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Pritzker: “We are not closing schools, but we are monitoring the situation on a day to day basis”

Thursday, Mar 12, 2020

* The governor moved his daily COVID-19 press conference to 5 pm today. Chicago TV stations are airing the event live. Click here for the live feed.

The governor said he’s asked sports team owners to cancel all games or play without spectators until May 1. “All of the owners that I spoke with told me that they completely understood and were more than willing to comply with this guidance.”

* Remember that I use Otter for quick transcriptions, so some typos will appear. More…

I’m asking that all community events that organizers expect will attract 250, or more people be canceled, or postponed until May 1. This includes personal and social events. I’m mandating that events of 1000 or more people be canceled, or postponed immediately.

I do not want to waste precious resources monitoring event cancellations. So I’m appealing to the Civic patriotic and humanitarian character of the residents of Illinois to act on this guidance immediately without any need for official state action.

Even for events that will attract crowds less than 250 people. It is critically important that organizers, think about who is likely to attend. And if likely attendees include individuals in vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, or those who are immunosuppressed, please consider canceling.

* Schools…

With regard to schools here in Chicago and around the state. The mayor will speak to guidance for CPS students and teachers. We are not closing our schools, but we are monitoring the situation on a day to day basis.

…Adding… From the governor’s press secretary…

We obviously are cognizant of the fact that students rely on schools for safety and food. So just shutting them down is not the best option for a lot of students

* JRTC…

I am also announcing tonight, that I am closing the James R Thompson center to people who do not have business with the state effective Monday. The JRTC houses many employees who perform essential functions for the state, and I need to take this extraordinary measure to make sure that they can continue to do their jobs during this challenging time.

* Private companies…

I am also asking every private business to have employees work remotely. And fortunately many can consider making the decision to do so immediately. Those businesses that cannot easily have employees work remotely need to think through plans to promote social distancing at work.

* Election…

I also want to make clear that the election will proceed forward on Tuesday. I’m encouraging all local election authorities to expand the hours of early voting every day until Election Day. […]

For those of you who plan to vote on election day. Please know that local clerks and boards of election are working diligently to ensure that polls operate smoothly and safely, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a guidance, specifically for polling places to make sure that election judges volunteers and voters are healthy and safe. Free and Open elections are the structural support of our democracy. One of the most important duties that I have as governor is to do everything in my power to make sure elections proceed forward as planned.

* To skeptics…

I know that some people will ask whether these measures are necessary in counties and cities that have seen very few or no positive Corona virus cases, we have seen what works and what doesn’t work from other countries around the world, especially in the earliest days of community spread of this virus. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your community is immune. I’m not going to hesitate to take the most aggressive measures possible to protect the people of our state.

* To the media…

Finally, I want to make an appeal directly to the press, and to our public and our private institutions around the state. Please. Please do not report or act on unconfirmed reports that may be grinding the rumor mill. The work involved in issuing clear and direct guidelines on a day to day basis when new information comes in, literally, by the minute is time consuming and requires consultation with many stakeholders and partners. We are committed to getting it right every step of the way. We established these daily briefings so that the press and the public could get clear and reliable information directly from us.

* To the public…

I wish I could tell you that going about your everyday lives with no adjustments was the best course of action right now. It is not and I owe you honesty. We need to reduce social contact in order to try and control the spread of the virus and prevent our medical infrastructure from dealing with too many cases at one time. We all have responsibilities to the most vulnerable among us, and that means making sacrifices in the immediate term.

We also have responsibilities to the healthcare workers and first responders who rush into danger for us every day. If we can do something to make their jobs easier we owe it to them to do it. I know that for so many people, these sacrifices are difficult. I know that people’s lives and livelihoods are going to be affected in the coming weeks. This state has an incredible group of civic minded communities and leaders. I am asking all of you to find a way to ask your neighbors, and your friends and your family, to help.

I’m appealing to your creativity and your generosity and the deep empathy that runs through every corner of this state, find a way to be a helper.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the news coming at you right now, but the people of this state are an audacious and fearless bunch. Our public institutions are among the best in the country. We have the knowledge, the resources and the talented people to deal with each new challenge that comes our way. A few weeks ago I gave a state of the state address, and I told you that what you want, that when you want to solve problems you focus on the next important thing that needs to get done. That is what all of us are doing. That is what we will continue to do. And that is what you can do to.

