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COVID-19 roundup

Thursday, Apr 2, 2020

* Hannah Leone at the Tribune

Illinois schools could be getting nearly $570 million through the federal coronavirus stimulus package, according to preliminary allocation estimates from the Illinois State Board of Education.

A large portion of that — about $205 million — could go to Chicago Public Schools, ISBE estimates. That’s more than two and a half times the $75 million COVID-19 budget measure the Chicago Board of Education passed last week. […]

Schools are eligible if they received funding this fiscal year through Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the percentage of Title I funding they received will determine how much of the CARES Act funds they could get, according to ISBE. […]

However, that money may not be available in the immediate future. The Department of Education has several weeks to release an application needed for states to access the CARES Act funds. Then the education department will have 30 days to review ISBE’s application. While final allocations will be known only once the U.S. Department of Education issues awards, ISBE provided preliminary estimates to help district leaders plan.

* Not good at all

Eleven nursing homes in north suburban Lake County have been found to have multiple cases of COVID-19, health officials announced Wednesday.

Each facility has at least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus, health officials said. A total of 62 cases have spread among the 11 nursing homes, with four of them resulting in death.

* One case can easily spread in these facilities

A 90-year-old female diagnosed with COVID-19 is a resident of Manor Court, a skilled nursing facility within Liberty Village of Carbondale, the facility administrator confirmed.

The resident was one of three cases confirmed Wednesday in Jackson County.

She is receiving treatment at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Manor Court Administrator Melissa Neitzel said the facility has notified all staff, residents and their families by telephone, and plans to send a letter to them today.

* Things are getting rough in Kankakee County

Kankakee County’s infection rate is 5.18 positive cases per 10,000 residents. The county, according to the latest figures released Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health, has 57 positive coronavirus cases.

However, based on the county’s population of just under 110,000 residents, as of the 2017 population figures, Kankakee County trails only Cook County and northern Illinois’ Lake County as the state’s highest infection rates. […]

Kankakee County Health Department leader John Bevis said population density is a key factor in a county’s infection rate. He also noted long-term care residential facilities such as Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee and the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Manteno also play a role as cases can quickly multiply in those areas. […]

Dr. Keith Moss, chief medical officer at Riverside Medical Center, concurred Wednesday with Bevis’ sentiment on long-term facilities being major drivers of the county’s rate. A residential and training center for people who have an intellectual disability, Shapiro accounts for 12 of the county’s confirmed cases.

* Oh, man

A worker at Exelon Generation’s Quad-Cities Nuclear Power Plant has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

That worker is receiving care and any employees who came into contact with that worker or work where that affected worker is employed have been notified, said Bill Stoermer, spokesman for the Quad-Cities Station.

“We performed an additional deep cleaning of all areas that have potentially been exposed. We are maximizing social distancing for those who must continue to report to their locations,” he said.

Moving forward, Exelon will require workers to pass a symptom screening and body temperature check prior to entry every shift, while also requiring social distancing, frequent hand washing and remote work where possible, Stoermer said.

* Sun-Times

The Cook County medical examiner’s office Wednesday confirmed 23 more deaths from COVID-19, raising the county’s toll to 94.

Five people were pronounced dead Wednesday, seven died Tuesday, one died Monday and six on Sunday, the medical examiner’s office said. Four others died March 28, 27, 25 and 23.

The youngest of the confirmed deaths was 27-year-old James Brooks, of South Shore, who died March 23, the medical examiner’s office said.

* A whole lot of those folks will be booked into Illinois hotels

The Democratic National Committee is delaying its presidential nominating convention until the week of Aug. 17 after prospective nominee Joe Biden said he didn’t think it would be possible to hold a normal convention in mid-July because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Convention CEO Joe Solmonese confirmed the decision in a statement Thursday.

* Selected headlines from the Tribune’s solid live blog

Preckwinkle encourages Cook County businesses to get in line first for federal stimulus money

Chicago police officer stricken with COVID-19 dies

Funding for field hospitals announced – will be set up in tents

Bremen high school district loans 3D printers for fire department to create protective masks

They were told their coronavirus test results would take days. These Fox Valley residents waited more than a week in self-isolation.

12th Cook County Court Clerk’s employee tests positive for coronavirus; worked in downtown traffic court

* From the Sun-Times COVID-19 page

Aurora extends emergency declaration to May 15

* Some headlines from the SJ-R’s COVID-19 page

Anthony Fauci to get a security detail after facing threats, reports say

Ford donates face shields to St. John’s

Long wait for COVID-19 test result causes frustration, angst

Local small business pushes on through pandemic

* More…

* Thousands of US medical workers furloughed, laid off as routine patient visits drop during coronavirus pandemic

* Could state switch to endorsing face masks to help contain COVID-19?

* Federal judge in southern Illinois strikes and resets jury trials in response to coronavirus outbreak

* Triage tent opened at St. Elizabeth Hospital to screen for coronavirus: St. Elizabeth Hospital in O’Fallon has set up triage tents where patients with respiratory symptoms can be screened for coronavirus.

* How planners are deciding to cancel or keep summer festivals in age of coronavirus

* COVID-19 social distancing measures complicate census efforts in southwest Illinois

* Individual in Effingham County tests positive for COVID-19

* Illinois High School Association provides update for status of spring sports, hopeful for state series tournaments to be played in June

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - the Patriot - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 12:45 pm:

    With all the focus on Chicago and the Cities I worry small towns not taking this seriously. With few or no cases it is like just watching a war on TV in a foreign land.

