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*** UPDATED x1 *** Start. Taking. This. Seriously.

Monday, Nov 9, 2020

* One of the things I was most concerned about back in March was that the coronavirus could potentially cripple essential services like power generating stations, water and other utility plants as well as first responders. If we as a people do not start taking this resurgence more seriously, we are in for a world of hurt

Thirty-seven Springfield firefighters are currently quarantined due to COVID-19 and from this number, 12 firefighters have tested positive. Among those who have tested positive is Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne.

The majority of firefighters came in to contact with an individual who was asymptomatic at an outside gathering, not on work time. The individual was not a Springfield firefighter. Since receiving test results, any employee who was in direct contact with patient zero or any firefighter who has tested positive, have been sent to have a COVID-19 test and asked to follow the guidance provided by the testing facility including quarantining.

The outbreak has had no impact on their operations other than an increase in overtime. There is a total of 214 sworn Springfield firefighters with the department.

* From last Tuesday

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said today that he will defy the governor’s order and allow his city’s restaurants and bars to stay open with 25 percent indoor capacity. State mitigations forbid indoor dining and drinking because the IDPH region has surpassed an 8 percent positivity rate.

This same 25 percent strategy failed miserably in the Metro East when it was tried earlier this year, by the way. The mayor and county board chairman said they’ll be trying this policy out for a couple of weeks and then will reassess. It the county’s positivity rate is above 12 percent at that time, then the city and Sangamon County will drop its “phased approach.” Sangamon County’s average positivity rate is currently 9.8 percent.

In less than a week, the county’s seven-day positivity rate has jumped from 9.8 percent to 13.4 percent.

Heckuva job.

…Adding… WBEZ

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker today is expected to announce tighter restrictions on DuPage, Kane, Will and Kankakee counties because of escalating coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, a source confirmed this morning.

That will mean outdoor dining will be limited to six people per table instead of 10, and maximum allowable gatherings will be limited to 10 people instead of 25 in those areas.

In Region 8, which covers DuPage and Kane counties, positivity rates have been climbing for 10 straight days, and COVID-related hospitalizations have risen for eight straight days, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data.

The rolling positivity rate over seven days is now at 13.3% in those collar counties, the state is reporting.

*** UPDATE *** The governor also added southern Illinois’ Region 5 to the list of tighter mitigations.

…Adding… Press release…

Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are announcing additional COVID-19 mitigation efforts that will be implemented in Region 5 (Southern Illinois), Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties), and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties), beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. These regions are seeing a test positivity rate that remains above 8 percent and continues to rise after more than 14-days under Tier 1 mitigations, which exceeds the threshold set for establishing additional mitigation measures under the state’s Restore Illinois Resurgence Plan.

Region 5 has been under Tier 1 of the state’s resurgence mitigation plan since October 22 and Regions 7 and 8 since October 23, after seeing a 7-day rolling average test positivity rate of 8 percent or above for three consecutive days. However, the positivity rate has continued to significantly increase in these regions. Beginning November 11, Regions 5, 7, and 8 will face additional mitigations, such as a tighter gathering cap of 10 individuals rather than 25 and new table caps of six rather than 10 when eating out.

“The situation has worsened considerably in certain areas of the state, with massive increases in the rates of community transmission specifically in three regions. As a result, Regions 5, 7 and 8 – that’s Southern Illinois, and Chicago’s South and Western Suburbs – will join Region 1, Northwestern Illinois, in Tier 2 of our resurgence mitigations starting Wednesday,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Mitigations are only effective if they are followed. The end goal of mitigating the damage the virus is doing to people’s lives is this: keep as much of our economy and our schools as open as possible in a safe manner, and when risk rates in the community surge up, take meaningful action to bring things back down in order to protect ourselves and the people we love.”

“We continue to see COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increase,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Science tells us that when you are in close contact with someone, there is an increased risk for virus transmission. We must reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread. Only when the virus can no longer sustainably spread can we end this pandemic. It will take all of us working together, so please, be part of the solution and not the problem and help us reduce the risk of spread.”

