Chemical Industry Council of Illinois (CICI) Members


Mark Biel, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected] or 217/522-5805 


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – US Supreme Court to Take Up OSHA’s Vaccine, Mask Mandate on January 7; IDPH Adopts New CDC Recommendations on Quarantine Time; IDPH Updates its Vaccination Portal – SMART™ Health Card; Update on Vaccinations; Update on COVID-19 Cases 

US Supreme Court to Take Up OSHA’s Vaccine, Mask Mandate: Yesterday, the US Supreme Court announced it will take up challenges to OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) dealing with vaccine and mask mandates for large employers and for health care workers. Oral arguments begin next week on January 7.  Until then, lower court rulings will remain in effect allowing enforcement of the employer mandate issued by the OSHA, and partial enforcement of the health care worker requirement.

As you are aware, OSHA ETS, which was issued November 5, requires businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforces are fully vaccinated. Workers who aren't vaccinated must be required to wear masks and show negative Covid test results at least once a week.

OSHA has also announced it wouldn't take any enforcement steps before January 10 and wouldn't issue citations for failing to comply with the testing requirements before February 9 as long as employers are acting in good faith to put the rules into effect.

A separate federal rule requiring vaccinations for health care workers who treat Medicare and Medicaid patients is in effect in half the country. Two federal appeals courts blocked its enforcement in a total of 24 states; it remains in effect in the 26 others. The Supreme Court left that in place.

In addition, the vaccination requirement for federal contractors is on hold nationwide, being blocked by an order from a federal judge in Georgia.

CICI will keep the membership up to date on this situation.

IDPH Adopts New CDC Recommendations on Quarantine Time: The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is adopting the CDC’s new recommendation to reduce the number of days for isolation and quarantine for the general public.  The CDC updated its recommendation on December 27, 2021 to decrease isolation for people who test positive from 10 days to 5 days if they do not have symptoms (may include fever, chills, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, body aches, loss of taste and/or smell) but must continue to mask for 5 days after isolation ends.  These recommendations apply to all individuals, including those who are unvaccinated or are not boosted even though they are eligible. 

The CDC also recommended reducing quarantine from 10 days to 5 days for those who are close contacts to a COVID-19 case and have no symptoms, but individuals should continue to mask for 5 days after quarantine ends.  Individuals who have received two doses of either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson, as well as their booster do not need to quarantine after close contact with a case, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  Additionally, individuals who have not yet reached the 6-month mark to receive a booster for Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or two months for Johnson & Johnson, do not need to quarantine after close contact with a case, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.

IDPH Updates its Vaccination Portal – SMART™ Health Card: New updates to IDPH’s Vax Verify immunization portal now includes use of the SMART™ Health Card.  The SMART™ Health Card allows users to download a QR code, which individuals can use to easily confirm a their COVID-19 vaccination status at businesses, events, and other locations.  Vax Verify is an online system that allows Illinois residents 18 years and older to check their COVID-19 vaccination record.  Vax Verify can be accessed at

Update on Vaccinations:  A total of 19,176,277 vaccines have been administered to Illinois residents. The average number of vaccines administered daily is 46,046. According to the state’s vaccine administration data, here’s how the rest of the state’s population by age groups ranks in terms of vaccinations:

5 years of age and older – 68% fully vaccinated; 77% one dose administered
12 years of age and older – 73% fully vaccinated; 82% one dose administered
18 years of age and older – 75% fully vaccinated; 83% one dose administered
65 years of age and older – 87% fully vaccinated; 95% one dose administered             

Of Illinois' total population, more than 72% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 64% of Illinois' total population is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 3,077,848 eligible Illinoisans have also received a booster shot.  The state has also updated its COVID-19 website containing current locations and other pertinent information on one webpage.

Update on COVID-19 Cases: IDPH is now reporting 2,149,548 positive tests of COVID-19 in Illinois since the pandemic began, which is an average increase of 16,354 positive tests per day since last reported here 9 days ago on December 21. In total, 44,469,630 tests have now been conducted in Illinois for the virus, an average of 164,828 per day since December 21.

The state’s average positivity rate over all 11 regions since December 21 is at 9.9%, but in the last week (Dec 23-30) that number has jumped to 10.2%.  You can see where the various regions are at in terms of their positivity rates, hospitalizations, and other metrics at this link

Unfortunately, IDPH is reporting a total of 27,821 deaths since the pandemic began, an average increase of 51.5 per day since December 21.

You can also check where these cases are occurring at the State of Illinois COVID-19 website which also contains more information on this outbreak.

Also, IDPH has a case breakdown of the number of positive cases in Chicago and each county relative to the number of fatalities.  The IDPH website also now includes a breakdown of the cases under each zip code in the state.

For information on other states and countries, John Hopkins University has developed this website that provides invaluable resources at a one-stop location detailing testing and tracing trends, timelines of COVID-19 policies, vaccinations, and interactive maps.

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