Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker says 500 hospital beds this week at McCormick Place - Feds sent surgical masks instead of N95 masks - Ezike explains state prison strategy - Why no “recovered” data? Abbott can only produce 50K rapid tests per day- Drop in new cases today does not indicate anything - Not focused on costs except for gouging
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Pritzker says 500 hospital beds this week at McCormick Place - Feds sent surgical masks instead of N95 masks - Ezike explains state prison strategy - Why no “recovered” data? Abbott can only produce 50K rapid tests per day- Drop in new cases today does not indicate anything - Not focused on costs except for gouging

Monday, Mar 30, 2020

* From the governor’s press conference was held today with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

The mayor and I would like to give you a further update on the work that we’re doing to stand up our alternate care facility at McCormick Place. Our Illinois National Guard and the US Army Corps of Engineers are on pace to have the first phase of this facility completed this week, and the entire facility up and running over subsequent weeks on Saturday we received our first shipment of 500 beds and the Illinois Central management services and the US Army Corps of Engineers began the initial build.

We’re aiming to have these first 500 beds up this week, followed by the next 500 by next week. The next 1200 and 50 by the week of April 20 and the final 750 acute care beds by the end of the month bringing us to a total of 3000 beds,at McCormick Place.

Based on best practices around the world about how to manage positive cases and contain this virus, McCormick will be dedicated to mostly to non acute COVID 19 patients, people whose condition could benefit from the care of medical professionals, but who are not likely to need a formal ICU.

Of course, as I’ve said before, this is an evolving situation. And if our experts determined down the line that McCormick Place should be dedicated to a different set of criteria, we will shift our mission to follow the medical experts best advice. I want to be clear that McCormick Place is dedicated to supporting our existing hospital system, not replacing our existing hospital system today in Chicago, there are hospitals that have a lot of COVID 19 patients. But there are also hospitals that are underutilized in our COVID response. The first place we are directing our patients is to existing hospital beds, maximizing our underutilized hospitals first. If we never have to go beyond our existing facilities we will all be extremely happy.

But since we can’t guarantee that and in fact, we don’t have the data yet to suggest otherwise we’re actively building out capacity.

In addition to McCormick Place in Chicago, the state alongside the Army Corps has formally launched work on two additional alternate care facilities, the former advocate Sherman hospital campus in Elgin, and the metro South Health Center in Blue Island. We’re aiming to temporarily reopen both of these locations to ensure that we have the capacity that we need. Over the next several months. And I just want to say the work that the Illinois National Guard and the US Army Corps of Engineers have already done what they’re capable of doing is truly phenomenal. I mean incredible stuff. On behalf of a grateful state. Thank you to all of our guardsmen and to our Army Corps of Engineers. And I also want to especially thank Mayor Lightfoot and the entire city team for their partnership in this unprecedented project.

Please pardon all typos.

* PPE situation…

As I discussed last time, we received a fraction of what we asked for [from the federal government]. Our second request to the federal government was larger than our first, but again we received the same small order back from them. […]

Our third federal shipment arrived yesterday. Our team at IEMA is sorting through this delivery now and we’ll make sure that those resources are delivered where they’re needed as soon as possible.

I will say this federal shipments still pales in comparison to our requests and appears to be even smaller than our previous two shipments from the federal government. My team is sorting through the shipment of 300,095 masks the White House personally told me would be sent to our state. And while we do not have a final count on this yet, I can say with certainty that what they sent were not the N95 masks that were promised, but instead were surgical masks, which is not what we asked for.

* IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike…

The truth is, the number of cases will continue to increase, unfortunately as well, the deaths. The cases that I report do not capture all of the people in Illinois with COVID 19. Many of you know that you may have been ill, but didn’t have a test to confirm it. We know that we’re not testing everyone. But I am reporting that there are 461, new cases, and unfortunately eight additional deaths. That brings our total in Illinois to 5057 cases.

* Dr. Ezike on the Stateville cases, which include one death…

There are 12 men who were incarcerated at Statesville who are now hospitalized. Several requiring ICU and ventilator support. There are 77 additional individuals who have symptoms who are being isolated within the facility. We also know of 11 staff who have symptoms and are being appropriately isolated.