For Regions 5, 7, and 8, additional mitigation measures taking effect November 11 include the following:

Bars and Restaurants
Reduce party size from 10 to six individuals

Meetings, Social Events and Gatherings
Maximum indoor/outdoor gathering size of 10 individuals
Applicable to professional, cultural and social group gatherings
This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance, such as office, retail, etc.
Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning
Not applicable to sports, see sports guidance

Organized Group Recreational Activities
Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25 percent of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors
Groups limited to 10 individuals or fewer
Does not apply to fitness centers

These mitigations do not apply to schools.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:05 pm:

    The immediate answer is painfully obvious… to any honest observer.

  2. - Wow - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:09 pm:

    Time to officially cancel Veto Session. Springfield is UNSAFE

  3. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:09 pm:

    [Sarcasm font on] Cue the John Williams music …

  4. - NIU Grad - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    With Thanksgiving around the corner, where families statewide will be guilting their relatives to spend hours in close proximity to each other inside.

  5. - OneMan - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:14 pm:

    When this started I sent each of my kids a camp stove, propane, and told them to buy buckets.

    You were not the only one worried about the basics breaking down.

  6. - Way South of I-80 - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:14 pm:

    Mayor Langfelder is setting a bad example for other mayors & municipalities. The Capital City should be leading by example.

  7. - thoughts matter - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:15 pm:

    Until people accept that the virus doesn’t know or care about your political party, religion, age, health, county of residence, or the reason for your gathering, it’s not going to get better. There isn’t going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the population in 2021.

    I’m frustrated by the anecdotal stories of gatherings, the Facebook memes of masks are not cool, the posts of church fellowship potlucks. I have lots of living left to do and you shouldn’t feel free to take those years away from me because you don’t like wearing a mask, or eating at home. I missed my granddaughters birthday yesterday, while a bunch of you had your gathering. Stop it.

  8. - Huh? - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    “spend hours in close proximity to each other inside”

    Nope. Made decision several months ago the my daughters and their SOs are staying home. No homemade Thanksgiving pizza on the grill this year.

  9. - Union thug - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:19 pm:

    Shouldn’t it be gone by now? It’s almost a week after the election/s

  10. - Correction - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:26 pm:

    FYI Rich- Sangamon is still 9.8% according to your link. Saline County is the 13.4%

  11. - Norseman - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:29 pm:

    Langfelder has chosen to be a pandering coward. I hope the medical community and the families of the dead and severely ill victims of COVID will remind him of his complicity.

  12. - Anon221 - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:30 pm:

    Went to do weekly shopping yesterday at three stores. I was heartened to see most people wearing masks. Those that weren’t were teens, twenty and thirty-somethings. Most were in pairs. A few were “wearing” a mask… on their chins. I don’t think it will be real for them until December at the rate our community’s local spread is going. Family get togethers in our County are not limited to festivities, but also, sadly, to funerals. Long winter ahead:(

  13. - NIU Grad - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    Huh - What worries me is that my older relatives are the ones pressuring all of the other ones to take risks. I think they’re thinking that if COVID hasn’t gotten them over the last seven months, it’s probably nothing to worry about.

    As Rich has said, it’ll be a long, cold winter.

  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    ===Saline County is the===

    Saline isn’t even in the same region. Try again.

  15. - Jibba - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    My elderly parents and I have decided to cancel a Thanksgiving gathering this year. A big thank you to all the maskless who continue to keep this thing spreading.

  16. - FIREDup!! - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:32 pm:

    The Springfield Public Library is also closed and is their Office of Budget and Management. Time to shut down City Hall, Mayor. But go on and eat inside….

  17. - Leigh John-Ella - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    The springield mayor is likely huddling with his top economic advisers at the bar at the Alamo, which would be entirely symbolic for this guy.

  18. - dan l - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:42 pm:

    Does Darren Bailey have thoughts?

  19. - Give Us Barabbas - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    Mayor Langfelder is afraid of losing support with local businesses now, but when (not if) this pandering move goes south, leading to more sickness and deaths, and even longer mitigation that will hurt more business, not just restaurants - pretty much every voter in Springfield is going to remember the guy that was short-sighted and acting like the Mayor of Amity in “Jaws”. Pay now, or pay way more later - hopefully, after you’ve had your time and split… That’s standard cowardice for electeds at every level.

