Activities During COVID-19, Delta Variant Surge

Guidance provided by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

This advice is for those who are planning to host or attend events or gatherings (for exampleweddings, funerals, family gatherings, etc.) during this time. Our community is fortunate to be hometo the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which pioneered the SHIELD ecosystem, developed thesaliva test and expanded free and available testing through SHIELD CU. This guidance is meant fororganizations who want to adopt an approach that aligns with these best practices. The COVID-19situation is constantly evolving, so this guidance may change at any time.

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and those unable to be vaccinated is to get vaccinated. Your vaccine will also help protect those who are unable to vaccinate. Vaccines are available throughout our community, seven days a week. The vaccines are safe, effective and free. Anyone age 12 and older may come to Champaign-Urbana Public Health District on Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30 for a choice of either Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The process takes about 20 minutes — five minutes toc omplete the paperwork and get the vaccine and 15 minutes to wait post-vaccine. Other vaccine locations iny our local area can be located at

Free COVID-19 testing is also available seven days a week in our county. Options can be found here or by searching online: We recommend those who cannot vaccinate to test regularly. Even if you are vaccinated, you can test at any of these sites if you experience any symptoms or if you were in a situation that concerns you. 


Recommendations for outdoor gatherings:

  • Recommend everyone is vaccinated if they are able to do so. Consider having cards checked. 
  • Masks optional. When there will be crowded and sustained close contact, consider encouraging masks. 
  • Kids under 12 should be masked. 
  • Immune-compromised individuals should be masked, even if vaccinated, while in crowds. 
  • Hand sanitizing stations should be available for all. 
  • If possible, consider expanding the venue space to allow for more spacing and social distancing. 

Recommendations for indoor gatherings:

  • Recommend everyone is vaccinated if they are able to do so. Consider having cards checked. 
  • Require masks for all. 
  • When possible, follow CDC guidance for ventilation systems or open windows. 
  • Have hand sanitizing stations at entrances and throughout the venue.

Recommendations for events where not everyone is vaccinated or testing frequently:

  • For non-vaccinated individuals, recommend a negative COVID-19 test done within 72 hours of the event. 
  • Require masks for all. 
  • If possible, follow social distancing of 3 ft (6 ft preferred) between non-households. 
  • When possible, follow CDC guidance for ventilation systems or open windows. 
  • Non-Vaccinated individuals may test 3-5 days after the event. Anyone should test immediately if experiencing symptoms. 


People who travel for the gatherings should follow CDC guidance for Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Please note the date of this guidance as August 17, 2021. It is subject to change due to the evolving situation. For moreinformation and resources, please go to frequently.

Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccination Available to Individuals Meeting Certain Criteria

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and Community Healthcare Partners Encourage Individuals to Consult with a Healthcare Provider for Third COVID Vaccination Dose

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD), in partnership with Carle Health, OSF HealthCare, Christie Clinic, and Promise Healthcare want to encourage those who are eligible for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to consult with their medical provider to discuss additional protection as Delta variant cases continue to rise. 

Eligibility criteria for a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is based on the following recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Emergency Use Authorization: 

  • At least 28 days have passed after a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna (does not apply to Johnson & Johnson)
  • Same dose of the vaccine should be used for the third dose (unless information about the first two doses is unknown)
  • Self-attest to having one of the following immunocompromised conditions:
    • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
    • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

According to Awais Vaid, Deputy Administrator and Epidemiologist at CUPHD, “Eligible individuals should receive their third dose at their provider’s office. In addition, the third dose of Pfizer or Moderna is not a booster shot and not intended for the general community member. What is available now is a third dose of the original shot, specifically recommended for people with compromised immune systems.”

No other conditions or criteria are eligible for the third dose at this time. Caretakers are not included in the eligibility but are encourage to get their first series of vaccinations if they have not already done so. It is anticipated that less than 3 percent of patients will be eligible for a third dose of an mRNA vaccination.

Additional information can be found at:

Illinois Launches ‘Vax Verify’ System

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is launching a new immunization portal, Vax Verify, that will allow Illinois residents 18 years and older to check their COVID-19 vaccination record.  Vax Verify can be accessed at

“As more businesses, events, organizations, and others require proof of vaccination, Illinois residents will be able to confirm using Vax Verify that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “With the current surge in cases, more people are making the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine and this new tool will aid residents in confirming their vaccination where needed.”