Congregate settings, such as Stateville or any other Correctional Center pose unique challenges and stopping the spread of disease, and protecting the health of individuals who live and work there. […]

Ideally, all cases should be isolated individually and close contact should be quarantined individually. I know our partners at the department of corrections are working innovatively to try to create the best situations for these for these facilities. But some correctional facilities and detention centers do not have enough individual cells. And so, we’re considering isolating multiple laboratory confirmed COVID 19 together cases together as a group, or quarantine in close context of a particular case together as a group. Additionally incarcerated individuals may have medical conditions that further increase the risk of disease from the COVID 19.

We do know that Statesville has an older population of incarcerated individuals. So they are at greater risk of experiencing severe illness. Our focus right now is ensuring that these incarcerated individuals receive the appropriate medical care that they deserve and need public health officials are working with the medical staff and physicians who work in the correctional facilities on isolation and quarantine guidance, as well as healthcare triage. Incarcerated individuals who show symptoms are being tested for COVID 19, the Illinois Department of Corrections is taking a number of steps to control the spread of COVID 19 and correctional centers staff who work with the individuals in isolation and quarantine, as well as in the health center are wearing protective equipment. […]

Other congregate type settings are also experiencing clusters of cases, of course. Nursing homes, which we have talked about numerous times, assisted livings and other long term care facilities across the state, including those in Evanston, Joliet, Taylorville and Belleville have all seen some clusters of cases.

* On to questions for the governor. Will he be extending the stay at home order and what about the schools…

We’ve evaluated that every day as you know and I think you saw that the president of the united states extended his recommendations for social distancing and other measures through April 30. So we’re taking that into account as well and as I think the mayor has said in the past and I certainly have said that we’re looking at the models trying to figure out what does this look like going forward and how to best keep people safe and healthy.

* Why isn’t the state talking about COVID-19 recovery numbers like other states?…

Those are difficult numbers actually to obtain. Think about yourself. If you got the flu and you maybe saw your doctor and then you went home and you were at home and you were recovered. You don’t call your doctor at the end of your recovery and say I am recovered now.

And so collecting that information from people who go home, have COVID 19, you know once they’re done, is somewhat more difficult than you might imagine having said that we are working with the county health officials all across the state to get that data. It’s a little easier in slightly more urban environments to obtain that data a little harder in more rural environments, but we are working on collecting recovered. […]

We do know there are quite a number of people who have had it who’ve recovered. We also know … all the experts are coming to the conclusion that people who had it and recovered may have are likely to have developed antibodies that make them somewhat immune to COVID 19 going forward and we think that’s a positive sign.

* Is Illinois behind in testing? And why aren’t all hospital patients being tested?…

Every state is behind, every state is behind in testing. There are not enough tests and you could ask any governor that’s being honest with you, will tell you. Just look at the numbers of tests that have been done even in the large states, it’s minimal compared to the number of people we know already have COVID 19, or have had it, and never knew it. And so this is an enormous problem. I’ve complained about this from the beginning. […]

There is a protocol for testing, again, because there’s a limited number of tests we can’t test everybody all the time. I am very very excited about the development of this rapid app an Abbott test that’s coming out. This is a test that will take no more than 15 minutes to determine a few minutes to determine if it’s positive … The problem is that Abbott can only produce about 50,000 of these a day.

* Is the drop off in new cases today compared to yesterday an indication that we are flattening the curve in Illinois?…

No. … You really have to look at a trend, not a single day. And so we’ll look at tomorrow’s numbers and the next day and the next day. But part of the reason that the numbers fluctuate is because we get reports from commercial laboratories in a different fashion than we get the reports from our state laboratories or from hospitals in the state. So when a test gets sent off to quest or to labcorp or another commercial facility as, as was indicated it could take four to seven days. Well that report is different than the one that came 24 hours.