And together we’ll find a way to the other side.

* Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke next

Community events that have more than 1000 people are banned for the next 30 days in the city of Chicago. Period.

Planned events or community events mean planned events that bring together large numbers of people. We’re not talking about airports, train stations, public transit or schools, but we do mean conferences banquets, concerts, and such.

* CPS…

At this time, CPS will remain open.

Now, we would never put our children in danger. And I say that as mayor but also as a mother. At this time CPS will however begin scaling back large scale events, issuing guidance to all school personnel in advance of spring break, instituting a mandatory policy on short term closers for any schools with confirmed cases and ensuring parents and loved ones are frequently updated and CPS will be issuing a specific set of guidance today to the school community.

* Comcast…

I’m proud to announce that effective Monday, Comcast will be nearly doubling internet speeds for low income households nationally. This came after a request from my team here in Chicago to ensure that residents and families who are increasingly encouraged to remain at home, will have access to vital internet service, Comcast will also be providing 60 free days of internet to any low income household starting this coming Monday via their internet essentials program. I’d like to thank Comcast for their leadership and being good corporate citizens, and you are going to see my administration rollout more initiatives to assist our businesses and residents in the coming days.

* Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle

Today I issued multiple executive orders that will require an include the following meetings of the various boards commissions and advisory boards, created by Cook County ordinance, or resolution will be cancelled, to the extent possible in the month of March and April.

If cancellation is not possible. The meeting agendas should be limited to matters that require immediate action by the relevant board commission or advisory body.

All committee, and subcommittee meetings of the Cook County Board of Commissioners except the finance committee will be canceled for the month of March.

The March 26 Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting, and its agenda will proceed but be limited in scope.

* Election day…

Tuesday is Election Day. Our Cook County Clerk, and the Chicago Board of Elections teams are working very hard to ensure that polling places are clean, safe and secure. Voting is our civic duty. And we should all vote. I encourage you to vote early. If you’re concerned about crowds at the polls.

* Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health

There are seven more individuals in Illinois who have tested positive for the corona virus disease. There are two additional cases in Chicago. A woman in her 40s, and a child.

There is also a new case in Kane County. A gentleman in his 70s, and the case in McHenry County, a gentleman in his 60s.

There are also three new cases in Cook County to women in their 70s, and the gentleman in his 50s, we are investigating the travel history of these individuals, any potential contacts with known cases, public health officials from their respective jurisdictions will identify and contact all people who are considered close contacts of these identified cases.

While older adults appear to be suffering more severe illness, the young child in Chicago is a reminder that anyone can be infected with this virus. Again, each new case involves monitoring and following up with the individual, so that we can ensure that they receive the health care that they need.

But it also means from that one case that dozens, if not hundreds of additional close contacts will need to be identified contacted and have their information gathered, and be monitored. […]

So while you may not have a case in your community now, we anticipate that there will be.

* Back to Lightfoot on not closing schools

We don’t see a reason at this point to shut down the schools. But keep in mind when you think about shutting down the schools, and particularly with respect to CPS, that has a lot of potential cascading effects. A substantial percentage of our students depend upon the schools for eating. They depend upon the schools for shelter, and in some instances, for where they get the clothing and other needs. So it’s a very big deal to say that we would be shutting down schools. We are not there yet. Obviously, we’re putting a public safety and public health, first and foremost. Should there be a reason for us to do that we will, we won’t hesitate to do that, but we are not there yet based upon the current public health data

Presser is over.

* CTU

The Illinois primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17. We have received no direction from the City or CPS about the school district’s plan to keep students and educators safe from the spread of COVID-19, nor have we received information on plans regarding the care of medically fragile individuals. We believe there are more than 540 separate polling locations in Chicago schools. Given the serious health risks this situation represents, the Chicago Teachers Union hereby demands that schools be closed on March 17, and that CPS schedules overnight deep cleaning at each school that serves as a polling place starting on March 17.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

56 Comments
  1. - Oak Parker - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:08 pm:

    I guess no food court for lunch next week


  2. - socialist state - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:13 pm:

    This is leadership.


  3. - Zorkon - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:19 pm:

    Thank you Rich, for your continuing coverage of this.


  4. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:22 pm:

    The Comcast internet thing is helpful


  5. - Mr Magoo - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:24 pm:

    So, private company employees are being encouraged to work from home, but government employees are still expected to commute to work every day?

