COVID-19 Updates
June 7, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine

Getting vaccinated is safe, effective and will help us beat COVID-19. We're currently vaccinating anyone 12 and older in Illinois and Wisconsin. 

Our Safe Care Promise helps protect you and our team members. Wearing masks, social distancing and washing your hands are important – even after you’re vaccinated. It’ll take time to immunize enough people to stop the virus from spreading, so mask up!

COVID-19 Testing

We’re offering COVID-19 tests at our Advocate Immediate Care and Aurora Urgent Care locations – regardless of symptoms or exposure. Testing is available via walk-in or by appointment. You can expect to receive your results within 48 hours.
Help your community get vaccinated

The White House recently announced a National Month of Action to mobilize an all-of-America sprint to get 70% of U.S. adults at least one shot by July 4th, so that more people can get the protection they need to be safe from a pandemic that has taken the lives of nearly 600,000 Americans.

Throughout the month, national organizations, local government leaders, community-based and faith-based partners, businesses, employers, social media influencers, celebrities, athletes, colleges, young people, and thousands of volunteers across the nation will work together to get their communities vaccinated.

For example, to advance equity and make it even easier to get vaccinated, four of the nation’s largest child care providers will offer free child care to all parents and caregivers getting vaccinated or recovering from vaccination from now until July 4th. Also, thousands of pharmacies nationwide will stay open late every Friday in June, and offer services throughout the night to make sure Americans can get their shot.

To mobilize the country to do more vaccination education and outreach, several initiatives will take place, including Shots at the Shop – a new initiative to engage black-owned barbershops and beauty salons; a Mayors Challenge to increase vaccination rates in cities across America; COVID-19 College Challenge, and blanketing local tv and radio and social media to get Americans the facts and answer their questions.

The President will call on Americans to take at least five actions to help their communities during the Month of Action, and some volunteers may be invited to visit the White House in July. Americans can visit to learn more and sign up to help their communities get vaccinated.
Become a Vaccine Champion!

Being a good neighbor means we help and support each other. We listen, we trade stories and share information – we're here for each other. That’s what our Neighbor-to-Neighbor Vaccine Champions do. They listen and they share reliable information at the grassroots level to help community members make educated decisions about getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

Have questions or want to get involved? Reach us at
Addressing COVID-19 vaccine concerns in communities of color

By: Dr. Brian Temple, infectious disease physician at Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh, WI

Long has mistrust of the medical community lingered among our Black and Brown communities. And now with the COVID-19 vaccine, a resurgence of hesitancy is rearing its ugly head. As a Black physician, I’d like to address head-on some of the concerns I’ve been hearing from some of my patients and others.

Concern #1: The COVID-19 vaccine is another opportunity to push communities of color to the front of the line and test us as guinea pigs (like with the Tuskegee experiments) for a drug whose long-term effects are unknown. Despite our history, we are being asked to trust a system that has purposefully discriminated against us.

My response: We cannot forget the history, but we must differentiate history from present facts. The vaccine and the vaccination program are two simple steps to level this aspect of health inequity.

Hesitancy, Equity, and Transparency

In conversation with pastor and lawmaker James D. Gailliard on the COVID-19 vaccine roll out

June 17, 2:00 p.m.

Dr. Mary Pittman, president and CEO of the Public Health Institute, and Pastor James D. Gailliard, a state representative in the North Carolina Assembly, reflect upon efforts to achieve equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and explore how faith-based organizations and state policy interventions work toward this goal in North Carolina.

They will address:
  • Issues related to building trust and trustworthiness between. communities and those bringing vaccinations to the communities.
  • Successful strategies for reaching vaccine-hesitant communities.
  • How data can be used to ensure an equitable vaccine response.
  • How vaccine distribution strategies have evolved as supply increases.
  • What we have learned about how to build stronger and lasting relationships between communities and public health in preparation for the next pandemic or natural disaster.
Anxious to leave the house?

If you’re anxious about returning to the office after working remotely or going out to eat without wearing a mask, you’re not alone. About half of Americans are concerned about resuming in-person interactions once the pandemic ends even if they’ve been vaccinated, according a recent survey from the American Psychological Association.

The survey found 48% of adults who’ve been vaccinated were just as anxious about returning to normal as those (46%) who haven’t received a vaccine.
“Being primarily at home this past year has led to minimal social interactions, which can feed into tendencies of social anxiety,” says Dr. Cassandra Edwards at Aurora Health Center in Waukesha, WI.

Related reading: LGBTQ individuals report higher amounts of anxiety during COVID. See article in English and Spanish.
FDA approves COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

By: Grace Wong

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency use for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15.

This news comes during a time when COVID-19 case numbers in Illinois and Wisconsin remain high and variant strains wreak havoc overseas. Infectious disease experts and pediatricians still urge people to receive the vaccine when they can.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices still needs to review and make recommendations for this age group. Experts anticipate ACIP to make the same decision as the FDA, with final recommendations expected Wednesday.

“It is safe,” said Dr. Markeita Moore, a pediatrician with Advocate Children’s Hospital during a recent online event. “We highly recommend it.”

Children ages 16 and up can now receive their vaccines in both Illinois and Wisconsin. While many may thing COVID-19 affects only adults, there have been hospitalized children since the beginning of the pandemic, some of whom have been quite ill, said Dr. Frank Belmonte, chief medical officer at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

“We know just a little about COVID virus. We understand what we know now, but we don’t understand the long term side effects of the COVID virus, so protecting yourself is really important,” said Dr. Belmonte.

See article in Spanish.
FEMA Provides Funeral Assistance

FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to COVID-19 to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic.
To apply, call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number at 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585, Monday - Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time

"At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters," said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate."
COVID-19 Resources
The COVID-19 Resource Center in English and Spanish offers information on COVID-19 testing, visitor guidelines, COVID-19 Virtual Care Program, and more.
The LiveWell app makes it easy for families to manage their health all in one place.
Anyone experiencing COVID 19 symptoms or who believes they have been exposed, should visit our Symptom Checker in English or Spanish or call our hotline at 866 443 2584 both available 24/7 to find out what to do next.
COVID-19 Toolkits and Campaigns
The Ad Council Vaccine Education Initiative offers toolkits for Black faith communities and Hispanic faith communities. Toolkits include Bible study and sermon guide, FAQs, graphics and more.

Faith and COVID-19 vaccine toolkit provides updates, stories, resources from Religion News Service and Interfaith Youth Core 
THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us is produced by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues (no affiliation with Kaiser Permanente), and presented by KFF’s Greater Than COVID public information initiative and the Black Coalition Against COVID. Learn more.
The Ad Council's COVID-19 vaccine campaign, “It’s Up to You,” includes FAQs in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole and Vietnamese. The campaign also offers COVID-19 Vaccine Education resources in English and Spanish, including some that are intended for faith community audiences:
The Partnership Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships offers a FAQ and guide to support vaccine confidence for faith and community leaders. 'All in' Against COVID-19 offers step-by-step recommendations, such as:

  • Get and Share the Facts about COVID-19 and risk factors
  • Get Vaccinated: includes information on when and where the public can get the vaccine
  • Get Involved: includes ways to inform your community, encourage your members to get vaccinated and to help stop the spread of COVID-19
  • Getting Resources: includes links to CDC resources
We Want to Hear From You!

We hope you find this update helpful as you promote the health of your members and community. Please contact Cindy Novak if you have questions or topics you'd like us to address. Thank you
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