* What is the cost to the state of its response to the corona virus outbreak so far and what is the estimated cost to be in the months ahead?…

We’re certainly keeping track of that, but I just want to emphasize to everybody that, and I don’t have a total number to report today, but I want to emphasize to everybody that my number one concern right now is making sure that we get the testing that we need to make sure that we have the hospital beds that are necessary, making sure that people get the treatment that they can get from hospitals and doctors that we have the personnel that we need to treat people.

And honestly, you know that the cost is a consideration. We don’t want to get gouged in any of those things. But I am focused on delivering the health care that is necessary to keep as many people safe and healthy and alive as I can.

-30-

- Posted by Rich Miller        

33 Comments
  1. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 3:52 pm:

    Thumbs worked well today…


  2. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    We had a quick medical related trip to Iowa Mostly shut down but not enough.

    Missouri is really worrying. Another trip approved by local police. Also quick but everything is open in Hannibal. Are we going to have to go Rhode Island. Good news did not see many of either state entering Illinois.


  3. - Leatherneck - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 4:20 pm:

    I’m surprised one of the reporters didn’t ask if the President’s extension of social distancing guidelines to Apr. 30 would result in non-essential state employees not returning to work until May 1. Same with schools. That’s something I’ve had a few people ask me so far today. Unless the Governor’s office and all state agencies are still working on these details and arrangements.


  4. - Scott Cross for President - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 4:33 pm:

    The White House sent us the wrong masks ?
    The White House sent us the wrong masks.
    And then short-changed us.


  5. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 4:42 pm:

    Meanwhile, the briefing in Washington currently features the My Pillow guy…


  6. - Michael Feltes - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 4:54 pm:

    “What happened in Illinois?”

    We didn’t have a budget for over 2 years and all state spending was on autopilot? I mean, I don’t know if anyone in the Rauner administration even considered this but without a budget, they didn’t even have an opportunity to build Illinois’ public health capacity.

    I hope that one of the good things which will come out of this situation is that people will stop worrying so much about the size & scope of government and focus more on whether the government can actually do its work properly. Even the most hardline Republican understands that public health is a public good that can’t be privatized because the value of the work can’t be captured as profit, but the federal government isn’t competent to do even a job which everyone agrees squarely belongs to it.

    If we can finally move past Reagan’s idea that government is itself the problem and say that, whatever government’s role is in a particular sector of the economy (and that role should be quite small in many areas; nobody’s asking for a government-owned microchip foundry), it should be competent to do its work, then we might have a chance to actually do something about the wide variety of enormous, thorny problems that are interweaving and compounding with every passing year. More likely, though, that we’ll just see more of the same, with moneyed interests capturing whatever part of the government they want to protect their economic rents and running the whole damn thing into the ground once Americans finally give up on it entirely.


  7. - Southern - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 5:03 pm:

    Unless the Governor’s office and all state agencies are still working on these details and arrangements

    Some of these agencies still haven’t changed much of anything since the work from home / social distancing was ordered. They just sit back and wait for bad things to happen, then panic.


  8. - Bruce (no not him) - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 5:06 pm:

    Bet the red states get the right masks. S/


  9. - Rasselas - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 5:10 pm:

    Anon 3:55 pm - First, get off Fox News. The report you read is trying to create a backstory to absolve the Federal government from mishandling this.

    Yes, New York, like most states, has been running pandemic training exercises regularly since 9/11. During those exercises, you may look at a larger than usual viral outbreak and then a once-in-100 years outbreak and stress-test your existing systems.

    In NY, the once-in-100 year outbreak analysis showed a need for X thousand ventilators. No government in their right mind would then turn around and purchase that supply of ventilators, especially since they have a useful life. Instead, you make sure you have what you need for a moderately larger than expected outbreak and develop a plan for the worst case.

    The common understanding among states has always been that - in the worst case- the Federal government would mobilize for the vast amount of supplies that would be needed. The Feds have a stockpile and the legal authority to commandeer industries to meet the need. The Feds have just not done their job here, so they want to blame the States.