    It’s just not logical.


  6. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:28 pm:

    ==It’s just not logical. ==

    If you’ve been reading other posts, you would know that the previous Gov failed to get a robust IT system in place. It would seem that the State employees may not be able to work from home.


  7. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:29 pm:

    Cancel everything but school. Got it…


  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:29 pm:

    Commendable decision to restrict large events.

    CPS, CTA and Metra are probably the most troublesome.


  9. - Meh - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:32 pm:

    Yeah, and how are we supposed to get to jtrc? Hypoallergenic tubes?


  10. - Evanston - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:34 pm:

    - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:28 pm:

    A lot of State Workers can work from home if allowed. People who have the capability should be allowed to work from home.


  11. - AD - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:34 pm:

    Definitely some mixed signals here. Kids go to school, but no large events. Private companies work from home, but no word on government employees. I understand that it’s a complicated issue and a lot of government workers will still need to show up in certain fields, but it seems that there is some “Do as I say, not as I do” going on here.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:35 pm:

    Rich,

    Thank you so much for your yeoman’s work here, keeping us informed, and giving us all the important and maybe more importantly, the pertinent information outside all the noise.

    To the post,

    It’s going to be an interesting watch if decisions and changes are going to be changing in real time.

    I’m proud of the leadership Illinois is showing right now.

    This leadership will be tested. Tested through March, April, and beyond.

    This is a beginning.


  13. - Responsa - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:41 pm:

    ==Free and Open elections are the structural support of our democracy. One of the most important duties that I have as governor is to do everything in my power to make sure elections proceed forward as planned.==

    Indeed. But the physical election doesn’t HAVE to be March 17. And opportunities for mail in voting could and should have been extended. This decision to soldier on with this specific event against all the other closures and public protections being announced flies in the face of caution. I am very disappointed.


  14. - bo - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:44 pm:

    ~~Definitely some mixed signals here~~

    I’m not sure I see that. Not everyone can work from home even in private industry. I cannot. My wife cannot. Tradespeople, factory, etc cannot.

    Hence if you can, then do.

    As for school- I covered it on a different thread, but there are possible reasons for keeping schools open, and it’s been discussed by several Federal level public health officials. In previous viral outbreaks if children get sent home and parents still have to work- then the kids often get put with grandparents. Which, with this virus, is the exact opposite of what one would want. With guaranteed sick pay, or with work at home parents this would be less of an issue obviously.


  15. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:44 pm:

    ===CPS, CTA and Metra are probably the most troublesome.===

    This, especially CPS. I won’t be able to justify continuing to send my kids while my father-in-law, who’s over 70 with underlying health conditions, is visiting. And he’s here for at least another week.


  16. - DIstant watcher - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:47 pm:

    Our wedding had 250 people; I wonder how many people are cancelling their receptions?

    It’s getting real.


  17. - Wensicia - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:52 pm:

    I’m disappointed that they admit community spread and a child infected, but still refuse to close school.


  18. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 5:57 pm:

    ==I’m disappointed that they admit community spread and a child infected, but still refuse to close school. ==

    If it were that simple, they would. Per this and other threads, kids need a safe place to be and food; for better or worse, the schools are our primary delivery conduit for those vital social services. That won’t change in a few days.


  19. - Southern - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:01 pm:

    but it seems that there is some “Do as I say, not as I do” going on here.

    Exactly.


  20. - Wensicia - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:02 pm:

    Schools cannot provide social distancing. Not exactly a safe place.


  21. - Real - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:06 pm:

    Will Gov Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot be traveling to visit all these schools they said should remain open? Or will they talk from a distance?


  22. - JS Mill - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:06 pm:

    Schools are one of the best prepared for this issue. We have protocols and are well practiced given we have been dealing with communicable diseases for years.

    Schools provide essential services beyond teaching and learning. Closing schools may create more problems than they solve.


  23. - Wensicia - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:12 pm:

    ==We have protocols and are well practiced given we have been dealing with communicable diseases for years.==

    Most of the other dangerous communicable diseases have vaccines that prevent their spread. Not here, not now, not this virus.


  24. - Au Contraire - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:13 pm:

    An important school funding formula for K-12 is tied to class attendance, so that is a factor, plus the number of latch key kids.

    Double points to Pritzker calling out those in the media who are spreading fear by hyping rumors.


