* The city’s vital convention business is edging toward a major disaster…
Pritzker’s plan, announced Tuesday, has put the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies in an impossible situation, said President and CEO Jim Pittas.
The group’s annual PACK Expo is scheduled for Nov. 8-11 at McCormick Place, and last year drew about 71,000 people. Pittas said he doubts a vaccine will be available by then, and is unsure what would constitute a readily available treatment option.
Pittas said he is worried that canceling without a specific mandate from the city or state might make it harder to file an insurance claim. “Right now, we can’t plan for a show and we can’t cancel it. We’re right in between with no clear direction,” he said. “We’re in no man’s land right now.”
Between July and December, McCormick Place is scheduled to host 67 events with an expected attendance of 781,168 people, said spokeswoman Cynthia McCafferty. Those meetings and conventions translate to 585,199 nights in hotel rooms and generate $922.7 million in economic impact, including spending on food and entertainment.
If the conventions are canceled, they’ll probably move to an “open” state like Florida and might never come back. But if Illinois allows hundreds of thousands of people from all over creation to attend conventions, the region risks a series of major and potentially disastrous outbreaks.
* Gov. Pritzker said the other day that he didn’t think we’d see a meat shortage. Welp…
“Where’s the beef?” has been a marketing slogan associated with Wendy’s for more than three decades, but customers have literally been asking the question in recent days as the Dublin, Ohio-based fast food chain fights COVID-19-related meat shortages.
Just over 1,000 Wendy’s restaurants — or nearly 20% — had no beef items available on their online menus Monday night, according to an analysis by Stephens Inc., an investment bank.
In a statement, the company said it was continuing to supply hamburgers to its restaurants, but that “some of our menu items may be in short supply from time to time at some restaurants in this current environment.”
The chain’s three Springfield stores are limiting customers to single-patty burgers to deal with the supply crunch, according to employees at those locations.
* Jake Griffin…
One key requirement for moving to a less restrictive phase of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s economic restoration plan is 14 consecutive days of no more than 20% of COVID-19 tests being positive.
That countdown did not start on Wednesday, when the infection rate was 22.8% in the region that includes Chicago and the suburbs, according to a Daily Herald analysis of Illinois Department of Public Health infection and testing records. […]
Statewide, the infection rate Wednesday was 15.2%. The rate has declined significantly in the past two weeks as more testing has become available.
* You first, Representative…
Illinois State Representative Terri Bryant has sent a letter to Governor JB Pritzker to express her disapproval of the state’s reopening plan when it comes to religious gatherings.
The 5-phase plan Gov. Pritzker revealed on Tuesday does not allow for gathering of more than 50 people until the requirements of Phase 5 have been met.
In a letter to the governor, Rep. Bryant said this part of the plan goes against allowing people to freely worship.
“That, to me, is completely unacceptable. If my church calls for a regular in-person worship service prior to the state reaching Phase 5, I can guarantee that I will be one of the first parishioners through the doors,” wrote Bryant. “Quite simply, when it comes to your plan for how I am ‘allowed’ to worship, I will not comply.”
* Headlines from the Tribune’s live blog…
Illinois congressional delegation seeks extension of 2,000 National Guard troops to assist with pandemic through June
Chicago Park District summer camp season will be abbreviated
Chicago doctors — mostly moms — join together to advise officials and the public. ‘We can’t not say something.’
Field Museum to host blood drives
Lightfoot cancels news conference to outline Chicago’s plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions
Harborside golf course forced to close Thursday by city
COVID-19 in Illinois, the US and the world: Timeline of the outbreak
Wave of infections from New York travelers swept through US before city began social distancing measures, research shows
Chicago can’t reopen without decrease in the number of coronavirus cases, Mayor Lori Lightfoot says
Latino communities in Illinois see uptick in COVID-19 confirmed cases: “Physical distancing is a privilege”
The high-rise office you left in March may not resemble the one you’re going back to. Here’s what workplaces may look like after the coronavirus shutdown.
* Sun-Times live blog…
Archdiocese launches call-in prayer service
Clorox wipes should be fully back in stock by summer, company CEO says
Attorneys for Cook County Jail detainees ask for records on COVID-19 testing
A Lake County judge tested positive for COVID-19.
Federal stimulus checks: No forwarding address for some recipients
Hundreds of city workers take on new jobs to meet pandemic needs
Neiman Marcus becomes 2nd major retailer to seek Chapter 11