  10. - Rich Hill - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 5:26 pm:

    New York City is doing to the Javits Center what Chicago is doing to McCormick Place. Several local colleges and universities have also made student housing available to supplement these augmented hospital facilities. An example: https://www.nyu.edu/about/leadership-university-administration/office-of-the-president/office-of-the-provost/provostial-communications/summary-of-nyu-response-to-covid-19-developments.html


  11. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 5:38 pm:

    == Bet the red states get the right masks. S/==

    Anyone else notice that the presidents new home state, Florida, is the only state in America that got every piece of protective equipment that they asked for? I’d love to see trump supporters in Illinois defend that one


  12. - bogey golfer - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 7:37 pm:

    1. First, senioritis has set in in all high schools nationwide. Gotta think universities are already considering the fact that many applicants may not meet the req’s and may need to take a less rigorous pre-requ.
    . @michael Feltes point on Reagan needs discussion from us old line GOPs.
    2.


  13. - Amalia - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 7:49 pm:

    Rich, thanks so much for this service. sometimes I’m just not in the mood to listen as hearing the words is sometimes too much for me. it’s still hard, but I find it is easier to read the words. important stuff in these difficult times. thanks for making it easier for me.


  14. - 588-2300 - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 9:12 pm:

    ===Anyone else notice that the presidents new home state, Florida, is the only state in America that got every piece of protective equipment that they asked for? I’d love to see trump supporters in Illinois defend that one===

    It’s rather easy to defend, regardless of Trump. Florida requested 185,000 masks, while Illinois wrote a request for millions. PPE is being handed out as available based on population and severity. All the governors know this, but Pritzker doesn’t acknowledge it and just pretends Illinois is being mistreated.

    It’s also worth remembering the primary responsibility to prepare for health emergencies lies with the State government. So it’s fine to be angry with the Federal government, but to put the blame on the Federal government without acknowledging Illinois’s greater failure to prepare is just being partisan. Every state was warned it needed to prepare for a pandemic and now some more than others are clamoring for the federal government all at once to make up for their lack of preparedness. Sure, it would be nice if the federal government had stocked up on more N95 respirators as it was warned to do after the 2009 outbreak, but a failure at the Federal level doesn’t excuse failures at the state level.


  15. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 11:02 pm:

    == Sickening how those red states of California and New York got hospital ships and Illinois got stiffed.==

    This reply would be a whole lot funnier if a) one ship was enough to solve the problem and b) the federal government wasn’t refusing to nationalize the response


  16. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 11:29 pm:

    588, thank you for the thoughtful reply. All of what you said is true; however, I’d still argue that there are a lot of problems here. Even though Florida didn’t ask for as many masks as other states, they did get plenty of everything else. On top of that, Azar’s HHS is a complete mess. They reportedly somehow managed to reduce their stockpile of ventilators by 57,000 in the last three years and using the 25-25-50% strategy doesn’t make sense when some states need more equipment right now than others. Add to that the refusal to invoke the DPA in order to avoid offending the Chamber, it’s all just completely indefensible.

    https://m.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/why-did-florida-get-all-the-emergency-supplies-it-requested-when-other-states-didnt/Content?oid=27064142


  17. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 1:50 am:

    ==Illinois’s greater failure to prepare is just being partisan

    If there is an Illinois failure it’s not from the guy who has only been in office for a little over a year and has already dealt with several issues left from the last guy.

    ===s also worth remembering the primary responsibility to prepare for health emergencies lies with the State government.

    You might want to look at the CDC response to the 1957 Flu and how wrong you are about this. But keep trying.


  18. - Fly like an eagle - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 6:47 am:

    - - Trump. Florida requested 185,000 masks, while Illinois wrote a request for millions. PPE is being handed out as available based on population and severity.- -

    Illinois has had more deaths than Florida, and roughly the same number of confirmed cases.


