NOTE: NBC Chicago will be offering a live stream of the address starting at noon.
Governor JB Pritzker is expected to provide an update on COVID-19 on Monday, regarding the omicron variant that has spread to Illinois and the United States in recent weeks.
The governor is expected to speak at noon from the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, where he will discuss the omicron variant as well as the expansion of vaccination clinics in Illinois. (Watch live in the player above)
The governor will also be on appeal with President Joe Biden and the National Governors Association on Monday. The White House said the president will discuss the administration’s response to the omicron variant and hear about state-level needs.
Although Illinois’ most recent COVID measures were delayed due to the holiday weekend, the state set a new single-day COVID case record on Thursday, with more than 18,000 new confirmed cases and probable coronavirus reported within 24 hours.
According to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, a total of 18,942 cases of the virus were diagnosed in a single day, erasing the previous record of most positive test results in one day.
COVID testing has been in high demand as many have tried to elicit answers before vacation reunions with family and friends.
The omicron variant has also led to an increase in COVID cases across the country.
The head nurse at Downers Grove-based Advocate Aurora Health admits healthcare workers are tired, saying they experience fatigue and an “emotional leak”.
As a result, the health care system issued a call to action in the Illinois and Wisconsin Sunday newspapers, imploring residents to get vaccinated.
“The beds are full. The waiting times are long,” the advertisement said. “And the pressure on our healthcare team, undeniable. The doctors, nurses and countless others who have so skillfully and compassionately cared for our communities are suffering …”
Also noted in the announcement, lawyer Aurora says more than 90% of his patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated or need to be boosted.
In about another week, on January 3, vaccination warrants will go into effect in both Chicago and suburban Cook County, as local authorities try to help curb the spread of the virus.
Customers and employees will be required to show full proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, event spaces, recreation and entertainment venues.
Employees can take a negative COVID test weekly instead of getting vaccinated. But customers will either need to show their vaccination card, a photo of it, or through an official health app.
Although companies don’t have to verify vaccination evidence this Friday, executives are urging people to reconsider their plans for the New Year’s celebrations.