Tim Vander Tuuk, WLIP News and the Associated Press (8-5-21)

(Waukegan, IL) Lake County added 97 new Coronavirus cases on Wednesday, but hasn’t recorded a death in the last 7 days. The numbers from the Illinois Department of Public Health come in connection with a rise in cases across Illinois and the country, being blamed on the more contagious Delta Variant. Covid-linked hospitalizations in the Region 9 area, which includes both Lake and neighboring McHenry County, rose by 2 on Wednesday to 45, up from the low of 15 on July 12, but well below the high of 370 set back in November of 2020. Health officials say the latest data shows that over 6.52-million Illinois residents, or about 51.2%, are currently fully vaccinated. When taking those that are actually eligible for the shot, those 12 and older, that number pushes to 56.9%. In Lake County, over 52% of the population has been fully vaccinated, or around 366-thousand people.

(AP) Illinois’ governor says all students and staff members in schools will be required to wear face coverings effective immediately. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday the action is necessary to thwart the continued spread of Covid-19. Included in the mandate is that masks are once again required for all indoor youth sports. Pritzker also said he will require all state employees who work in highly populated facilities to be vaccinated. The required vaccination for state employees applies to those who work in prisons and juvenile detention facilities, veterans’ homes and state facilities for the mentally and developmentally disabled. Each must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 4.