  25. - Anon221 - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:20 pm:

    Based on what I’ve been monitoring the last couple of days, I would expect governments at all levels to be conducting stress tests on telework to see where the weaknesses are. It’s not perfect, and may be the first time some government entities have even tried this, but tele or remote work will be more prevalent in the coming days and weeks.


  26. - Elon Monk - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:21 pm:

    Not sure why Gov Pritzker didn’t follow the CDC guidelines (as NY’s Gov did) and shut down gatherings of 250 persons or more?

    He seems to be at risk (politically) if a large gathering over 250 is linked to the spread of the virus or worse.

    As you may recall, he has, in the past, held others in his administration to incredibly high standards of performance (like firing someone for failure to read emails during a stressful times in their life).

    Live by the call out culture…


  27. - Morty - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:22 pm:

    We have protocols and are well practiced given we have been dealing with communicable diseases for years.

    JS, we don’t even have saniwipes or hand sanitizer.


  28. - Morty - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:26 pm:

    How did schools function a century ago when there was no vaccine or drugs for tuberculosis or polio?

    The kids and people who had it were barred from schools.
    Or, people caught TB or polio.

    I’m not saying schools should be closed, but if they think this is a true health hazard and a pandemic, keeping the schools open because our country has failed to adequatelt provide social services is irresponsible.


  29. - Anon2020 - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:29 pm:

    Some needed perspective:
    Today, coronavirus may be making headlines, but 105 years ago, tuberculosis was killing thousands of Chicagoans every year. In 1915, the city opened its very own sanitarium to treat patients.
    https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/3/12/21177251/this-week-in-history-chicagos-tuberculosis-coronavirus

    The principal road to the former TB sanitarium is lined with four cemeteries.


  30. - Really - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:41 pm:

    Even if you believe they are right, CTU needs to learn how to ask for things a little bit (OK, a lot) more politely. We demand, we demand, we demand. Catch more flies with honey…..


  31. - Morty - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 6:44 pm:

    ‘CTU needs to learn how to ask for things a little bit (OK, a lot) more politely’

    Uh, please don’t kill people? ;)


  32. - Been There - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 7:00 pm:

    ===the Chicago Teachers Union hereby demands that schools be closed on March 17, and that CPS schedules overnight deep cleaning at each school that serves as a polling place starting on March 17.===

    I am not going to comment on the demand but on the various reports I have read about how long the virus can still be contagious on surfaces. I’ve read any where from a couple hours to up to 12. Obviously if its the later the deep clean makes more sense. Otherwise schools, businesses, our homes, etc we can just wait it out. But I guess we should err on the side of caution.


  33. - CPS Mom - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 7:06 pm:

    I think CPS should make attendance optional. I have one COS child who is a senior in HS. I have food and internet. He could stay home and be safe. Therefore, if others can keep their kids home safely and distance learning was implemented it would reduce the numbers of kids in school. Those who need the food or can’t stay home can go to school.


  34. - Graybeard - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 7:11 pm:

    ==Not sure why Gov Pritzker didn’t follow the CDC guidelines (as NY’s Gov did) and shut down gatherings of 250 persons or more?==

    That is literally what he did during this press conference.


  35. - Chez What - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 7:24 pm:

    My spouse is an educator. Last year the district used 2 in service days to train the staff in e-learning. All the students have been issued chromebooks and use them for class. The point of this was to provide learning continuity for the students to use from their homes in the event of snow days, etc. The district was ready to implement this but the state dept of education kiboshed it because not all kids have internet access, this it was not fair.
    Now, the state is advocating this as an option, yet based on last years decision, the district said forget it and shelved the plans.


  36. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 7:50 pm:

    “I’m asking that all community events that organizers expect will attract 250, or more people be canceled”

    What in the heck is school but a community event where my kids plus 300 others walk through the same door, down the same halls, eat in the same cafeteria and gather in the same gym before school actually starts? They better hope no teacher or student tests positive. There will be big problems.


  37. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 7:55 pm:

    Pritzker is showing leadership here. We have some incredibly difficult decisions to make in the days ahead and they’re not at all simple as many commenters would like things to be. Each decision will bring about its own unique set of consequences. Closing a north shore high school isn’t the same as closing an elementary school in an impoverished community. Each decision can put a group “at risk” for different reasons and they may not all have to do with the virus.

