Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are administered by Jewel-Osco pharmacists to union workers at the IUOE Local 399 union hall ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris's visit to discuss vaccine rollouts and union work in Chicago on April 6, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

Editor’s Note: Gov. JB Pritzker has now extended the deadline to get a first shot to Sept. 19.

CHICAGO — Some state workers and students must get their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine by this Sunday or start getting tested regularly.

Illinois is requiring health care workers, educational workers from preschool to 12th grade and higher education workers and students to get vaccinated. If not, they must take a COVID-19 test at least once per week.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced the rules last week, when he also brought back the state’s mask mandate. The deadline to get a first shot is quickly approaching.

People in the required categories who opt to get their shots must get the first shot of a two-dose vaccine or a one-dose vaccine by this Sunday, according to the state’s rules.

Those who get a two-dose vaccine — Pfizer or Moderna — must then get their final shot within 30 days of the first dose.

Workers and students who do not get vaccinated will be required to take a COVID-19 test at least once a week, with more testing possible, according to the Governor’s Office.

Health care workers, school workers and higher education workers and students who don’t get vaccinated and don’t get tested will be prevented from going into schools and health care facilities, according to the state’s rules.

The vaccines are free and do not require insurance. They largely prevent COVID-19, as well as severe illness and death from the virus.

Pritzker created the requirement as coronavirus is surging throughout the state due to the highly contagious Delta variant. He and other officials — including local leaders like Mayor Lori Lightfoot — have urged more people to get vaccinated to prevent more hospitalizations and deaths.

Lightfoot is similarly requiring all city workers to get vaccinated by Oct. 15.


• In Illinois, about 6.7 million people — or 53 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 39,922 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 13,950,756 vaccine doses of the 16,250,855 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.49 million Chicagoans — or 55.6 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated. About 60.9 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Twenty-six Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Tuesday.

• At least 23,979 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,556 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 5,178 cases since Tuesday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,528,120.

• Since Tuesday, 95,966 tests were reported statewide. In all, 28,965,563 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate was at 5.1 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 5.1 percent Tuesday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 5.6 percent. It was at 5.7 percent Tuesday.

• As of Tuesday night, 512 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 283 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, five deaths were reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 5,626 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than two deaths per day, a 35 percent decrease from the week prior.

• Chicago has had 486 confirmed cases reported since Tuesday. It’s had a total of 304,204 confirmed cases. An average of 467 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 1 percent increase from the week prior.

• At the same time, testing has decreased 1 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 4.3 percent, down from 4.5 percent the week prior.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: Twitter @BauerJournalism