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COVID-19 roundup

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

* CNN

Antibody tests used to determine if people have been infected in the past with Covid-19 might be wrong up to half the time, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in new guidance posted on its website.

Antibody tests, often called serologic tests, look for evidence of an immune response to infection. “Antibodies in some persons can be detected within the first week of illness onset,” the CDC says.

They are not accurate enough to use to make important policy decisions, the CDC said.

“Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities,” the CDC says.

The guidance is here.

* Hannah Meisel

Of the $4.9 billion Illinois received under the CARES Act, the state took $2.7 billion and local governments were to receive $2.2 billion. Of that, Illinois’ five largest counties — Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will and Kane — received $1.4 billion.

But before lawmakers gathered last week in Springfield, there had been a fight brewing over whether those five counties would be required to pass their funds onto their local governments, or whether those municipalities would be on their own to fight for a share that went to the state.

The budget implementation bill passed by the General Assembly over the weekend ended that debate. It stipulates that municipalities from those five counties are not, in fact, directly eligible for state CARES Act money, and will have to get their share of federal money through distributed from the counties.

Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes said the administration agreed.

“I don’t believe it was the intent of the federal government to just give counties $300 or $400 million to spend,” Hynes said.

The City of Chicago’s federal distribution was included in that $1.4 billion, by the way.

* WAND

The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) of Illinois is submitting a plan to Gov. JB Pritzker that would allow movie theaters to reopen sooner than in Phase 4 of his Restore Illinois plan.

Under the governor’s plan, theaters cannot open until June 26th at the earliest, with a strict limit of 50 people per auditorium, something NATO says is an arbitrary number, since some theaters can hold 1,000 people.

The proposed plan would call for theaters to be allowed to reopen with 50 percent of their seating capacity, which NATO says is the standard proposed by the governor for restaurants and bars.

…Adding… From the governor’s office…

Indoor movie theatres are slated to reopen with public health guidance in phase four. Theatres are higher risk environments because people spend significant amounts of time in close proximity. Every phase of the Restore Illinois program is guided by the public health experts and listening to the experts has proven successful thus far. The administration looks forward to working with industry to ensure a safe reopening in a few weeks if health metrics indicate the state is ready.

* CBS 2

Gov. JB Pritzker is asking the Illinois Appellate Court to vacate a temporary restraining order granted to a Clay County business owner and his tanning salon, essentially exempting them from the statewide stay-at-home order.

James Mainer and HCL Deluxe Tan had filed a new lawsuit on Thursday, seeking to have the governor’s executive order declared null and void. At a hearing on Friday, Mainer and HCL Deluxe sought a temporary restraining order barring the governor from enforcing the order statewide, but instead Clay County Judge Michael McHaney granted an order only for Mainer and his business.

Mainer is challenging the governor’s authority to extend his stay-at-home order beyond the first 30 days of his original disaster proclamation.

* From the filing

As support for their theory, plaintiffs cite a 2001 informal letter drafted by a member of former Attorney General Jim Ryan’s staff. But this letter— which applied to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease affecting livestock in Illinois —has no binding effect and was superseded by a formal Attorney General opinion.

That new AG opinion is here.

* On to Tribune live blog headlines

Cook County courts will remain in shutdown mode until July 6

Large majority of CPS students participate in remote learning, but more than 2,200 have had no contact with teachers

Jury trials again put off at federal court in Chicago

AP poll: Only about half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine

CBOE to reopen trading floor, but with far fewer traders and a lot more rules

Congress shifts focus to overhauling Paycheck Protection Program

Deaths of more than two dozen residents of Far North Side nursing home tied to COVID-19: ‘It seemed like there was nothing we could do’

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle vetoes ‘extraordinarily bad’ plan to share coronavirus-positive addresses with first responders

The General Assembly adjourned its special pandemic session in the wee hours of a holiday weekend. Here’s what you might have missed.

More space at restaurants, masks at daycares: Here’s a closer look at Lightfoot’s guidelines for phase 3 of Chicago’s reopening plan

Chicago releases rules for restaurants to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic — but no date yet

Lightfoot announces plans to train hundreds of people to track the spread of the coronavirus

Summer camps are canceling and parents are scrambling: The search for sitters who embrace social distancing

* Sun-Times live blog headlines

39 more die in Illinois of COVID-19 as all regions of state set to move to Phase 3 on Friday

Radiologists scrap fall event at McCormick Place

Pritzker ready to toast ‘cocktails-to-go’ — but Lightfoot wants a chaser

Nurse fired from Norwood Park senior home for pointing out COVID-19 safety issues: lawsuit

CPD Supt.: Stay-at-home order contributed to most violent Memorial Day weekend since 2015

Temperature checks on deck: Reopening guidelines usher in new normal

Isn’t it time everyone had enough?

As doctors, we are taught ‘First, do no harm.’ That becomes harder during a pandemic

Nobody should ever liken a stay-at-home order to Anne Frank’s hiding in an attic or a Japanese American internment camp

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

Cook County’s death toll in less than five months surpasses last year’s entire tally: ‘We do not believe that these deaths had to occur’

Museum of Science and Industry cuts 84 jobs

- Posted by Rich Miller        

2 Comments
  1. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, May 27, 20 @ 2:23 pm:

    I empathize with the theater owners but don’t think they have a compelling argument here. Fifty percent capacity sounds way too high. There’s no way movie goers would be six feet apart even if they were in every other seat. One-third capacity sounds more reasonable as long as everyone was wearing a face covering.


  2. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 27, 20 @ 4:43 pm:

    The AG opinion was well done and on target.


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