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894 new cases, 41 additional deaths

Thursday, Jun 25, 2020

* There’s an uptick in new cases this week. 601 new cases were reported on Tuesday and 715 were reported yesterday…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 894 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 41 additional confirmed deaths.

    Cook County: 2 males 30s, 1 female 50s, 3 females 60s, 2 males 60s, 2 females 70s, 3 males 70s, 4 females 80s, 3 males 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s, 1 female 100+
    DuPage County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 male 80s, 1 male 90s
    Kane County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 70s
    Lake County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 80s
    LaSalle County: 1 male 70s
    McHenry County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
    Monroe County: 1 female 80s
    St. Clair County: 1 male 40s, 1 male 80s
    Will County: 2 females 80s
    Winnebago County: 1 male 80s

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 139,434 cases, including 6,810 deaths, in 101 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 31,686 specimens for a total of 1,460,527. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 18–June 24 is 3%.

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH is now reporting both confirmed and probable cases and deaths on its website. Reporting probable cases will help show the potential burden of COVID-19 illness and efficacy of population-based non-pharmaceutical interventions. See CDC definition of a probable case on its website. IDPH will update these data once a week.

* Let’s move on to a COVID-19 roundup. Here’s Jake Griffin

More Illinois residents died in April than in any other month since at least 1999, but not all the additional deaths are attributed to known COVID-19 cases.

Illinois Department of Public Health figures shows 12,417 people died in April. From 2015 to 2019, the state averaged 8,875 deaths each April. That’s an increase this year of almost 40% above what the state averaged in the previous five Aprils.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases account for 2,256 of this year’s additional April deaths. But that still leaves almost 1,300 more deaths than what the state sees during the average April.

Public health officials believe those deaths resulted from uncounted COVID-19 cases, heart attacks and strokes in recovered or asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, seasonal influenza, drug overdoses and people who succumbed because they did not seek medical attention while COVID-19 was rampant.

Whew.

* Tina Sfondeles and Lynn Sweet

Democratic convention delegates were told Wednesday not to come to Milwaukee later this summer, though the city will “anchor” four nights of programming capped by Joe Biden traveling to the battleground state to accept the presidential nomination.

The COVID-19 pandemic scrambled convention plans for both parties’ conventions in August.

Republicans are still finalizing plans — amid an uptick of COVID-19 cases in Florida — but Illinois delegates to the Republican Convention say they’re all in for attending any variation of an in-person nominating event in the Sunshine State. […]

The GOP’s resounding yes came from an informal survey sent to delegates about whether they’d feel safe traveling and attending a convention during a pandemic, no matter where it’s held.

“At this point from the survey we’ve had no one say that they would not go because of any changes,” said Illinois Republican Party Executive Director Derek Murphy.

* Speaking of politics

A central Illinois Republican state senate candidate who does not have enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot asked a federal judge Tuesday to also apply loosened election requirements to him.

After the March 17 primary election, Alexander Ruggieri was chosen to fill the Republican Party’s nomination vacancy for the 52nd senate district race. To succeed in qualifying for the general election ballot, where he would challenge incumbent Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), Ruggieri needed to collect 1,000 voter signatures and submit his petition to the Illinois State Board of Elections by June 1.

According to his court filing, he gathered 1,152 signatures. After election officials reviewed the validity of those signatures, though, they determined only 949 were acceptable. That objection “threatens to keep Ruggieri from the general election ballot,” he argued.

* A “mini-wave” in Adams County and the first child to become infected

A young boy is among the latest people to contract COVID-19 in Adams County.

The Adams County Health Department said he is the first child in the county to contract the virus.

He is among seven new cases announced on Wednesday in what officials describe as a “mini-wave.”

“We have always expected that we would see an increase once we began to reopen following the stay-at-home order,” Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said, adding that he believes the region “still has a big fight ahead of us” related to the pandemic. […]

The unidentified boy is under the age of 9. No other information about the child was provided.

* Lauraann Wood at Law360

McDonald’s Illinois operations and a McDonald’s franchise owner should be doing more to protect employees at their restaurants as they continue to work amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an Illinois state court judge said Wednesday.

Cook County Circuit Judge Eve Reilly partially granted the McDonald’s employees’ bid for a preliminary injunction against McDonald’s Restaurants of Illinois and franchise owner DAK4 LLC, requiring the companies to provide workers at three Chicago locations with more adequate social distancing training and stricter mask enforcement practices.

