* Press release…
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 1,257 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 25 additional confirmed deaths.
Cook County – 1 male 30s, 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 2 females 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
Cumberland County – 1 female 80s
Effingham County – 1 female 80s
Kane County – 1 female 60s, 1 male 80s
Lake County – 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
McHenry County – 1 female 70s
Ogle County – 1 male 60s
St. Clair County – 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
Union County – 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
Whiteside County – 1 male 80s
Will County – 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
Winnebago County – 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 157,950 cases, including 7,251 deaths, in 102 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 43,006 specimens for a total of 2,122,607. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 9–July 15 is 3.1%. As of last night, 1,434 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 311 patients were in the ICU and 127 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
* Meanwhile, IDPH has posted an interactive map so you can check on your new region’s progress, or lack thereof. The latest numbers, however, are from three days ago, so they need to improve that now. Click here. The Metro East region had the state’s highest positivity rate, at 6.6 percent and rising. Hospital admissions had not yet increased yet, but hospital bed availability was at 33 percent, which was still above the 20 percent threshold. ICU availability was at 54 percent.
* This needs far more visibility…
Though some public health experts expected coronavirus transmission to wane in the summer as temperatures rise and the air becomes more humid, cases have actually skyrocketed in some of the hottest and stickiest parts of the country.
Engineers and ventilation experts said this may be in part because residents escape the heat by retreating indoors where heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems could exacerbate airborne transmission with unplanned air currents.
“The main way [air conditioning] can contribute to spreading coronavirus is by creating strong air currents that can move the droplets … and contribute to increase risk,” said William Bahnfleth, chair of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ Epidemic Task Force (ASHRAE) and professor at Penn State University.
Even in bars and restaurants where social distancing is observed, air ventilation can carry respiratory droplets or aerosols that contain virus, said Len Horovitz, pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Thirteen new cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday among staff members at the Chester Mental Health Center.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) says 31 total staff members have tested positive since the coronavirus pandemic began. Data from IDHS shows only four of the 31 have returned to work.
There are currently 259 patients at that Randolph County facility.
According to IDHS, two patients have tested positive for COVID-19; one has since recovered.
* From the Tribune’s live blog…
Cook County health system to help test antibody-based drug
Glenview Park District pool closes same day it reopened after three more lifeguards test positive for COVID-19
Cubs weekend night game plan for COVID-19 season advances, heads to full council
UK, US and Canada accuse Russian government’s ‘Cozy Bear’ of hacking coronavirus vaccine trials
Chicago Symphony Orchestra cancels 2020 performances
Abbott earnings top expectations, with $615M in sales from COVID-19 testing
Museum of Science and Industry to reopen August 1 — with food on the front lawn and the front doors open again
Remote learning must continue in Chicago Public Schools this fall, Chicago Teachers Union says
Should you dine out in Chicago? Health experts weigh in on risks, and how to reduce them.
* Sun-Times live blog…
American jobless claims surpass 1 million for 17th straight week
We asked parents and teachers if they’re OK with in-class instruction returning. Here’s what they said.
Chicago South Side Film Festival pivots to online with documentary on predatory contract home sales
Dart touts efforts, CDC study noting drastic drop in coronavirus cases at Cook County Jail
Once kids go back to school, it’s mask up or go home