Illinois State Fair concert goers with tickets for the grandstand track area (also known as Standing Room Only) are required to provide a print or digital copy of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours.  Ticket holders can register in Vax Verify to check their immunization record for documentation of COVID-19 vaccination.  

More and more companies, such as United, Google, Netflix, Morgan Stanley, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ascension Health, and Lyft, are instituting vaccine requirements for at least some of their employees.

The verification system follows best practices to protect confidential health information.  In order to download proof of vaccination, residents will go through a brief, one-time identity verification process to gain access to their immunization history.  The State of Illinois utilizes Experian® as its identity verification service provider.  Individuals who have placed a freeze on their credit will need to unfreeze their credit with Experian® and wait 24 hours before completing the registration process.  After completing registrations, individuals can re-freeze their credit by contacting Experian®.  

After the verification process, individuals can see their own record in the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE).  

Immunization records are kept confidential and only the individual can access their vaccination history.  Parents should talk with their child’s provider to confirm their vaccination status.  Some individuals with very common names will need to take additional steps to securely prove their identities.  

Go to or call 1-800-232-0233 to find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you.

Upcoming Vaccination Clinics

As the Delta variant continues to spread, it’s critical to get vaccinated to protect the health of our community. Numerous vaccine clinics are upcoming including:

  • Saturday, July 31, 1:00–5:00 p.m. at Anita Purves Nature Center
  • Saturday, August 7, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., Douglass Park
  • Thursday, August 12, 6:00–8:00 p.m., Country Brook Apartments
  • Saturday, August 14, 12:00–4:00 p.m., New Hope Church
  • Friday, August 27, 5:00–9:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 28, 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Cornbelt Fire Protection District
  • Every Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. at Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

Have questions about getting the vaccine? Find answers to the top asked questions below:

CDC Updates on Delta Variant & Masking

On July 27, the CDC updated their guidance surrounding prevention of COVID-19 and the Delta Variant. The top 5 things to know from the CDC include:

  1. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death; it also helps reduce the spread of the virus in communities. 
    • Unvaccinated individuals should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated. 
    • With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes is happening in places with low vaccination rates 
  2. Data show Delta is different than past versions of the virus: it is much more contagious. 
    • Some vaccinated people can get Delta in a breakthrough infection and may be contagious. 
    • Even so, vaccinated individuals represent a very small amount of transmission occurring around the country. 
    • Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated. 
  3. In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of Delta and protect others. 
  4. CDC recommends that community leaders encourage vaccination and masking to prevent further outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission. 
  5. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place. 

COVID-19 Delta Variant in Champaign County

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and Community Healthcare Partners Encourage Vaccination Against COVID-19

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD), in partnership with Carle Health, OSF HealthCare, Christie Clinic, and Promise Healthcare want to encourage those who are eligible and have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so today. The vaccines are safe, effective, and widely available in Champaign County.

The Delta variant has now reached Champaign County and continues to increase across the country. This particular variant does appear to be more transmissible and is impacting younger patients in a way previous variants have not. In some regions, the Delta variant represents over 50 percent of cases reported. People who are fully vaccinated are protected from the Delta variant which is why it is more important than ever for people to get vaccinated. According to the CDC, preliminary data suggests that 99.5 percent of COVID deaths over the past several months were in unvaccinated people.

“With an increase in cases locally and schools reopening for in-person learning next month, now is the time to get vaccinated for protection against COVID-19 and its variants,” said Awais Vaid, Deputy Administrator and Epidemiologist at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

Anyone 12 years of age or older is able to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are available to individuals age 18 and older. The following clinics are currently available to those meeting age requirements based on the manufacturer’s guidance and who live or work in Champaign County. Parental consent is needed for anyone under the age of 18.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, 201 W. Kenyon Road, Champaign. 

  • Walk-in appointments available each Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Walk-in clinic Saturday, July 17th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Individuals or families with special needs or disabilities who need support with vaccine clinics, please call (217) 531-5365 and a nurse will come to your vehicle to provide the vaccination.

Carle Health, Champaign and Urbana.

Vaccine appointments are available at two Champaign County locations by walk-in.

Starting July 19, Carle Champaign on Curtis and Carle Urbana on Windsor appointments should be scheduled by calling (217) 902-6100:

Promise Healthcare, 819 Bloomington Road, Champaign.

To register:

  • Call the COVID Care line at (217) 403-5402.
  • Walk-in vaccinations are available at 805 Bloomington Road. No appointment needed.
  • Individuals will need to register as a patient.