    And for those that complain that private sector workers don’t have to go into work but government workers do, get over it. There’s no hypocrisy here. Some people have the ability to work from home some don’t. Nobody said life was fair. And thank and pray for your first responders and health professionals. It’s thankless work and most do it without complaint or nearly enough recognition.


  38. - SSL - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 7:56 pm:

    So they are doing the best they can with the information they have. This is, by far, the most complex issue, in increasingly complex times, that any government official has faced. Let’s not second guess every decision.


  39. - Mitchell E. - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 8:09 pm:

    Please explain how exposing non-essential state employees to danger is demonstrating leadership? It’s only a matter of time before state employees start contracting COVID—19 from one another. Will that be enough to let Governor Pritzker let them work remotely? The health of everyone should be the utmost priority and not the challenging logistical issues it presents. Very disappointed by this “progressive” Governor’s so called leadership.


  40. - Southern - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 8:16 pm:

    And for those that complain that private sector workers don’t have to go into work but government workers do, get over it. There’s no hypocrisy here

    There is plenty of hypocrisy here. Thousands of government workers have jobs that could easily be telecommute / work from home. CMS and DOIT just refuse to allow it.

    Leadership? - Pritzker has done some very positive things in his time in office, but he has failed his agencies miserably. You just don’t read about it because the state employees are cut off from the media.


  41. - park - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 8:37 pm:

    I DO NOT get where Lightfoot and Pritzker have the authority to take these moves. Also wonder whether they’ve created a takings case by those who are affected by the crowd limitations etc.


  42. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 8:59 pm:

    Park - Lightfoot’s order pertains to gatherings of 1,000 or more which likely require permits and/or city resources (public works, police). I would think this is within her domain to do.

    Preckwinkle is cancelling board and commission meetings. Hard to see why she can’t do that.

    Do you really think there’s an argument against cancelling public gatherings of 1,000 or more when the CDC says that 250 is too many?


  43. - NIU - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:13 pm:

    - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 7:55 pm:

    No Pundent you are WRONG

    Many State workers DO have the ability to work from home but are not allowed. You should learn before you write


  44. - Graybeard - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:19 pm:

    = Many State workers DO have the ability to work from home but are not allowed. You should learn before you write=
    Correct.


  45. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:24 pm:

    == kids need a safe place to be and food==

    Just like during the two-week strike, the schools could open for those kids to provide shelter and meals. Worked then on pretty short notice, should work now. It’s a mistake. When the numbers really start rolling in they’ll eventually do it. But it will have been too late.


  46. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:27 pm:

    === ==Not sure why Gov Pritzker didn’t follow the CDC guidelines (as NY’s Gov did) and shut down gatherings of 250 persons or more?==

    That is literally what he did during this press conference.===

    Not true, Greybeard. He *asked* for events with 250 or more to be cancelled. He only mandated it for events with 1,000 or more


  47. - Huh? - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:29 pm:

    “How did schools function a century ago when there was no vaccine or drugs for tuberculosis or polio?”

    It was different times. My 93 year old father, a retired physician, recent sent an email to the family describing what occurred before the advent of antibiotics and antiviral drugs.

    In part, here is his email “… What is happening now is old stuff to anyone born prior to antibiotics, which were supposed to banish all infectious disease. A third grade classmate, Junior D, [yes, I remember his name] died with polio and the mother of one of my friends died with scarlet fever, which is now cured with a single dose of penicillin. The measures taken now, considered drastic, were common place when I was a child. The government was not especially involved because every doctor who diagnosed a contagious disease–measles, mumps, whooping cough, scarlet fever or even had a suspicion tacked a huge red sign “QUARANTINE” on the front door of the affected persons house. One year, the county fair was cancelled because of there was fear of a polio epidemic. …”

    The signs were respected and effective deterrents because people knew someone who had died of an infectious disease. They knew the danger of breaking the quarantine. There was community. People knew their neighbors. There was the respect of the town doctor. There was fear of the quarantine sign. People who broke the quarantine, were most likely brought back by the local law enforcement.

    Now a days, the self quarantine is an inconvenience to a persons life style and personal wishes. There is distrust of government directed medical information.


  48. - Seats - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:33 pm:

    Sure wish JB’s press release about being about to file for unemployment benefits if you have coronavirus would have included “Please only file by internet or phone and do not attend a office”.


