COVID-19 News Update
MARCH 11th, 2022
Emergency Preparedness and Response Team & Volunteer Efforts Shine!
WILL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT MEDICAL RESERVE CORPS VOLUNTEERS DONATED OVER 10,000 HOURS
At the end February, Will County Health Department’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers had donated 10,040 hours valued at $379,074.00 during the COVID-19 response mission, and those numbers continue to grow.
Barbara Agor, Emergency Preparedness and Response Specialist and MRC Volunteer Coordinator has been instrumental in overseeing the volunteer efforts for Will County Health Department (WCHD). During the pandemic, staffing at most organizations proved difficult. The dedication of the WCHD MRC volunteers made scheduling over 200 on-site clinics and over 60 off-site clinics significantly more manageable.
At the start of the pandemic, the health department introduced a COVID-19 hotline to answer the extensive number of calls from residents who were trying to understand the novel virus and its impact. Many of the health department’s MRC volunteers worked the hotline, answering calls and sharing information about the virus. Upon approval of vaccines, the MRC volunteers transitioned to the vaccination clinics and continue to this day. In addition to providing support at the mass vaccination sites in Joliet, Wilmington, and Monee, the dedicated volunteers have also traveled throughout the county working at numerous vaccine clinics held at various business locations, schools, religious organizations, and community events.
Mrs. Agor said, “Our volunteers are heroes. When many people were understandably concerned for their own well-being or that of their family, our volunteers freely stepped forward and gave of themselves. Throughout the past two years and among countless changes, they continue to show up with a smile and a kind word to assist the residents of Will County. Without compensation or media recognition, our volunteers continue to offer their time and talents and their efforts continue to save lives.”
The WCHD MRC volunteers have been, and continue to be, an integral part of the health department’s COVID-19 response. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic there were approximately 215 MRC volunteers registered with Will County Health Department. During the pandemic, many residents of Will County felt compelled to volunteer. Currently, WCHD has approximately 330 Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, gaining approximately 115 new volunteers during this response mission.
Will County Health Department is very proud of the commitment and grateful for the dedication demonstrated by the Medical Reserve Corps volunteers during this pandemic. Thank you, MRC volunteers! If you are interested in becoming an MRC volunteer, email Barbara Agor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDC CHANGES METHOD TO MONITOR COVID-19 LEVELS
On February 25, 2022, the CDC rolled out an updated approach to monitoring the levels of COVID-19 in communities throughout the United States. The new measure, Community COVID-19 Level, is determined by the evaluation of three metrics: new hospitalizations for COVID-19, current hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and new COVID-19 cases. Community COVID-19 levels are reported as high, medium, or low and are represented by colors dark orange, yellow and green. The Community COVID-19 Level will guide communities in determining the necessary COVID-19 prevention mitigations.
The new approach, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, moves away from simply monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates, to evaluating factors that reflect the community-based severity of COVID-19 including hospitalizations and hospital capacity. It focuses prevention efforts towards protecting those who are at high risk of developing a severe illness from COVID-19 and preventing hospitals and healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.
For more detailed information, the CDC media telebriefing can be read here.
The CDC also provides an overview of these changes and an interactive graph to determine community COVID-19 levels by county, throughout the United States.
Beginning March 14, 2022, the hours of operation of the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Ella Ave. in Joliet will change as follows:
501 Ella Avenue, Joliet, IL 60433
• Tuesdays: 1:30-5:30pm
• Thursdays: 9:00am-5:30pm
323 Quadrangle Drive, Bolingbrook, IL 60440
• Wednesdays: 10:00am–5:30pm
GETTING VACCINATED AND BEING UP-TO-DATE WITH ALL DOSES REMAINS MOST EFFECTIVE AGAINST COVID-19 ILLNESS AND SPREAD
Being vaccinated is the best defense against COVID-19 illness and being up to date with all your COVID-19 vaccines provides the best ongoing protection against severe illness and hospitalization. You also benefit the community by reducing the likelihood of virus transmission.
Up-to-date means you have received your primary doses and booster doses when eligible. If you are immunocompromised, an additional 3rd dose should be received 28 days following your primary dose series. For more detail, click here.
