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COVID-19 roundup

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Co-sign…

* 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


  1. - Fighter of Foo - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 1:55 pm:

    why does JB talk one way to media on other outlets and different during pressers? He is losing the masses and it’s being viewed as political, as it is.

  2. - Ray Gun - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    Many communities are not outright proclaiming defiance of the Gov. order, but they are quietly not enforcing it either. Wanna have church, go for it. Wanna open your store, go for it. We are not telling you what to do one way or the other. If you can go to Missouri, Indiana, or Iowa and have dinner out, the order is essentially useless anyway.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    === He is losing the masses===

    Polling says otherwise.

  4. - Beecher - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    We are witnessing the strength of the nursing home lobby in Illinois.

  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    ===Polling says otherwise===

    Correct. Your views aren’t everyone’s views.

  6. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 2:07 pm:

    ===Will County officials, small business owners sue over Pritzker’s stay-at-home order===

    I was wondering how long it would take for the Chicagoland version of Darren Bailey to get around to this.

    Republican county board member Steve Balich filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court

  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 2:10 pm:


    ===The governor was able to explain his approach better in this setting.===

    To that,

    What is “happening” is this thing… the press conference, or “updates”, or whatever… it’s a “catch all” kinda preparing.

    My 4 points; that’s putting a direct focus, an pinpoint focus with a PowerPoint or something to clearly walk through the entirety of the plan.

    Putting together a comprehensive explanation, one time, one sitting, putting each possible question to rest with an answer, (even as some don’t like the answer) gives a clarity and leaves no daylight for others to interpret something out of context.

    Have they (the administration) given a plan, with visuals and such, yep. They’ve put out the plan. This is the follow up to where confusion (real or politically ginned up) exists. It can be a reset to make clear, and a touchstone to pause confusion.

  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===Balich filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court===

    Yeah, and he drew the same judge that just denied those Chicago churches. Oops.

  9. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 2:21 pm:


    If you are unfortunate to know the way the mind of Balich works, he is happy with the judge he has been assigned.

    Nothing makes this guy happier than playing a victim. He doesn’t want an actual solution.

    A few years back, he was hemming and hawing about being able to carry his gun into county board meetings. You know, for protection. He made a big stink about it for a few weeks about how his rights were being violated.

    The county attorney(or someone in a similar role) publicly pointed out to him during a board meeting that if guns were allowed for him, they would be allowed for everyone - including everyone from the public in the audience at county board meetings.

    Suddenly he didn’t care about his rights, and never talked about it again.

    The guy is a real piece of work.

  10. - Logical Thinker - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 2:21 pm:

    When the polling for the governor and the extended lockdown crumbles quickly (I.e. when the PPP and unemployment money run out), it won’t be because of something that happened at that moment; it will be because of all the things happening now.

  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===Logical Thinker===

    Yes, polling can change, but keep sucking that thumb.

  12. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 2:37 pm:

    just based on the amount of people and traffic I see, this polling may be a case of’do as I say,not as I do.

  13. - Responsa - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 3:02 pm:

    Our first installment property tax bill is due shortly. We chose to buy and live where we now live because of the neighborly setting in suburbia and its amenities, coupled with its proximity both to O’Hare airport and to one of the world’s great cities with its amazing cultural amenities, skyline, educational and medical campuses, job opportunities and lakefront.

    With talk of a pandemic era new normal which some experts and politicians seem to suggest from their re-opening plans will involve ongoing social distancing and maintaining small groups not only for the immediate future but maybe for quite long term, why honestly would people stay and pay? Pay high taxes but in return have no world class restaurants or cozy ethnic eateries, no baseball at 2 parks, no professional basketball or football in our stadiums, no hockey, no bike rides along the miles of lakefront, no beaches, no Ravinia, no summer music festivals, no Lyric Opera, no Steppenwolf and other theater, no blockbuster museum exhibitions, no conventions or trade shows, etc. etc. etc.

    Why wouldn’t many conclude that if their lives are going to be so narrowed and limited in scope from pandemic fallout anyway that it would not be better for them to buy or rent somewhere else, –in podunk –where everything is cheaper. They can get Netflix anywhere and order from Amazon anywhere.

    It would be nice for someone to raise this issue with the governor and mayor to see what they have to say.

  14. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==The governor was able to explain his approach better in this setting.=

    Having an ally ask questions generally puts Pols at ease. JB may have been able to explain better, but he still uses the language of fear …” the virus is still out there”…” we don’t want people dying in the streets”

  15. - Benjamin - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    ==just based on the amount of people and traffic I see==

    The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

  16. - Sideline Watcher - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 5:49 pm:

    “the language of fear”

    The virus is still out there. Fact
    We don’t want people dying in the streets. Fact

    Unless you don’t care about people dying. Or you don’t care because you don’t personally know anyone who has died from this.

    How should we describe a virus, we don’t understand,have no treatment or vaccine for,that is literally killing people who would otherwise have lived?

    Please translate nicely so we all feel better.

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