OSF HealthCare, Champaign, Urbana and Savoy.

  • Appointments are required and can be made at
  • Vaccines are available at 1405 W. Park Street in Urbana, 1712 W. Springfield Ave in Champaign and 501 N. Dunlap Street in Savoy.


Additional notes:

In most cases, you will receive your second dose where you received your first. Follow instructions on scheduling your second dose from the site.

Patients will need to wear a face covering, practice social distancing, and plan to allow at least 15 minutes for observation after the vaccination. Please limit the number of individuals in your party that are not receiving the vaccine and wear clothing to allow easy access to the upper portion of the arm for the injection.

The vaccine itself is free but providers may seek appropriate reimbursement from the recipient’s plan or program (e.g., private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid) for a vaccine administration fee. You will not be turned away if you do not have insurance or charged the balance of the bill for the vaccine. If you have questions about your specific coverage, please call the number on the back of your insurance card.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccination. Information can be found at:

Additional information on COVID-19 vaccinations can be found at:

Illinois Moves to Phase 5, Fully Re-Opens June 11

Illinois will move to a full reopening, also known as Phase 5, the final phase of the Restore Illinois plan, on Friday, June 11, 2021. On Friday, the state will eliminate all capacity limits on businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and all other venues. Mask requirements for vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals continue to align with CDC guidelines.
The state reaches this point as it records the lowest number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, the lowest test positivity rate, and more than 68% of Illinois residents age 18 and over who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

“A strong economy requires that people not only feel safe, but truly be safe, as they go about their lives as workers, neighbors, consumers, and friends – and thanks to the lifesaving power of vaccinations, that day is finally here for Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I invite all Illinoisans to feel the hope and joy of this moment while also recognizing that this pandemic is still very present for the world at large – not to mention those here at home who have not been or cannot be vaccinated. As we take this next step forward, let’s do so with a renewed commitment to empathy, to community, and to making each day together count. You did it, Illinois.” 

Today the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting 366 new confirmed and probable cases, 764 people in the hospital with COVID-19, and a test positivity rate of 1.3%.  These are some of the lowest COVID-19 statistics reported in Illinois to date. Additionally, IDPH is reporting 209 people with COVID-19 in the ICU and 103 people on ventilators.  These are also some of the lowest counts we’ve seen since the pandemic began. 

Currently, 11.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Illinois residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting more than 68% of residents age 18 and older in Illinois have received at least one dose of vaccine and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated. Additionally, more than 88% of Illinois seniors have received at least one dose of vaccine. 

“It is a very exciting time as we reach the point where businesses can operate without capacity limits and we are seeing the return of large events we’ve enjoyed in the past,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “However, it is important to remember that we are still in a world pandemic and not everyone has the protection of one of the safest and most effective vaccines ever.  Currently, there is not a vaccine authorized for children younger than 12 years and some adults have chosen not to be vaccinated.  For these reasons, it is important for unvaccinated people to continue to wear masks while in public and to socially distance.  The virus can continue to spread among unvaccinated individuals, which could lead to additional mutations and new, more virulent variants.”   

In accordance with guidance from the CDC, fully vaccinated people in Illinois can resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.  

Consistent with CDC guidance, fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons are required to wear a face covering in certain situations including (1) on public transportation, planes, buses, trains, and in transportation hubs such as airports and train and bus stations; (2) in congregate facilities such as correctional facilities and homeless shelters; and (3) in health care settings.  Individuals in schools and day cares must also continue to wear face coverings per guidance issued by the Illinois State Board of EducationIllinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

According to the CDC, it is critical that schools use and layer prevention strategies.  Schools providing in-person instruction should prioritize two prevention strategies:

1. Universal and correct use of masks should be required; and
2. Physical distancing should be maximized to the greatest extent possible.

Municipalities and businesses in most industries may choose to continue to implement public health mitigations as they deem appropriate, including requiring face coverings.  

To help businesses recover from the pandemic, the Governor, in partnership with the General Assembly, announced $1.5 billion in funding next year to support business grants, tourism, workforce, affordable housing, violence prevention, capital projects and other investments throughout Illinois.  This investment follows the $580 million invested last year for Business Interruption grants to aid businesses in pandemic impacted industries and childcare providers.