CDC recommends changes to timing of 2nd dose vaccine for the general population
The CDC has recommended changes to the timing of the 2nd dose, COVID-19 vaccine. New data suggests that an 8-week interval for some people ages 12 years and older may result in a better immune response. This change is also recommended for males between the ages of 12 and 39 to further reduce the relatively small risk of myocarditis.
The previously suggested 3 or 4 week interval is still recommended for those who have moderate to severe immunocompromised conditions, adults age 65 and older, and others who need rapid protection due to concern about risk of severe illness.
Click here to view the vaccination timeline schedules for all COVID-19 vaccines.
CDC has revised its COVID-19 vaccination guidance for individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.
The new guidance indicates that the booster dose (4th dose) should be received at least 3 months after the completion of the primary, 3-dose mRNA vaccine series. This has changed from the previous 5-month recommendation. This revision is based on studies demonstrating the effectiveness of the body’s ability to provoke an adequate immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
For individuals who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine please consult the CDC website or contact our call center at 815-774-7386.
Keep Them Handy!
While masking requirements have eased in Will County and many areas throughout nation, masks continue to be one of the most effective ways to prevent spreading and becoming infected with COVID-19. Masks will continue to be part of the layered prevention strategy, especially during times of high Community COVID-19 levels.
Individuals who are ill with COVID-19, live with or are caring for someone who has COVID-19, should wear a mask. Additionally, wearing a mask is recommended for individuals who are more likely to experience severe illness with COVID-19 such as the elderly and those with immunocompromised conditions.
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.
Isolation and Quarantine guidelines
On January 27, 2022, IDPH adopted CDC guidance on shortening the isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19 for the general public. This change may allow individuals to reduce their quarantine or isolation days from ten to five days, however, continued masking remains critical. Individuals with immunocompromised conditions should consult with their medical provider. Schools and certain industries such as healthcare may require additional safety requirements.
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.
THIRD DOSE & BOOSTER
OUR HOURS HAVE CHANGED BUT WE ARE STILL HERE FOR YOUR FIRST DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE
Schedule an Appointment Online or Call to Schedule your Vaccination at a Will County Health Department Vaccination Clinic.
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.
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.
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.
On March 11, WCHD will offer Pediatric Pfizer Vaccine, 1st dose appointments at the WCHD Bolingbrook office at 323 Quadrangle Drive, Bolingbrook.
Children will be scheduled for their second dose appointment at the same location on 4/1/22.
Third doses for 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.
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.
WILL COUNTY EQUITY HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
AREA ORGANIZATIONS AND PROVIDERS BRING NEEDED RESOURCES TO THE COMMUNITY.
Holsten Human Capital Development/Riverwalk Homes, Will County Health Department, Warehouse Workers for Justice, Will Grundy Medical Clinic and The Spanish Community Center worked collaboratively with area partners to make this a successful, fun-filled family event.
Several Community-Based Organizations and Direct Service Providers partnered at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Joliet for a Vaccination Clinic and Health and Wellness Fair to offer numerous resources to residents in need.
Free resources included COVID-19 vaccinations, health testing and screenings, gift cards, employment services, mental health and substance use resources, hygiene products, and hot meals and food boxes, to name a few.
The Will County Health Department in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) provided COVID-19 vaccinations and education. Additionally, Nicole Garrett MAPP Collaborative Coordinator was present to discuss local healthy food initiatives and related surveys. Several residents completed surveys and received gift cards. In Will County, the MAPP Collaborative consists of a broad cross section of organizations and individuals. MAPP is designed to provide a community-focused, data-driven, action-based comprehensive framework for assessing needs and addressing strategic issues throughout the County.
The Salvation Army in Joliet greeted residents, provided hot meals and snacks to volunteers and attendees, and discussed their addiction and recovery services. The Northern Illinois Food Bank delivered 6,747 pounds of food that was distributed to residents, including 1,600 pounds of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. The Naloxone (NARCAN) team from the Substance Use Initiative of Will County provided training to residents on the signs of overdose and distributed free Narcan spray to attendees.
