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COVID-19 roundup

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

* White House to states: You’re on your own

The Trump administration’s new testing strategy, released Sunday to Congress, holds individual states responsible for planning and carrying out all coronavirus testing, while planning to provide some supplies needed for the tests.

The proposal also says existing testing capacity, if properly targeted, is sufficient to contain the outbreak. But epidemiologists say that amount of testing is orders of magnitude lower than many of them believe the country needs.

The report cements a stance that has frustrated governors in both parties, following the administration’s announcement last month that the federal government should be considered “the supplier of last resort” and that states should develop their own testing plans.

Go read the rest.

* New amended general order from the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Criminal jury trials will not be conducted before August 3, 2020, and trials scheduled to begin before August 3, 2020, will be reset by the presiding judge. This continuance is necessary because criminal jury trials require: (i) the gathering of a large number of persons in the Jury Department; (ii) at least 12 jurors seated in the courtroom to hear evidence; (iii) 12 jurors to deliberate in the jury room; and (iv) five to six weeks’ notice in advance of trial to summon jurors. The advance-notice requirement makes any earlier date impractical because it is not known what large-gathering guidelines will be in place. Social-distancing guidelines might render juror participation difficult or unsafe, including during juror check-in and jury selection. For these same reasons, in cases impacted by this trial continuance, the Court excludes time under the Speedy Trial Act through August 3, 2020, because the ends of justice outweigh the interests of the parties and the public in a speedy trial.

* SJ-R

Secretary of State offices will begin reopening June 1 with an initial focus on drivers who couldn’t get the services they needed during the last 2½ months during various stay-at-home orders.

Most facilities outside of the Chicago area will not reopen until June 2. The exception is the facility in Springfield on Dirksen Parkway that will reopen June 1.

During the first two months driver services facilities are open, they will focus only on serving new drivers, people with expired driver’s licenses and state ID cards and those who need vehicle transactions such as titles. The secretary of state’s office said there are more than 700,000 expired licenses and ID cards that need to be renewed and 1.9 million expired license stickers.

During that time, people are encouraged to continue using the secretary of state’s web site to conduct business with the office. People can obtain new license plate stickers, obtain a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, obtain a driving record abstract or renew a license through the Safe Driver Renewal program. The secretary of state web site is located at

* News-Gazette

Illinois football and men’s basketball student-athletes can start returning to campus June 3 in three different waves.

Returning student-athletes are first, followed by transfers and incoming freshmen and then student-athletes that might have higher risk indicators in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first round of the Illini’s return process for just those two sports is expected to take the rest of that week with voluntary workouts tentatively set to resume June 11 for those two sports.

The actual return process is a complex one, with multiple steps that will begin even before student-athletes make their way back to Champaign.

* Illinois does something right

tates are spending billions of dollars stocking up on medical supplies such as masks and breathing machines during the coronavirus pandemic. But more than two months into the buying binge, many aren’t sharing details about how much they’re spending, what they’re getting for their money or which companies they’re paying.

An Associated Press survey of all 50 states found a hodgepodge of public information about the purchase of masks, gloves, gowns and other hard-to-get equipment for medical and emergency workers.

Illinois has one of the most detailed tracking websites, showing the date, vendor, purpose, quantity and price of each purchase. In most states, it’s not that easy. Some provided similar information only after the AP pointed to laws requiring the release of government documents.

* Comptroller Mendoza compiles that list. Speaking of Mendoza…

* On to headlines from the Chicago Tribune’s live blog

Home Run Inn suburban Chicago factory churns out nearly 80,000 frozen pizzas a day to meet soaring demand during pandemic

Allstate extends its rebate as motorists continue to stay off the roads during the COVID-19 health crisis

Advocate Aurora Health invests in US maker of N95 masks, other PPE

Preckwinkle vetoes COVID-19 address-sharing with first responders, a first in her tenure

Officials see signs COVID-19 is contained at Cook County Jail, while experts caution measures need to remain in place

Packed pool party gone viral in Missouri earns rebuke from state health director

A different Memorial Day in Chicago: Crowds are out, livestreamed ceremonies are in

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces reopening rules for businesses as Illinois is poised to move to next phase and loosen restrictions

* Sun-Times live blog

Preckwinkle vetoes plan to give first responders addresses of COVID-19 positive residents

Worry, haste, retail therapy: What have we bought and why?

What casinos look like in a post-pandemic world

Chicago’s new normal: When will tourists come back?

What we leave behind and what we welcome as city moves toward reopening

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Proud Papa Bear - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    Mr. T has aged well, although I almost didn’t recognize him without the chains.
    To this day, he’s the most famous person my wife has ever met.

  2. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:28 pm:

    kept waiting for “I pity the fool who doesn’t wear a mask”

  3. - Linus - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:32 pm:

    I might dot my i’s, but I’m never crossing Mr. T.

    Wear a mask! It’s a basic level of respect for the health of others.

  4. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    I don’t pity the fools who throw or show up at these big parties, not realizing the police know how to use the internet.

  5. - Froganon - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    I pity the front line workers who will be taking care of the fools at parties and those who are infected by them after the parties. The fools at the parties, not so much.

  6. - revvedup - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:14 pm:

    Thanks, Susana! Because I pity the fools who don’t follow the rules!
    Home Run Inn small pizzas (6″ microwavables) not in stock for long at two South Suburban grocery stores I shop at; more of a chance buying large ones.

  7. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:23 pm:

    This “Block Club Chicago” article is stating that the prepondrance of social distancing/large gathering violations and arrests by Chicago PD have been coming only on the South and West sides of the city.×2YlYdE

    Chance the Rapper has weighed in on the prepondrance of large gathering arrests and citations in minority neighborhoods, while ignoring Millenium Park and North Side parks:

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