To review the full DCFS COVID-19 Early Care and Education Guidance, Click Here.
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.
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.
Pfizer Request for COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 4 years delayed.
On February 1st, Pfizer-BioNTech submitted data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supporting their request to extend its COVID-19 vaccine, Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to children ages 6 months to 4 years. On February 11th, the FDA communicated that it would delay discussion on vaccine approval for this age group until Pfizer provides more clinical trial data showing vaccine effectiveness in a three-dose vaccine series. Pfizer expects to have this data by early April.
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 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 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
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.
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.
THIRD DOSE & BOOSTER
Additional Primary Series Dose (3rd Dose) for People who are Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised.
A Third dose is NOT a booster dose!
CDC’s COVID-19, vaccination guidance includes a 4-dose vaccination series for individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. CDC recommends that some moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals should get an additional primary dose 28 days following the 2nd dose; this would be considered the 3rd dose. Additionally, a booster dose (4th dose) should be received at least 5 months after completion of the primary, 3-dose, mRNA vaccine series. Booster doses are only for ages 12+. This revision is based on studies demonstrating the effectiveness of the body’s ability to provoke an adequate immune response.
More information on 3rd and booster doses for immunocompromised can be found here.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AN ADDITIONAL PRIMARY SERIES VACCINATION (3RD DOSE)?
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.
WHEN ARE YOU ELIGIBLE
The additional primary series dose (3rd 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.
BOOSTER DOSES FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED INDIVIDUALS
Everyone 12 years and older, including immunocompromised people, should get a booster shot. If you are eligible for an additional primary shot (3rd dose), you should get this dose first before you get a booster shot. Booster doses are recommended at least 5 months following completion of your primary series vaccination.
Click here for the COVID-19 vaccination timeline for immunocompromised individuals.
ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED INDIVIDUALS
While vaccination is likely to increase protection in this population, individuals who are immunocompromised should always consult with their healthcare provider for guidance. Even after vaccination, immunocompromised individuals should continue following the 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.
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.
WILL COUNTY EQUITY HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Meet our Health Navigators!
WCHD Health Navigator
Suzanna Ibarra has been conducting community outreach and supporting our partners in efforts to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the County.
Suzanna is a lifelong resident of Joliet and has her finger on the pulse of the community. She has been working on community issues for over 7 years. This includes ballot initiatives and working with local officials to make transformational changes throughout Will County for the benefit of our residents.
Her latest efforts range from vaccination outreach and health equity to social justice and resource management for residents. Suzanna builds and nurtures relationships and works alongside community leaders/activists and local government officials to build trust and accountability within the community. Suzanna is also a Joliet Township Trustee and was a top vote earner!
She has been very passionate about COVID-19 outreach since the beginning of the pandemic and is committed to keeping all residents safe and healthy, as well as improving the quality of life of residents throughout Will County.
“Vaccines save lives. We are striving towards better health outcomes for the most at risk in Will County by removing obstacles and barriers and meeting people where they are most in need, and some days that is at their own front door,” says Suzanna. “Alongside our trusted community partners, we are not only working on getting people vaccinated, but also creating a plan for the best outcomes to improve longevity and quality of life for those in our Will County communities.”
Thank you for your hard work connecting Will County residents with the resources they need to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond!
To learn more about our efforts, programs, or to find a vaccination location near you, please visit our website at: www.willcountyhealth.org or https://www.facebook.com/WilCountyHealthDepartment/.
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
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
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
FIND A COMMUNITY VACCINATION CLINIC IN YOUR AREA
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 vaccines.gov 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?
VACCINES FOR HOMEBOUND
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.
Over 64% of the population in Will County Are Fully Vaccinated!
Total number of vaccines administered
Total complete doses
of population fully vaccinated
- 43,551 3.85% 3.85%
- 94,939 8.38% 8.38%
- 764,989 67.6% 67.6%
- 228,929 20.2% 20.2%
- 603,192 53.3% 53.3%
- 527,640 46.6% 46.6%
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR DAILY VACCINE CLINIC UPDATES
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!
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