  20. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:56 pm:

    “Does Darren Bailey have thoughts?”

    I’ve always had my doubts.

  21. - Chambanalyst - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:00 pm:

    This is a pathetic and resounding display of American ignorance. There are already many dead because of the virus but we should consider ourselves very lucky that it is not more lethal. Is this how we would react to a biological weapons attack? The national security implications of the response are very troubling.

  22. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:04 pm:

    ==- dan l - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 1:42 pm:==

    He’ll tell them to you maskless at the bar

  23. - JS Mill - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:08 pm:

    The stories about rural hospitals reaching capacity are starting to get people’s attention hopefully.I have no idea if they are accurate and won’t share any names because of that.

    I am probably kidding myself though.

  24. - flea - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:09 pm:

    as a long time langfelder supporter his actions are just ignorant., dangerous to public health and safety

  25. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    If people just did what they were supposed to from day 1 we would over with this nightmare. Instead they insisted on their personal freedom to infect others and this isn’t going away anytime soon.

  26. - Shaun in East Peoria - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:16 pm:

    A scary number of restaurants in the Peoria area openly posting on Facebook that they are open for indoor dining. Until some are publicly shutdown nothing is going to change. I’d suggest starting with the Texas Roadhouse in East Peoria, the only chain I’ve seen that is openly defying the order. No one wants to start the enforcement with a mom and pop place.

  27. - JoanP - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:17 pm:

    17% of your fire department is in quarantine, and you’re defying mitigation measures.

    Oh, and from the story: “The City of Springfield would like to remind residents about the importance of wearing a mask, watching your social distance, and washing your hands.”

    Right hand, please talk to left hand.

    Where’s the common sense?

  28. - Sir Reel - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:42 pm:

    I suspect the blissfully ignorant and the intentionally obstinate among us still expect that if they get sick and hospitalized, the hospitals and healthcare workers will be ready, willing and able to care for them. They may be in for a surprise.

  29. - Anon - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:46 pm:

    Since those under 50 feel they can get the virus and just have the equivalent of the flu, get over it, and be good to go, this will continue to cull the older population. Add that to school children. We heard they don’t get it, spread it or get sick. But once schools agreed to disclose case numbers, we see differently. Maybe youngsters don’t get sick, but how are they different from asymptomatic 20, 30 or 40 year olds who circulate (and circulate the virus)? Is there a difference? Spread is spread.

  30. - GregN - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    DuPage county here.
    Wife and I went to a local eatery for outdoor dining yesterday. Only 3 tables of folks on the patio, but service was atrocious. Usually great, attentive. Ready for the check, again no server. Masked up, went inside to pay and saw why service was lacking:
    9 tables full of indoor diners! I was shocked, blew the whistle to DCHD today.
    Needless to say, not fair to those that ARE complying, and unsafe for staff and patio patrons. We won’t be back.

  31. - cermak_rd - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:52 pm:

    Berwyn’s own mayor Lovero has announced that he is not going to enforce the restrictions. I’m not sure it matters as most of the places I eat at are not having their dining rooms open anyway.

  32. - Stu - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:52 pm:

    ===I suspect the blissfully ignorant and the intentionally obstinate among us still expect that if they get sick and hospitalized, the hospitals and healthcare workers will be ready, willing and able to care for them. They may be in for a surprise.===

    Wear your mask so you don’t have to be intubated by a proctologist

  33. - dan l - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    hey you guys in times like this we need to focus on what really matters: will there be high school basketball this year? Or no?

  34. - Merica - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    583 new cases in springfield over the weekend

  35. - OneMan - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    ===Saline County is the===

    Saline isn’t even in the same region. Try again.

    Getting a little salty there Rich

  36. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    ===Getting a little salty ===

    I see what you did there. lol

  37. - Depressed Downstater - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    Am I the only one surprised to see nothing new for region 1? I thought they had been in tier 2 for 2 weeks.

  38. - EssentialWorkingMom - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:21 pm:

    ===Getting a little salty there Rich===

    Nicely done, OneMan. Bravo. :)

  39. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:24 pm:

    large outdoor concert near Kincaid this weekend. Pictures I saw were stomach turning.

