COVID Variant in DuPage
The DuPage County Health Department has reported the first case of a more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the county. The B.1.1.7. strain, first identified in the United Kingdom, was found in a DuPage County resident. It is known to spread more quickly and easily than the strain of the virus most commonly found in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control says studies show that federally approved vaccines are effective against this strain. This is the 25th confirmed case of the B.1.1.7. variant in Illinois.
Vaccine Dose Reduction
The DCHD is also reporting that their first dose vaccines will be in smaller supply for the next three weeks. The agency recently received an average of 14,000 new doses each week, but will get only 2,450 this week. For this reason, the health department will be focusing primarily on second doses for the time being. Until supplies become more plentiful, the DCHD will not be expanding their Phase 1b group to include the additional approved recipients announced by the governor last week. Those include individuals 16-64 years old with comorbidities and underlying conditions, as well as those with disabilities.
Proposed Islamic Center
Close to 500 people signed up for public comment on the proposed Islamic Center of Naperville at 3540 248th Avenue at last night’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Due to time constraints, only about 40 community members were able to voice their support or opposition. Some supporters of ICN’s plans said the religious institution should be allowed to practice their religion at the location. A group from Tall Grass Homeowners Association cited concerns about the size of the project and potential uptick in traffic. ICN’s plan calls for its 13.36-acre site to include a mosque, school, multi-purpose hall, gymnasium, and an expansion on the mosque over a five phase, 40-year span. The proposed ICN is intended to complement the other three masjids in Naperville on 75th Street, Ogden Avenue and Olesen Drive. Public comment is likely to continue for several more meetings before Planning and Zoning Commissioners take a vote.
Paramount Adjusts Schedule
The Paramount Theatre is adjusting its June schedule due to the continued challenges caused by the pandemic. The theater’s 2021 non-Broadway shows originally scheduled for that month are being pushed to March of 2022. Anyone who currently has tickets for any of those shows will automatically have their tickets approved for the new dates. The opening of Kinky Boots is still scheduled for June 30, and the Paramount’s 10th Anniversary Season will then continue afterward as planned. However, the theater notes those dates may shift depending on state and health department guidelines.
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