Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter — January 8, 2021

View as a webpage | Translate

Lake County Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter

January 8, 2021

Governor Pritzker announced on January 6 that Phase 1b of the vaccination plan will now include people aged 65 and older. The previous plan had stated ages 75 and older would be eligible for the vaccine. Under this new guidance, approximately 3.2 million Illinois residents will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine once Phase 1b occurs.

Additionally on January 6, Governor Pritzker announced that Tier 3 mitigation will continue until January 15. This ensures that Illinois gets through two incubation periods after the holidays. After January 15, mitigation tiers are based on regional metrics alone.

Lake County Vaccine Distribution


It is an exciting time as we see progress in moving our community towards a healthier future. On December 28, the Health Department began drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinics for healthcare workers, public health staff, and emergency management professionals. It has been a positive collaborative effort within our community and one we look forward to continuing over the next several months.

Currently, COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited. Following guidelines from the CDC, only people who are eligible in Phase 1a, healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents, can receive their vaccine at this time.

The Health Department is providing vaccines as they become available to healthcare workers who are not affiliated with a hospital system. If this applies to you, please make sure you are registered in the AllVax system so we can notify you when you can schedule your appointment. 

More than 175,000 people registered for the COVID-19 vaccine in Lake County, Illinois

Additionally, more than 175,000 people have registered for the COVID-19 vaccine in Lake County, Illinois! Register now at to get notified when a vaccine is available to you. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, when it will be available to you, and how to register, visit

Community Partners Distribute 83,000 PPE Kits


Together the Asociacion Communitaria Latina (ACL) and African American Community Partnership Group (AACPG), have distributed 83,000 PPE kits through the community.  These kits included both disposable and washable face coverings, hand sanitizer, and educational material. An additional 18,750 thermometers were distributed to 10 cities within Lake County.

New Strains of COVID-19 Circulating


It has recently been reported that new strains of COVID-19 have been circulating in the United Kingdom and South Africa and detected in other countries, including the United States. These variants appear to spread more easily and quickly. There is no evidence that they cause more severe illness or an increased risk of death. Scientists are closely observing these new variants to learn more about how easily they might spread, whether they could cause more severe illness, and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them.

Learn more about the COVID-19 variants.

CDC: Confirm Rapid Tests with a RT-PCR Test

MMWR Antigen Test

The CDC recently released a report about the accuracy of antigen testing. Antigen tests have been popular because of their ability to have results within 15 minutes. It has been found that results from antigen tests are not as accurate as results from RT-PCR tests. It is best to confirm antigen test results by taking a RT-PCR test if results from the antigen test come back negative from a symptomatic person. The same is recommended for a positive result in an asymptomatic person. 

It is important that you continue to quarantine, whether you have symptoms or not.

Read the full report here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Top 12 COVID-19 Questions - Vaccine Edition

We have received many questions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. We took your top 12 questions and asked our experts, Medical Epidemiologist Dr. Sana Ahmed and Director of Health Informatics and Technology Jefferson McMillan-Wilhoit.

Please note: The answer to Question #2 - Who will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine next? has been updated since Governor Pritzker's announcementThe previously recorded video stated ages 75 and older would be eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1b. Phase 1b of the vaccination plan will now include people aged 65 and older. 

If you have additional questions, please join Lake County’s Virtual Town Hall on January 13 at 7 p.m. Please register ahead of time.

Another Frequently Asked Question

Question: What is happening to businesses who are not complying with the Governor’s executive order?

Answer: Reports of non-compliance are investigated. Every effort is made to work with businesses to ensure that everyone is following precautions accordingly. If you need to report someone not following guidelines, you can call our Environmental Health Program at (847) 377-8020. 

Learn More About the COVID-19 Vaccine at the January 13 Virtual Town Hall

Town Hall

At Lake County's next Virtual Town Hall on January 13, Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart will host a discussion with Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister, Medical Epidemiologist Dr. Sana Ahmed, and others about the County's vaccination efforts and answer related questions from the community.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Time: 7 p.m. 

Venue: Virtual meeting hosted through Zoom. Register Now.

Blood Donors Needed


Save lives by donating blood! There is currently a nationwide shortage of supply and all blood types are needed. There are two organizations in Lake County that participate in blood collection:  

  • Vitalant: Vitalant (formerly LifeSource) operates two donation locations in Lake County, in Gurnee and Lake Bluff. Please schedule your appointment in advance by calling 877-258-4825 or visiting
  • American Red Cross: Schedule an appointment at

For other ways to help, visit Lake County Health Departments page on How You Can Help.

Lake County Health Department Virtual Hiring Event

Virtual Hiring Event

The Lake County Health Department is conducting a virtual hiring event. Open job opportunities include counselors, therapists, nurses, supervisors, program coordinators and behavioral health medical director. Advanced registration is required.

Date: January 13

Time: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Venue: Virtual, register here.

COVID-19 Testing 


If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has it, getting tested can help you know what steps to take to keep your loved ones safe.

Where can I get tested?  

Contact your doctor to ask about testing availability, or check the Lake County Testing Site Locator for options.  

State-run Community-Based Testing Sites located in Waukegan (102 W. Water St.), Arlington Heights (2000 W Euclid Ave.), and Rockford (1601 Parkview Ave.) are open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing at these sites is free. These sites have drive-through testing, as well as walk-up testing for those who do not have a vehicle or need to use public transportation. Please note, you are not permitted to exit your car to use the walk-up line once you arrive. For more information, visit the IDPH website.  

A mobile testing unit run by the IDPH will be in Lake County on: 

Saturday, January 9, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Round Lake High School
800 High School Drive, Round Lake

Testing is free and open to all regardless of symptoms. A phone number and name are required in order to receive testing results. Photo identification and proof of insurance are helpful, but not required. High demand for testing may result in long wait times. Testing locations may close early due to inclement weather or if daily testing supplies are exhausted. Additional COVID-19 testing locations and information can be found at the IDPH website.

If you were recently tested at a mobile COVID-19 testing site and you have not been contacted within 7 days, please call 888-297-7208 or visit 

Lake County COVID-19 Cases


As of January 8, 2021, 47,814 Lake County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 785 deaths.

Our Coronavirus Data Hub provides data and resources for our county, including cases and deaths, tests performed, demographic data, and an interactive map and charts. 

View the Lake County, IL Coronavirus Data Hub 

Follow the 3 Ws

divider3 Ws Graphic - Lake County Health Department - English

Who to Contact if You Have Questions


Do you have questions? The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public:

For additional information from the IDPH, visit:

COVID-19 Resources

The AllVax Portal is Open

Lake County AllVax Portal Toolkit

The Lake County Health Department has put together an AllVax Portal Toolkit. The resources offered include print and digital images, sample messaging, and videos. We hope through the use of these resources, our community is encouraged to sign up on the AllVax Portal so they can be notified when it is time to make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Access the Lake County AllVax Portal Toolkit here.

Community Guidance and Resources

Protect yourself and your community. Our Information for Specific Groups page is now Community Guidance and Resources. This page is more user-friendly and has information to help residents stay safe and informed. 


Communication Resources

We need your help to keep our communities healthy and safe. The Lake County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer free resources including fact sheets, flyers, posters, and videos.

View communication resources

Useful Links


Forwarded this email? Sign up to receive COVID-19 updates directly from the Lake County Health Department.