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COVID-19 roundup

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

* Crain’s Chicago Business editorial

Just like you, we are itching to come back to work.

We don’t mean work as in working. Our staff, like many others, has been doing just that night and day to deliver the most important information on COVID-19, its devastation on those families who have lost lives, and how it has wreaked havoc on our economy and more. […]

What we mean in getting back to work is this: We want more than anything for life to return to some sort of normalcy. To come to a workplace and stop for lunch at a favorite spot and maybe pick up a cocktail or beer after work or talk with a friend or co-worker on a train ride home. To have live, in-person meetings. To create new products together and move about and feel the production we felt before, so we can help get so many others really back to work and get the wheels of this frozen economy unstuck.

Nothing is stopping the magazine’s employees from returning to the office today. It’s an essential business. Everyone should take the train downtown as well. Bring in whomever you want to interview. Then set up a bar in a conference room, order in some quality food. Hang out. Have fun. And the sooner the better so we can all see how it works out.

Good luck!

* AP

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that the Fed’s lending programs for medium-sized businesses and state and local governments would begin operating by the end of this month.

Powell said that while the Fed has received a “good deal of interest” in those programs, if not enough companies or state and local governments seek to borrow, the Fed would consider changes to them. That could include expanding their eligibility.

* Sun-Times

Federal officials announced Monday that over $10 billion in new funding is now being delivered to states, territories and localities to bolster coronavirus testing efforts and conduct contact tracing, including over $286 million for Illinois. […]

The influx of funding “will provide critical support to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contacts and related activities,” the HHS said.

In receiving Illinois’ $286,317,362 in new funding, Gov. J.B. Pritzker must submit a testing plan to HHS that includes goals for the remainder of the year.

* Tribune live blog headlines

Can Chicago’s food halls survive the pandemic? Owners and chefs consider the future of what had been a hot format.

Ditka’s restaurant in Chicago’s Gold Coast closing for good due to coronavirus shutdown

Lawsuit claims negligence in coronavirus-related death of resident at Bria of Geneva nursing home

25th case of Cook County Court clerk employee with COVID-19

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s first year in office was filled with big moments and tough decisions. Then the coronavirus ‘changed everything.’

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city will fine churches that violated social distancing rules

“Our movement man,” a fixture at Chicago protests, loses life to COVID-19

Uber laying off another 3,000 workers, raising more questions about the company’s future in Chicago

* Sun-Times live blog

Churches’ reopening plan: take temperatures at the door, hand out masks, administer tests (

COVID-19 death toll in Cook County surpasses 3,000

County forest preserves to close more parking lots for Memorial Day weekend: ‘Enjoy the natural world in your backyard’

Annie Glenn, the widow of NASA astronaut and Sen. John Glenn, died Tuesday of complications from COVID-19. She was 100.

Trump taking anti-malaria drug in case he catches coronavirus

Closing streets for outdoor dining with safe social distancing? Sounds like a plan

Proposing a 5th star on Chicago’s flag: pep talk, or curse?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The Doc - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:20 pm:

    Stop whining and do better, Crain’s editors.

    I’d like to see JB and our state government more seriously contemplate and quickly implement a risk-based approach. Permitting more lower risk activities would likely reduce the urge to engage in higher risk behavior, and destroy all of the work we’ve put in for the past 2 months.

    The thread linked below from the chair of the NYC council health committee is the right idea:

  2. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:26 pm:

    As a subscriber I’m regularly disappointed with Crain’s editorials - most especially persisting in the dead horse demand for “pension reform” despite there being no viable constitutional means.

    This line really stuck in my craw: “Living with it is our best hope, most likely for many months to come.”

    Not, “We demand that the federal government marshal the resources to bring it under control and the president behave like a grownup.”

    That would be too offensive to too large of a segment of the Crain’s readership.

    So, just “live with it” or, die, as the case may be.

    The nation’s self-styled CEO can’t be bothered, and Chicago’s business publication can’t be bothered to call that CEO out.

  3. - ChicagoBars - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    “Bring in whomever you want to interview. Then set up a bar in a conference room, order in some quality food. Hang out. Have fun. And the sooner the better so we can all see how it works out.”

    Guess I’m about to find out if any Chicago tavern owners read the CapFax comments.

  4. - Jacob - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:34 pm:

    No fifth Star for this. However, if the City rebuilds itself to the same degree it did after the Chicago Fire then ok but I don’t see how

  5. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:22 pm:

    Well, they are not wrong in a way. To get things back to what they were before, with taverns and restaurants downtown bustling will require the office staff to actually come back into the office. The only problem is the companies are realizing that if they have good enough productivity with workers at home, then why not let them stay there, like twitter recently did.

    And if that becomes a thing then a lot of pricey real estate in downtown might just become vacant.

  6. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 7:54 pm:

    Don’t know how many people who are able to be working from home now want to rush back into taking the train or El to work.

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This is not Facebook, so uncivil comments, profanity of any kind, rumors and anonymous commenters will not be tolerated and will likely result in banishment.

* 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"
* 1,622 new cases, 86 additional deaths
* *** UPDATED x1 *** What in the heck is going on in Rockford?
* COVID-19 roundup
* All metro areas reporting record high unemployment rates
* School seclusion and restraint bill derailed after opposition
* Attorney DeVore asks appellate court to dissolve another TRO
* Question of the day
* Madigan issues new guidance to members, staff
* Architects abandon alternative reopening plan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* House of worship attendance limit expected to be removed from stay at home order
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Sheriffs file suit against state for refusing to accept jail transfers
* Pritzker says IDPH has offered "suggestions" to churches - Says he's received "pushback" from some private nursing homes - IDPH will file new rule on nursing homes - Still looking at what to do about IDPH rule - Dodges question about Willie Wilson - Employers should use "common decency" when bring workers back - Will wait on feds before making any more budget decisions - Central Illinois hospitalization numbers improve - "We might potentially have to move backwards in the phases - "Not our intention" to make changes to Phase 4 guidance - No plans to dine at restaurant this weekend - No decision about ending daily briefing - Repeats that he has never encouraged police enforcement - Suggests GOP demand for IDES audit could be a "political move" - Still pondering school reopening - All testing is free - Asked about dangers of Legionella in large buildings - Testing and tracing metrics are "internal goals" - Points to federal rules on unemployment and workers who refuse to return - "Difficult for us to open theaters in the near future" - Dr. Ezike talks rules for malls - Dr. Ezike monitoring outbreak at county jail with ICE detainees
* Yesterday's stories

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