  40. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:30 pm:

    *Bonfire in the mud. At South Fork Dirt Riders in Kincaid.

  41. - Sal - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:41 pm:

    It is a good thing the virus is not airborne. There would be no one left to say “I told you so”.

  42. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    basketball tryouts tonight for my son and daughter.

  43. - very old soil - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:49 pm:

    Depressed downstater. It is not good up here. last Friday was 21 percent positivity. 7-day average 17.6 percent

  44. - illdoc - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 3:50 pm:

    well….. it is airborne

  45. - MrX - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    I live in region 7 and the most of the bars and restaurants did nothing when the tier 1 mitigation were announced and I expect them to continue to do nothing. It’s a dumpster fire here.

  46. - Soccermom - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 4:39 pm:

    Give Us Barabbas — Keep in mind, the mayor in Jaws apparently was re-elected, because he was also the ayor in Jaws II

  47. - RH - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 5:01 pm:

    Until there is enforcement these measures are merely suggestions. We all see the bars and restaurants still open, we all deal with the individuals that refuse to wear a mask. Quit kidding yourself Governor, until we are all held accountable for our actions nothing will improve.

  48. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 5:34 pm:

    When I read that story about the Springfield Fire Department I just think how avoidable that is and it’s all about the messaging from the leaders. People in critical industries need to be reminded by their leaders to be mindful of how they behave outside of work. In this instance the Fire Chief should have been discussing with his staff since March the importance of staying safe outside of work and avoiding having large gatherings with other firefighters during off work hours. But he obviously hasn’t been leading by example and if his boss was anybody except Langfelder he should be in a world of trouble. But again, when Langfelder is acting like this is not a big deal, what do you expect from his employees?

  49. - Chatham Resident - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 7:02 pm:

    Langfelder is nothing more than a fully-funded subsidiary of Downtown Springfield, Inc., in my opinion. Other than historic sites, most of the “business community” in downtown Springfield is nothing more than non-food serving bars open until 3AM (e.g., Alamo, craft food places), gourmet restaurants (e.g., Maldaners, Saputos, Feed Store), and basically unessential businesses.

  50. - Chatham Resident - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 7:04 pm:

    Also, due to his past (and probably still present in his mind) fetish for annexation (e.g., State Fairgrounds, CWLP property some of which was in Chatham Public Library district), Langfelder is not a mayor in my opinion–he’s an Emperor.

  51. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 7:41 pm:

    We can’t have Springfield eating and drinking establishments shut down prior to Veto that would impact their profit.

    You know the same places owned by the “bash Chicago and Democrats at every turn but love them some General Assembly and lobbyist spending their Chicago money there owners.

  52. - Huh? - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 7:53 pm:

    “Does Darren Bailey have thoughts?”

    He might have some thoughts, but are they coherent, logical, and well thought out?

  53. - Chatham Resident - Monday, Nov 9, 20 @ 8:29 pm:

    All the more reason why at the end of the day heading home (despite loving my job a lot) it feels so good to get out of Springfield, especially downtown Springfield, after work.

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* 1,442 new confirmed and probable cases; 33 additional deaths; 1,166 hospitalized; 263 in ICU; 2.2 percent average case positivity rate; 2.8 percent average test positivity rate; 83,115 average daily doses
* CDC report: Masks decrease spread, but on-premises restaurant dining increases it
* Unemployment applications rose nationally last week, fell slightly in Illinois
* Kass (no, not that Kass, the smart one) argues against austerity
* Democrats, business leaders argue for phased approach to full reopening, and they want it to start soon
* Chicago Sun-Times: “Illinois Can’t Sit Back And Wait For The Federal Government To Do The Job.” CEJA Can’t Wait.
* Durbin agreed to back Harris before flipping to Kelly
* *** UPDATED x1 - Local 150 responds, criticizes plaintiffs *** Appellate ruling: Transportation lock box amendment doesn't apply to home rule units
* ALPLM hires first person of color as executive director
* Support The Illinois Healthy Youth Act – SB266
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

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