* The Tribune talked to several people about the state’s response to nursing homes. It boils down to these bullet points…
Gear: The state has said that — despite nationwide shortages — it’s provided county officials with personal protective equipment to cover the needs of nursing homes, and even begun direct shipments to facilities. But workers and homes have said they lack consistent supplies.
Staff: The industry, fearing it will run critically low on workers, asked the state weeks ago to create a new work corps, even prepare to call in the National Guard. The state has loosened hiring regulations but said facilities are responsible for their own staffing.
Metrics: The state doesn’t ask each facility to report each day on staffing levels or gear supplies — something advocates are pushing for nationally. Illinois officials say they’re looking to improve the process. Illinois does require facilities to report COVID-19 cases to health officials, but the information that the state provides publicly about cases at homes can be tardy or inaccurate.
Inspections: The state can inspect facilities for infection-control violations, but the City View case shows that the bar to dispatch inspectors can be high. Mostly, regulators offer long-distance guidance, saying that approach best ensures rules are followed across the state. Advocates say it has further endangered residents, some of whom they say already were receiving substandard care.
* From the SGOP…
Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady has sent the attached letter to Senate President Don Harmon asking for hearings next week to discuss and amend the governor’s Restore Illinois plan. This is in keeping with the Leader’s continued concerns with the 28-day window and the plan not using the 11 EMS regions.
The letter is here. I’ve asked the Senate Democrats for a response.
* Rep. Chris Welch interviewed Gov. Pritzker yesterday. The governor was able to explain his approach better in this setting. I wish he would do the same in his briefings…
* Tribune live blog…
‘Undoubtedly true’ that fall sports won’t return as normal, University of Illinois president says
Adler Planetarium lays off 120 staffers during coronavirus closure
Will County officials, small business owners sue over Pritzker’s stay-at-home order
High school and college seniors are petitioning their schools to hold in-person graduation ceremonies later rather than never
As House readies vote on coronavirus package with second stimulus checks, some lawmakers push for guaranteed income programs
Extra pay for many essential workers is expiring, even as COVID-19 deaths mount. Labor groups fight to keep ‘hero pay.’
They are not doctors or nurses. But they share the same elevated exposure to coronavirus, and they feel forgotten.
Swing sets and trampolines in short supply as stay-at-home morphs into play-at-home during the pandemic
Nearly 3 million more seek US jobless aid; coronavirus layoff toll now 36 million
New inflammatory condition in children probably linked to COVID-19, new study finds
Archdiocese of Chicago, dioceses of Joliet, Rockford, Peoria announce phased plans to reopen churches
Pritzker’s geographical grouping in COVID-19 fight rankles many suburban officials.
Many cities around the globe saw cleaner air after being shut down for COVID-19. But not Chicago.
Summer camp files for bankruptcy as parents clamor for refunds: ‘I think it’s going to be like getting blood from a stone’
ComEd offers grants to people, non-profit groups struggling to pay power bills
Chicago’s lakefront will remain closed, but here are the industries that Mayor Lori Lightfoot says are on track to expand or reopen during next phase
Short staffing. PPE shortages. Few inspections. Why calls are growing for Illinois nursing home regulators to step up efforts on COVID-19.
* Sun-Times live blog…
Coronavirus isolation may be contributing to overdose deaths: coroner
Chicago high school robotics team creates portable ventilator
Michelle, Barack Obama read a children’s book for Chicago Public Library during lockdown closure
Lightfoot leans on community groups to curb spread of coronavirus among Latinos
Catholic churches outline plan for gradual reopening
4 more COVID-19 cases in Chicago Police Department
Politicians pushing to reopen faster are ‘idiots,’ says expert, blaming those not following rules for continued rise in COVID-19 cases
COVID-19 scales back youth sports. That’s a win for many kids
Future COVID-19 vaccine will be effective only if we insist on its widespread use
12-year-old from Gage Park dies of COVID-19, marking the youngest Cook County death from the coronavirus
Grants arrive for nearly 1,000 Chicago microbusinesses
Adler Planetarium lays off 120 employees