    Average people are not watching the Governor and there is no local information.

    Every day this does not take off in a rural area is a day resources don’t have to be diverted from hot spots. Every day they fight in Chicago and learn more about treatment will save lives someplace else. Just because it is not a problem locally does not mean ignore the problem.

    I remember on 911 and everyone thinking if I could save just one person I would go help. All you have to do is take reasonable precations and you can help save/protect others.


  2. - Mama - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    “Average people are not watching the Governor and there is no local information.”

    That might be due to the fact that WICS is the only station carrying the governor’s televised Coronavirus briefings. Plus the time of the briefings tend to change without notice.


  3. - Mama - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 12:52 pm:

    Everyone who works or lives in a nursing or assisted-living home should be tested for COVID-19.


  4. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    the Governor’s briefings seem to be at about 2:30 every day.


  5. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:07 pm:

    When the dust has settled and the mass graves have been filled it will be interesting to see the role that blind partisanism and political cynicism played in making this all worse than it has to be.

    I just keep looking over at Iowa and wondering how they can still be doing what they’re doing, and how they plan to live with themselves after this has all been said and done.


  6. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===Everyone who works or lives in a nursing or assisted-living home should be tested for COVID-19.===

    You’re absolutely right and there are a lot of people that agree with you.

    –BUT–

    We lack the capacity to do this in a timely fashion, and the CDC’s own rules and restrictions regarding this make it difficult to happen.

    We’ve made the war analogy a lot and this is like “we need to reinforce our left flank to avoid the enemy breaking through!” and we don’t have any reserves to commit, so we just have to sit here and watch our left flank route and hope.


  7. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:20 pm:

    Illinois outside the 6 county area has 426 Cases and Iowa with a smaller population has nearly 700. Maybe the difference is lockdown?


  8. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:20 pm:

    It might be useful to separate out cases on congregate care from cases in the general population. They are two very different situations.


  9. - PeterN - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:21 pm:

    Interesting post about nuclear power plant operators. I wonder how many of our state power facilities are doing these kinds of measures? Don’t we have plants at UIUC and UIC?


  10. - Leatherneck - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    Per the SJR’s Doug Finke on Twitter: “COGFA says general funds revenue up in March despite COVID-19. But this is misleading and the bad economic news will catch up to the state in the coming weeks.”

    https://twitter.com/DougFinkeSJR/status/1245778483818762246?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1245778483818762246&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fembed.scribblelive.com%2FEmbed%2Fv7.aspx%3FId%3D1546911%26ThemeId%3D28790

    COGFA’s March briefing is now online: http://cgfa.ilga.gov/Upload/0320.pdf


  11. - Osborne Smith III - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:37 pm:

    @Mama @ 12:52PM

    The governor’s briefings are scheduled for 2:3OPM, daily, and almost always start within a few minutes of that time. Occasionally, there may be a delay due to another speaker at the briefing being delayed in travel. Sorry that you seem to want everything to happen on a NOW! basis.


  12. - Mama - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    Does anyone know if all of the veteran’s homes and hospitals are being tested for COVID-19?


  13. - Mama - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:49 pm:

    “The Democratic National Committee is delaying its presidential nominating convention until the week of Aug. 17″.

    Does this mean the COVID-19 virus will be over by then? Or does this mean there will be a vaccine for COVID-19 by August?


  14. - Pundent - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:52 pm:

    @Mama - The type of wide-scale testing you’re asking about can’t be done at this point. It’s precisely the reason why stay at home orders exist. We simply do not have enough tests to test the sick let alone healthy. We should have had that in place weeks ago.


  15. - Mama - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    Some days I have seen the briefings during the local noon time news so…


  16. - Mama - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    Oops… that should have been 11:30am news.


  17. - Pundent - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 1:56 pm:

    =Does this mean the COVID-19 virus will be over by then? Or does this mean there will be a vaccine for COVID-19 by August?=

    No and no. Any dates at this point are merely aspirations. Nobody has a crystal ball and having a vaccine that could be delivered even by year-end is highly unlikely.


  18. - JustaThought - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    In general, federal funding to schools comes with all kinds of strings attached, but if wrong, I hope schools decide to dedicate some of the funding to virtual learning resources and materials. As suggested this virus is supposed to come in waves, maybe another hit in the fall. Illinois must make sure its school districts have some streamlined approach to virtual learning. Some districts are way behind on the virtual learning curve.


  19. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 2, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    Terrible that Dr. Fauci has to get security due to threats to him. He is so well respected and regarded, and necessary to us. He goes way back, to the AIDS pandemic. Some real ghouls out there, doing this in a pandemic, let alone anytime else.


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* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Pritzker implores protesters to "not force a difficult second rebuilding on our small businesses in the course of expressing your very justified pain"
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Pritzker thanks Dr. Ezike, extends financial protections, points to progress, says no more daily COVID-19 briefings - Calls Trump tweets "reprehensible" - "I want to send my condolences to the family of George Floyd, and also to every African American in this country" - Defends budget decisions - Credits Illinoisans for progress against virus - No bill signing ceremonies - Hopes testing progress continues - "It seems as if President Trump is withdrawing us from the rest of the world" - No out of state travel plans - Talks contact tracing - Asks Illinoisans to be careful during reopening - Will sign Medicare for undocumented seniors bill - Refuses to criticize Lightfoot for Trump comments - Talks about difficulties in securing testing locations - Dr. Ezike and Pritzker respond to question about what they've learned about themselves and leadership - "We're no longer in a stay at home order"
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