“Today’s advancement to Phase 5 is a significant milestone in our work to combat the virus and get the Illinois economy back on track. Through Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan, we have continued to lead on testing, vaccines and providing economic relief programs that are essential to supporting the return of workers and businesses amid the pandemic,” said Acting DCEO Director Sylvia Garcia. “Now, as businesses are set to fully reopen across the state, DCEO remains committed to implementing key programs that will not only reinvigorate our small businesses, workforce, and tourism, but that will build back our state’s economy stronger than ever before.”

Businesses and communities can learn more about Phase 5 recommended public health practices by visiting IDPH’s website.

What is in the COVID-19 Vaccine?

David Ruzic, Professor of Medicine at Carle Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign explains what is in all three US-approved COVID-19 vaccines and how they work. He also discusses the risks of COVID- and the risks of the vaccines, and also covers what is not in the vaccines.

Give the video a look and share for anyone with questions on the COVID-19 vaccines.

Visit CUPHD’s website to find a vaccine clinic to get vaccinated.

Pop-Up Vaccine Clinic in Downtown Champaign

On Thursday, June 10, Big Grove Tavern will host a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic in collaboration with Carle.

The clinic will be held from 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a one-and-done opportunity to get vaccinated.

The event is free, open to the public, with no appointment needed.

Big Grove Tavern is located at One Main St., Champaign. Parking is available in the nearby lot and in the parking deck across the street.

Phase 5 Guidelines

Effective, June 11, all of Illinois will move into Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. The past fifteen months have shown great resilience and strength, as well as compliance from the Champaign County business community. Getting to Phase 5 is an accomplishment and our local business community as well as the public at large should be commended for their efforts to keep Champaign County safe.

As we move into Phase 5, it is important to recognize that we still need to be mindful of the risks of COVID-19 and use safety precautions as needed to reduce the spread. This includes vaccinations, available for all 12 and older.

Phase 5 guidance for businesses and venues have been released and can be seen below. Please continue to wear a mask if you are unvaccinated per CDC guidance. Find upcoming vaccination clinics in Champaign County here.

This guidance replaces the industry-specific guidance that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity published as part of the state’s Restore Illinois plan. This guidance includes recommendations for all types of businesses and venues, customers, and employees in order to help maintain healthy environments and operations, as well as lower the risk of COVID-19 spread.

The following are recommended prevention strategies that recognize that while the state of Illinois has made substantial progress in vaccinating its residents, a number of individuals remain ineligible or have not yet chosen to be vaccinated. Consistent use of prevention strategies will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect people who are not fully vaccinated, including customers, employees, and their families. As always, businesses and local municipalities may choose to implement additional prevention strategies as they deem appropriate.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and widely available across Illinois. Everyone aged 12 years and older should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible to keep from getting and/or spreading COVID-19.
  • For businesses and venues where everyone present is fully vaccinated, the state does not require face coverings and social distancing in both indoor and outdoor settings. Businesses and municipalities are permitted to continue requiring face coverings and social distancing as they deem appropriate.
  • For indoor businesses and venues where everyone present is not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated persons should wear a face covering and maintain six feet social distance. Businesses and venues may continue to require face coverings and/or social distancing. At outdoor businesses and venues, unvaccinated persons may choose not to wear a face covering when able to maintain a six-foot social distance while outdoors, unless required to do so by a business or municipality.
  • Although people who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a face covering under state guidance, businesses and venues should be supportive of customers and employees who choose to wear a face covering.
  • Persons who are immunocompromised should consider wearing face coverings when in settings where others may not be fully vaccinated.
  • All unvaccinated persons should wear face coverings in crowded settings, both indoors and outdoors, especially when youth are present. See CDC guidance for further information.
  • There are limited circumstances and settings where all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, must continue to wear a mask in accordance with CDC guidance: (1) on public transportation, (2) in congregate facilities, (3) in health care settings, and where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
  • Individuals in schools, day care settings, and educational institutions should continue to follow separate guidance issued by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • All businesses and venues should support social distancing to the extent possible, especially in indoor settings. Businesses and venues should apply best practices in managing distancing at such places as concessions/counters, public restrooms, and lines/queuing.
  • This guidance will be updated as the CDC releases new recommendations and is meant to supplement any federal or local guidance, safety laws, rules, regulations or business safety policies that may expressly require a face covering and/or social distancing.
  • Continue to consult the CDC and IDPH websites for updated resources, guidelines, and rules related to COVID-19 safety.