CPD Vaccinations, Chicago Mask Mandate, Colin Powell – NBC Chicago

Concerns about police staffing continue this week as a vaccine mandate showdown continues between the city and some officials, with those who fail to do so now being placed in unpaid status.

Meanwhile, local experts say Colin Powell’s groundbreaking COVID death serves as a reminder of the importance of boosters, especially for vulnerable populations.

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Illinois Coronavirus Pandemic Today:

Watch live: Governor Pritzker announces COVID-19 update at 9:30 a.m.

Governor JB Pritzker is expected to deliver a COVID-19 update for Illinois Tuesday morning.

Details of what the governor is expected to discuss remains unclear, but he will hold a briefing from the Thompson Center in Chicago at 9:30 a.m. just before heading to the Chicago Sky championship parade and rally.

Watch live here or in the player above.

CPD officials speak out after being placed in unpaid status due to the COVID vaccine mandate

Chicago police officers who were given unpaid status at the start of the city’s COVID vaccine mandate speak out and share their stories with Regina Waldroup of NBC 5.

After a weekend of uncertainty about the implementation of Chicago’s coronavirus vaccination mandate for city workers, police officers face disciplinary action for failing to report their vaccination status.

According to the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, John Catanzara, as part of the enforcement of this mandate, nearly 50 officials were given an unpaid status requiring city workers to confirm whether or not they received the COVID vaccine.

Those workers who have not done so will have to take a test twice a week until the end of the year.

NBC 5 spoke to two officers who were transferred to unpaid status on Monday.

Here’s what they had to say.

Chicago officials urge residents to get COVID vaccines before Thanksgiving

Chicago officials are pushing for more residents to get COVID vaccines, saying vaccination is critical to people’s safety as the holiday season approaches.

During a press conference on Monday, Dr. Allison Arwady, the Department of Health Commissioner for Lightfoot and Chicago, said that while the number of COVID vaccinations is starting to increase in some surrounding states, it has resulted in less restrictive guidelines and recommendations around the holiday season.

Lightfoot said that while there was a large spike in COVID cases and hospital admissions in the fall and early winter last year, this year will likely be different because of the vaccine, and that will likely result in looser restrictions and recommendations.

Read more here.

More than a third of Chicago police have failed to report vaccination status, City says

While more than 8,000 Chicago police officers have kept the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, thousands still haven’t, city officials announced on Monday, two days after city workers’ vaccination requirements went into effect.

A showdown on the request has shrouded the city for days as the Chicago fraternal order police chief urged its members to defy the city’s COVID vaccine guidelines. An injunction was issued against FOP President John Catanzara on Friday prohibiting him from making public comments urging members not to abide by them.

Read more here.

Colin Powell’s death shows the importance of COVID booster vaccinations, Chicago doctors say

Colin Powell, the first African American who died on Monday as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, died of COVID-19 complications despite being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Powell, 84, was immunocompromised and had been treated for multiple myeloma for the past several years, according to a longtime aide.

Multiple myeloma affects the body’s ability to fight infection, and studies have shown that these cancer patients don’t get as much protection from the COVID-19 vaccines as healthier people.

After Powell’s death, doctors at Northwestern Medicine issued a message stating that the 84-year-old’s death should not be deterred by vaccinations, stating that it shows the importance of booster vaccinations.

Read more here.

Unions reach agreements with Pritzker Admin about COVID vaccine mandate

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s government has reached agreements with four unions to meet the state’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements for workers in community housing facilities, officials said Monday.

According to a press release, the governor’s office recently reached an agreement with several unions in Illinois that work in community facilities like the Shapiro Developmental Center, Menard Correctional Center, and Quincy Veteran’s Home.

Workers represented by the unions initially had to receive their first vaccination against COVID-19 by October 14, but the deadline has been postponed to October 26.

Read more here.

Chicago’s top doc says the mask mandate will remain in place for “at least the next few weeks.”

During an interview at Kennedy King College on Saturday where she received her flu vaccine and a COVID booster shot, Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner for the Chicago Department of Health, explained the importance of wearing masks during the cold season.

According to the commissioner of the city’s health department, Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s mask mandate will be in effect for at least the next few weeks.

“We’re sticking to an essential broadcast stand from the CDC, and even if we continue to see progress at the rate we’ve seen, I suspect it would likely take at least a few more weeks,” said Arwady. “My big question is what happens between now and Thanksgiving, honestly.”

Arwady said masking will remain even more important in the colder months.

“Then we usually see respiratory viruses like the flu really take off and we feel better,” said Arwady. “My concern is that I don’t want to say hurray, let’s take the mask off, two weeks later we have to put it back on.”

Read more here.

Chicago police warn officers about the “consequences” of not following the vaccine policy: sources

Chicago police on Sunday warned officials of the consequences of failing to adhere to the city’s vaccine mandate, saying those who fail to adhere to guidelines could face a “separation” from the department.

The internal notice warns that those who fail to adhere to the vaccine policy will be investigated and face fines, sources told NBC 5.

It comes amid an ongoing battle between the President of the Brotherhood of Police, John Catanzara, and the city for the mandate.

Catanzara posted a video statement Friday night after a Cook County judge ordered the union chief to stop making public comments encouraging members to oppose the city’s COVID vaccine guidelines.

Read more here.

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