  49. - Mitchell E. - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:33 pm:

    Safety must be paramount in this time. Making non essential government employees take public transit and work in close quarters is simply a recipe for disaster. It will only prolong and worsen the epidemic. It sends a very negative message to state employees. Not a good look for a “progressive” Governor.


  50. - Seats - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:36 pm:

    The downsides to cancelling school are:

    1. 40 percent of nurses have children, you don’t want them to suddenly be calling off work at a time they are needed most.

    2. Kids are showing to be more resistant to the virus, at least the adverse effects of it. So while doing high schools online I think would be smart, having grade schools cancel might not be worth the trouble. As mentioned those that can’t get their parents off work may get stuck with grandparents the very people most at risk.


  51. - Practical Politics - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 9:57 pm:

    Due to the recent Chicago Teachers strike, is this a case that Lightfoot cannot ask the Board of Education to close the schools? A lengthy interruption would be difficult to make up since the strike ate up so many attendance days already.


  52. - Ok Boomer - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 11:13 pm:

    The days schools will cancel due to COVID-19 will be written off as “acts of god.” Most schools will close. The question really is when and for how long? Lightfoot’s disclosure that free internet will be available from Comcast starting Monday likely means that is the first day many low-income districts can close and still provide e-learning.


  53. - G - Thursday, Mar 12, 20 @ 11:30 pm:

    So far, more than 10,000 schools across the country have closed or are planning to close because of the virus, affecting about 4.9 million children

    Full closure
    of schools
    Partial/regional closures
    of schools

    Albania
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Greece
    Ireland
    Italy
    Lithuania
    Malta
    Moldova
    North Maceadonia
    Norway
    Poland
    Slovenia
    Japan
    S. Korea
    Iran
    Pakistan
    Philippines
    Germany
    Taiwan
    Ohio
    Maryland
    Michigan

    Partial/regional closures
    of schools
    Austria
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Croatia
    France
    Portugal
    Slovakia
    Spain
    Switzerland
    Ukraine
    Seattle
    SanFran
    Kentucky-recom by Gov

    Illinois-No we are smarter than the rest of the world, this is too soon to close schools but we will close much of everything else.


  54. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:06 am:

    At some point we’re going to need to accept the narrative that the reason why schools have remained open and the reason why non-essential state offices and facilities have remained open is because of the following factors:

    The decision makers at those entities didn’t want to bear the fiscal cost of limiting the impact of the pandemic.

    The decision makers weren’t willing to take action without more examples of positive tests in their immediate community — even though there are not enough test kits to go around and they’re not well disseminated throughout the state.

    The decision makers are waiting until there are examples of positive tests within specific state facilities or specific job assignments so that they can then instruct all of the folks potentially imposed to the virus to use sick days to quarantine at home.

    What we’re dealing with is a lot of poorly prepared, poorly supported, and poorly informed mid and upper level managers that lack the courage to take action, or have been paralyzed by their own ignorance through a ridiculous Dunning-Kruger effect which shouldn’t be surprised because of the self selection bias evident in the kinds of folks that leave bargaining unit titles for non-union/merit comp positions and the Peter Principle on Steroids impact it has.

    Right now people are transmitting it to their friends, loved ones, and co-workers without even being symptomatic.

    Don’t take the kids to Grandma’s this weekend, folks.

    Decision makers at the State of Illinois don’t understand what they’re dealing with yet and won’t understand until we’ve redefined the meaning of Little Italy.


  55. - Family Time - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 8:49 am:

    Illinois’ “home alone” law might need to be amended during this crisis so as to not penalize working families.

    https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/safekids/safety/Pages/Preparing-Your-Children-to-Stay-Home-Alone.aspx

    “When is it legal to leave children alone?
    Illinois law defines a neglected minor, in part, as “any minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minor’s welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety or welfare of that minor.”

    When thinking about leaving your children alone, whether for a short or long time, it is important for you to consider all the risks involved. What is appropriate under certain circumstances may be considered child neglect in other circumstances. You are legally responsible for your child’s welfare until she reaches adulthood. Part of caring for your children is providing adequate supervision. Under some circumstances you can be charged with neglect for leaving children unattended.”


  56. - Almost Retired - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    And today SRS sends an email that employees can’t meet counselors in person-person interviews due to the Coronavirus yet the general public still runs into DHS and other offices with no directives in place…
    So it’s just a mish mash response that is nonsensical. Half proactive half disorganized….


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