McDonald’s has taken several reasonable steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including providing adequate amounts of handwashing stations and protective gear, Judge Reilly said. But it needs to fix the “two serious failures” that remain in the restaurants at issue — two of which have had employees test positive for the virus, she held. […]

“The hardship McDonald’s would suffer by strictly enforcing its mask policy and retraining employees on proper social distancing procedures is slight,” the judge held. “Now, McDonald’s may need to re-envision how it wants to implement the policy so as to ensure full compliance, but that is for McDonald’s to decide.”

* Teri Maddox at the BND

Metro-east restaurant owners seem cautiously upbeat.

Capacity limitations aren’t as low as some feared they would be for Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan for recovering from the coronavirus shutdown. The state on Monday released rules and guidelines for the phase, which allows indoor dining beginning Friday.

There’s no set maximum for number of customers allowed in sit-down restaurants, as long as tables are spaced 6 feet apart, parties are limited to 10 people or less and standing areas, such as bars, reach no more than 25% of normal capacity. […]

“As far as our plan to go inside, we again are playing it safe,” said [Wine Tap] co-owner Robbie Fogarty-Hayden. “We’re going to hold off a little bit, especially being that we are such a small location. We’re going to continue to kind of evaluate things, especially see what the first week in numbers look like. But we’ll probably be waiting at least two weeks until we do indoor dining.”

* Probably prudent

To protect its workers and patients, Clinton’s Warner Hospital and Health Services will continue to operate under the guidance of Phase 3 of the ‘Restore Illinois’ plan despite the state moving to phase 4 Friday.

CEO Paul Skowron told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday they are going to continue to require masks by patients and social distancing guidelines of six-feet separation. He believes it is important for them to not let their guard down and demonstrate maximum safety.

* I’ve waited hours for this train in Springfield. Lots of potential for delays between San Antonio and Chicago

Amtrak service in Springfield will be further reduced this fall when Texas Eagle service will be cut to three times a week.

The reduction is the result of a severe drop in train ridership nationwide that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments »
  1. - phocion - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    “Public health officials believe those deaths resulted from uncounted COVID-19 cases, heart attacks and strokes in recovered or asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, seasonal influenza, drug overdoses and people who succumbed because they did not seek medical attention while COVID-19 was rampant.”

    Well, it would seem those public health experts could quantify the causes of excess deaths here. Is it likely that the vast majority of the excess deaths occurred because seriously ill individuals did not seek medical care due to COVID concerns/lack of access to health facilities? Seems odd that they lead with undiagnosed COVID (unlikely) and recovered COVID who died of other causes (how is that relevant?), and only then follow with drug overdoses and failure to seek treatment. This, this is one of the reasons there is so much skepticism about the experts and the Governor’s otherwise sensible pronouncements.


  2. - Frank talks - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 2:56 pm:

    An uptick should be assumed once phase 4 starts. Hopefully that won’t cause things to go backwards?


  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 2:59 pm:

    ===there is so much skepticism about the experts===

    These things take months and months to figure out. Take a breath - preferably through your nose.


  4. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    I wish the media would do more to inform about the concept of r0: I think many people have a “bend the curve” mindset about mask-wearing instead of thinking of mass compliance (esp. in public indoor settings) as a quasi-vaccine. Pritzker has done a great job to-date, but if we go from r0 below 1 to r0 above 1, going to phase 4 so quickly was a big mistake.


  5. - Lt Guv - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    That sucks about the TX Eagle route. Yes, often delayed but as it is a long-haul route it had the best coaches on the line. Not unexpected given demand, but disappointing.


  6. - Rachel - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 5:21 pm:

    Over 31,000 tests probably the reason for slightly higher new cases. I know of several younger people with no symptoms that have to be tested to return to work. This could cause an increase the number of cases with no ultimate increase in hospitalizations or deaths. With luck.


  7. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 5:41 pm:

    Yes we’ve seen in uptick in cases, but today and yesterday are the 1st time Illinois has been around 30K tests for more than 1 day in a row. Thankfully the positivity rate has been consistently 2-3% and hospitalizations are not increasing. I’m hopeful that we can weather Phase 4 without turning into Texas, Florida or Arizona.


  8. - RDB - Thursday, Jun 25, 20 @ 9:47 pm:

    Hopefully the project to move the rail line east of downtown Springfield keeps moving along. Ridiculous to have an at-grade crossing in a large city. Lafayette, Indiana did the same thing in ‘94.


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