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Context is key

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

* Jamie Munks and Dan Petrella at the Tribune covered House GOP Leader Jim Durkin’s press conference today

“I just went through DuPage County (data) for the month of October, and there’s not one case … that they can relate that goes back to restaurants,” Durkin said.

Chris Hoff, director of community health resources at the DuPage County Health Department, said last week that the department’s data has been widely misconstrued in arguing against restrictions on restaurants and bars.

While it’s true only a small percentage of outbreaks have been connected to specific eating and drinking establishments, only about 15% of the county’s more than 22,000 cases at the time had been tied to any specific location through contact tracing interviews with people who test positive.

“All of this information is based on those interviews with people, which means that information is only as good as the information we can get,” Hoff said, adding that the county has an ongoing campaign to encourage more people to answer the phone when tracers call.

Even when people do participate, it’s often difficult to pinpoint where they contracted the virus, he said.

“We know that the environments that promote transmission are indoor settings where there are large numbers of people who spend extended periods of time together without masks,” Hoff said. “And so bars and restaurants definitely fit the bill, along with a lot of other indoor venues.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - Shytown - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:49 pm:

    The politicizing of COVID has got to stop (hello Durkin). We know that indoor settings in close proximity with no mask wearing is the biggest culprit. While inside most restaurants, people seem to think they’re in some kind of safe space as I’ve seen them take their masks off the entire time while sitting with friends around a table that does not place them 6 feet apart. It’s mindboggling. The problem too is that restaurants are businesses and have a vested financial interest in keeping them open, so don’t expect them to embrace the inevitable here - and while I have incredible empathy for those who own and work at restaurants, their business does not come before the health and wellbeing of the masses. People eat or drink inside in close proximity to others, they don’t wear masks, and then they go home or to work and unknowingly spread it to others. This isn’t hard. Shame on those who keep spreading misinformation about the data and science.


  2. - Jibba - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 1:49 pm:

    …and there’s not one case … that they can relate that goes back to restaurants,” Durkin said.===

    People have been wondering where Durkin has been. Question answered. He has joined the Eastern Bloc.


  3. - El Conquistador - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    GOP disease mitigation at it’s finest. Anything to justify doing nothing.


  4. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:14 pm:

    Jim Dunkin doesn’t believe in what the scientists are saying. I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up. But we’re now seeing cases, hospitalizations and ICU usage rise. So what’s Durkin’s plan? Or is he going full Bailey on us?


  5. - Ok - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:14 pm:

    No, no, no, I didn’t go to any restaurants in the past month. I swear.

    No, that is not a Buffalo sauce stain on my shirt, why do you ask?


  6. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:16 pm:

    Simple question to Durkin:

    What is your plan to contain the community spread of COVID-19?

    This should be asked of Durkin and the other GOP every day. They have no plan other than to criticize those who are following plans in consultation with public health experts. What we’ve seen by the titular leader of Durkin’s party is a declaration of victory and name calling for those who are trying to actually do something.


  7. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    @Norseman - I figure the answer would be something like “trust the fine people of Illinois to choose to protect themselves and others when they feel its needed.”

    In other words - our plan isn’t one.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    Not surprising, - Norseman - is all over it.

    I’d go a different route, same line of questioning;

    1) what do you think is driving up these numbers right now, what is the data showing you.

    2) “Ah. Oh. Now tell me, how are you seeing a way to stop the spread that we all see happening, start with you biggest culprit.”

    The Eastern Bloc folk have this idea, apparently, you also “magically” get infected, *then* it “magically” disappears.

    You wanna go down a road to offset where and how spread happens, identify the how, then identify how you stop that… specifically.

    Thing is, large group, no mask, indoors… it comes down to mitigating factors… that sadly are elements of indoor dining and bars/taverns.

    Stop the spread, get an economy back.


  9. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    GOP in Illinois and nationally is increasingly indistinguishable from QANON.

    It’s sad and dangerous. And, it’s costing people’s lives and health.


  10. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:30 pm:

    Owning the libs by killing off old people? /s

    So Durkin is arguing against mitigation. What is he arguing for?


  11. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:52 pm:

    Durkin 2020 re-election slogan: “Throw the baby out with the bath water”


  12. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:53 pm:

    –only about 15% of the county’s more than 22,000 cases at the time had been tied to any specific location through contact tracing–

    Um…so that’s not a lot? And if 15% are tied to specific locations, how many are estimated to be from non-specified locations?


  13. - northsider (the original) - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    This is an exponentially infectious disease. It’s not necessary that patient A gets infected at restaurant B. His brother, his wife, his plumber, his gas station cashier–or any of their brothers, wives, plumbers or cashiers gets infected at restaurant B here and transmits it directly or through another, to patient A. (And to patients c,d,e,f,&g).
    That’s how it works, that’s how it has always worked since the Black Death. And Durkin knows it. He seems like a nice guy, but this faux-ignorant pandering is reprehensible.


  14. - Big Jer - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 3:07 pm:

    ===there’s not one case … that they can relate that goes back to restaurants===

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

    This from Angela Merkel in Germany today announcing a 4 week partial lockdown of Germany:

    “”We are now at a point where, on average nationally, we no longer know where 75 percent of infections come from. We can list 25 percent of them”"

    Memo to Jim Durkin: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


  15. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 3:13 pm:

    Wisconsin is reporting today that hospital bed and ICU availability is down to 15%. Their state government is completely divided on how to manage this and it shows up in their data. And as we were warned by Dr. Fauci throughout the summer the winter months are going to challenge us in ways we’ve yet to see. This should be the reality that Jim Durkin is confronting. The post mortem on Covid will truly be a post mortem.


  16. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 3:17 pm:

    I agree with the governor’s plan. But something is nagging me. Indoor dining started in mid June. I would think if it was going to be a major spike contributor that it would have spiked in July? August? Sept? Just a thought. Perhaps the spike is due to the colder weather and people spending more time inside?


  17. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 3:24 pm:

    Disappointed in Durkin. Very disappointed. When we rehash this after reality sets in - add him to the list of those who did harm while entrusted with the responsibility to look out for us. He’ll have to go.


  18. - Jocko - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==GOP in Illinois and nationally is increasingly indistinguishable from QAnon==

    …and yet Mitch McConnell wants liability protections for businesses and doctors before considering another stimulus. Pick a lane (exclamation point).


  19. - Responsa - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 4:05 pm:

    Too bad the emergency/overflow hospital center set up at McCormick Place was dismantled. Premature? It’s not like there were any conventions there this summer. Someone should ask the governor about this.


  20. - Google Is Your Friend - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 4:10 pm:

    - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 2:16 pm:

    It’s in the same place as their health care plan:

    https://news.yahoo.com/in-search-of-president-trumps-mysterious-health-care-plan-184735619.html


  21. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 4:33 pm:

    I had a fair amount of respect for Leader Durkin. Not so much now.

    Rebuilding the Republican Party gets harder every day.


  22. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Oct 28, 20 @ 7:06 pm:

    Response @4:05. The governors rationale for not reopening the McCormick Ctr. Was,IMO, minD boggling. It needs posting…..if only I knew how.


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