  19. - Pundent - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 8:22 am:

    =So it’s fine to be angry with the Federal government, but to put the blame on the Federal government without acknowledging Illinois’s greater failure to prepare is just being partisan. =

    Nonsense. The federal government has to take the lead in these types of situations. They have the resources and levers. There’s no state CDC, DPA, FEMA or stimulus to be passed at the state level. Without the federal government taking the lead we’re left with a patchwork system of rules and safeguards and states bidding against one another for critical supplies and resources. There’s nothing partisan at all in pointing that out. Whether someone lives or dies should not come down to the political affiliation of their governor or the amount of “appreciation” they’re willing to show the President.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 8:27 am:

    === but to put the blame on the Federal government without acknowledging Illinois’s greater failure to prepare is just being partisan.===

    Explain FEMA


  21. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 8:42 am:

    == The federal government has to take the lead in these types of situations==

    It’s a completely Darwinian experiment for federalism, all being done for the sole purpose of helping trump and his supporters to shift the blame to the states. This from the same group of people who blame Obama for everything from W.’s bank bailout to Fortune-500 stock buybacks. The Boston Globe editorial today is 100% correct


  22. - 588-2300 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 8:58 am:

    For those who misunderstand the role of federalism and emergency preparedness, the federal government acts as a supplemental resource when it comes to a pandemic (or other emergencies for that matter) and is not the primary resource provider. Further, under the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan, the federal government specifically warns states and other local authorities to prepare for possible shortages from the strategic national stockpile under a pandemic.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 9:01 am:

    FEMA:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency

    Questions?


  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 9:10 am:

    === For those who misunderstand the role of federalism and emergency preparedness, the federal government acts as a supplemental resource when it comes to a pandemic.===

    “I don’t take responsibility at all” - the President of the United States.

    Here’s the sitch…

    States are bidding against other states, who all are in turn bidding against the feds.

    What we all need now is leadership allowing *all* get the resources everyone needs in a way that isn’t putting one against another.

    Ya think you’re helping, “clarifying” the jargon, the reality is in an emergency, having “50” leaders trying to go against the “one” governing body to stave off a pandemic, the states need leadership so they aren’t knowingly or unknowingly hurting the greater good.

    Federal Emergency Management Agency


  25. - 588-2300 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    FEMA exists to coordinate supplementary federal assistance. It cannot make up though for deficiencies at the local and state levels.

    As to the DPA arguments, they are mostly political soundbites. A local monopsony amidst a global shortage is ineffectual against inelastic supply. The financial benefit of a monopsony is that it can restrict purchases by other buyers so as to obtain lower prices versus a competitive market where such other buyers would be able to participate. In this situation though, we want even more than a competitive market could provide, so it’s impossible to reduce costs by restricting purchases.


  26. - 588-2300 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 9:48 am:

    In essence, the monopsony argument is the same as the exclude all foreign purchasers argument. In view of us having the largest purchasing power and our dependency on foreign supply chains, retaliatory responses to such a restriction would be extremely counter-productive.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 9:51 am:

    === the monopsony argument is…===

    … what states and their governors are requesting, nay, pleading.

    Again, “cool jargon” but the federal and overall response to assist states and lead states is a miserable failure.

    Federal Emergency Management Agency


  28. - 588-2300 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Oswego,

    And again, you respond with a simplistic partisan argument devoid of understanding in our governmental structure and responsibilities as well as market economics. Congrats, I guess.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    === you respond with a simplistic partisan argument===

    Since when has FEMA been partisan?

    Ya still haven’t explained FEMA.

    ===devoid of understanding in our governmental structure and responsibilities===

    Nope, you seemingly don’t like the idea that FEMA lead.

    Your think has, “welp, it stinks that states are bidding against other states and feds, but I think FEMA is off the hook, maybe, so… whatevs”

    Your simplicity and the White House’s malpractice is hurting responses by states.


  30. - 588-2300 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    Again, “partisan reasoning”.

    That’s how this works, right? Let me know if I’m not doing how you do you correctly. ;)


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    === Again, “partisan reasoning”.

    That’s how this works, right? Let me know if I’m not doing how you do you correctly.===

    As a troll, you’re turning out to be pretty good.

    :)


  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    Now, explain FEMA…

    Oh, and states bidding against and losing to… FEMA.


  33. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 8:46 pm:

    == Sickening how those red states of California and New York got hospital ships and Illinois got stiffed.==
    Sickening how no Covid-19 sufferers are allowed to be treated on those ships. They are empty, by order of the federal government.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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