The Spanish Community Center’s (SCC) community health navigators assisted with vaccination registration, food distribution, and outreach regarding COVID-19 and the center’s numerous services and resources. The SCC offers a variety of services such as family resources, legal assistance, immigration matters, financial housing assistance, Childcare/Pre-school education, food pantry, Covid-19 info/ resources, classes on citizenship, and classes for English and Spanish speaking and so much more.
Warehouse Workers for Justice provided 100 PPE kits to Joliet Community Members. Warehouse Workers for Justice is a worker center fighting for good, living wage jobs across the thousands of transportation and logistics workers in the Will County area, the largest intermodal logistics hub in IL. Their work blends union and worker centered models, focusing on long-term leadership development, alliances with community organizations, and development of innovative organizing tactics. Program Director, Ilissa Valerio states, “We at Warehouse Workers for Justice were happy to partner with the Will County Health Department and local organizations across Joliet to provide resources and PPE to the community.”
The University of Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed provides free nutrition education and resources to communities and families across Illinois. At this community event, Victoria Klimkiewicz, MPH CHES provided an interactive “Eat. Move. Save” booth on the importance of physical activity and how it can easily fit into daily life.
Joliet Township Government provided free tax services available to eligible residents, along with information regarding senior groups and the medical loan closet. Joliet Township also offers free notary services and has a general assistance program and vast knowledge of social service providers to assist residents in need.
Blue Print Agency provided attendees with several products such as shampoo, conditioner, feminine hygiene, hand sanitizer, pens, mugs, masks, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and shaving cream. Blue Print Agency “works with women that have experienced trauma within Will County that are low income to provide the necessary tools to enable women to overcome obstacles.” This is accomplished by offering “free counseling, life coaching, wellness, and resource and referral.”
NAMI Will-Grundy was pleased to participate in the community vaccination clinic and health fair. They distributed informational brochures about support groups and education for individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI Will-Grundy was thankful for the opportunity to spread their message of “You Are Not Alone” and “We Will Never Give Up Hope” to people in the community. More information can be found at: https://namiwillgrundy.org/.
Will-Grundy Medical Clinic was on-site offering their services to uninsured residents. They have been on the forefront of vaccinations and testing for residents county-wide throughout the pandemic.
Holsten Human Capital Development (HHCD)/Riverwalk Homes along with The Will County Health Department and a host of other community-based organizations provided hot meals, groceries, covid vaccinations, health screenings (blood pressure/ blood sugar checks) and extensive resource referrals. HHCD’s mission is to “strengthen at-risk populations by expanding their access to viable resources that promote self-sufficiency, wellness, and stability through comprehensive service provision, developing low-income and affordable housing, and fostering economic development.” According to Program Manager, Elizabeth Protich, “HHCD takes a holistic approach to social services and carried out that mission during a beautifully orchestrated COVID-19 vaccination clinic and health fair on Saturday February 26th, 2022, at St. Peters Lutheran Church.” “We are both humbled and proud of the opportunity to serve our community.” HHCD in collaboration with Lewis University Nursing students performed health screenings and tests to over 70 residents. Thank you to the Lewis University Nursing Students for all your assistance!
We would like to thank Joliet City Councilwoman, Jan Quillman for attending this amazing event as well!
The next event will take place on Saturday, March 26, 2022 from 10am-3pm at the St. Peters Lutheran Church gym located at 310 N. Broadway Street, Joliet, Illinois 60435.
PLEASE JOIN US!
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.
There are many testing sites available throughout Will County. If you have a need for testing, we strongly recommend a local retail pharmacy, an IDPH testing site as listed on this page.
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
Registration can also be completed with a Smartphone at the testing site. Once registered, click on visits, and then on schedule an appointment. Then select your testing location.
Click here for testing times and an expanded list of testing sites throughout the state.
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.
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.
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 find locations providing COVID-19 therapeutics.
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
Over 65% of the population in Will County Are Fully Vaccinated!
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
Total number of vaccines administered
Total complete doses
of population fully vaccinated
- 47,034 4.1% 4.1%
- 97,084 8.45% 8.45%
- 773,800 67.4% 67.4%
- 230,475 20.1% 20.1%
- 611,619 53.3% 53.3%
- 535,246 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