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COVID-19 roundup

Monday, Nov 16, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Daily Herald on hospitalizations

“The numbers are devastating right now,” said physician Robert Citronberg, executive medical director of infectious disease and prevention at Advocate Aurora Health.

“Our health care system cannot absorb doubling or tripling of those numbers as might happen if we have many super-spreader events arising out of Thanksgiving,” Citronberg explained at a briefing.

* Speaking of Thanksgiving, check out what happened in Alberta…

* Good question

Officials say too many residents are disregarding public health guidance as Williamson County grapples with an escalating test positivity rate and death toll from the coronavirus.

“It’s people just not wanting to take it seriously. But how much more real can it get when it’s breaking records every day?” said Williamson County Commissioner Brent Gentry, who also sits on the Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department’s board.

* The Tribune has a story about a suburban school board caught in the crossfire of vocal radicals

When Brad Paulsen heads out on his regular walks through his Wheaton neighborhood these days, he dons his face mask, pulls on a golf cap and keeps his fingers crossed he will remain incognito.

Paulsen, an architect, father of two and school board president in Community Unit School District 200, is not typically antisocial. But since the district’s decision Wednesday that surging COVID-19 rates demanded a return to remote learning at the district’s middle schools and high schools, Paulsen has been bombarded with angry email messages from parents. One suggested if a student were to die by suicide, Paulsen and the school board would be to blame.

Just a few weeks earlier, when schools reopened for in-person instruction, Paulsen’s LinkedIn account was hit with a menacing message from an anonymous sender warning if their relative, a District 200 teacher, died from COVID-19, it would be Paulsen’s fault.

Social media rants lambasting the superintendent and the school board are even worse, he says, especially when the ballistic comments are posted by parents in his own neighborhood.

* Meanwhile, in Michigan

In-person classes at high schools and colleges statewide will be suspended for three weeks along with eat-in dining at restaurants and bars under sweeping new restrictions aimed at reining in the exponential growth of coronavirus cases in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Sunday.

The new public health order is to take effect Wednesday, and includes the cancellation of organized sports and group exercise classes, though gyms may remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures, and professional and college athletics may continue.

Casinos and movie theaters, indoor ice rinks, bowling alleys and bingo halls also will have to temporarily shut down, and all businesses are asked to allow employees to work from home if possible.

Gatherings inside homes are limited to two households at any time and health officials strongly urge families to pick a single other household to interact with over the next three weeks.

Also Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday denounced as shocking and reckless a call from a Trump administration official for Michigan residents to “rise up” over new coronavirus restrictions she announced Sunday.

“It’s just incredibly reckless, considering everything that has happened, everything that is going on,” Whitmer said in a call with Capitol reporters.

* Iowa

The entire state of Iowa is now out of staffed beds, Eli Perencevich, an infectious-disease doctor at the University of Iowa, told me. Worse is coming. Iowa is accumulating more than 3,600 confirmed cases every day; relative to its population, that’s more than twice the rate Arizona experienced during its summer peak, “when their system was near collapse,” Perencevich said. With only lax policies in place, those cases will continue to rise. Hospitalizations lag behind cases by about two weeks; by Thanksgiving, today’s soaring cases will be overwhelming hospitals that already cannot cope. “The wave hasn’t even crashed down on us yet,” Perencevich said. “It keeps rising and rising, and we’re all running on fear. The health-care system in Iowa is going to collapse, no question.”

* Missouri

The Missouri Senate has postponed a special legislative session focused on limiting COVID-19-related lawsuits after a COVID-19 outbreak within its ranks.

Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden announced on Twitter Monday that “due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases” among senators and their staff, the upper chamber would postpone the special legislative session until after Thanksgiving.

I didn’t realize Mike Madigan was Speaker of the Missouri Senate. /s

* Tribune live blog headlines

Advocate Aurora Health, one of the state’s largest hospital systems, to delay half of elective surgeries amid COVID-19 surge

MCA to close temporarily due to COVID spread while other museums remain open

‘Immersive’ Van Gogh exhibit coming to new North Side venue in February, with COVID-19 precautions

Loyola men’s basketball team pauses activities after positive COVID-19 cases

Chicago City Council to consider capping delivery app fees

Column: I took a COVID-19 test as a precaution. A week later, I was hospitalized.

Wisconsin has critical need for blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients

Chicago, Cook County, Evanston stay-home advisories go into effect

Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine proves 94.5% effective in ongoing study

Double lung transplants at Northwestern Memorial are allowing seriously ill patients to survive COVID-19′s ‘bomb blast’

* Sun-Times live blog headlines

Sheriff’s office suspends in-person visits at Cook County Jail

Statewide COVID-19 outbreak continues with 10,631 new cases Sunday

Support those who are bringing us a COVID-19 vaccine

Feeding the hungry grows all the more difficult during a pandemic

He went to the hospital in the morning. By mid-afternoon, he was dead from COVID-19.


  1. - Nick - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    Bustos just tweeted that she’s tested positive and has mild symptoms

  2. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 2:28 pm:

    That Canadian Thanksgiving graphic is terrifying, because Canada had gotten their virus under control and was starting from a very low level. If we have a similar spike, our hospitals will be totally overwhelmed. People are playing Russian Roulette with the lives of not only their families, but all of ours.

  3. - DuPage Moderate - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 2:30 pm:

    The US started spiking right after Canadian Thanksgiving as well.

    Correlation is not causation.

  4. - Hamlet's Ghost - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 2:43 pm:

    Some consider Alberta a conservative fortress within the rest of Canada. Numbers for Alberta won’t necessarily track the same way in Ontario, BC or Quebec, but we will see soon enough.

  5. - Publius - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    People need to leave their own little bubble and get the news from the rest of the country and world.

  6. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 3:17 pm:

    “People need to leave their own little bubble and get the news from the rest of the country and world.”

    No. I can do it from the safety of my home via the internet. BBC, CNN, Huff Post, NY Times, Washington Post, are the most common. Will scan through the Chicago papers. Avoid any Fox related like it was covid19.

  7. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 3:21 pm:

    ===how much more real can it get when it’s breaking records every day?===

    When, and only when, they or someone they love get sick. That’s what it will take for it to click with some. No awareness or ability to empathize whatsoever. I’ve been trying to change hearts and minds since this began and I’m tired.

  8. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===Officials say too many residents are disregarding public health guidance as Williamson County grapples ===

    A yes, the individual residents are responsible for the bars being open with indoor service.

  9. - Jack Kemp - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 4:18 pm:

    Is there a reason my comments are posting? Strange, didn’t think I said anything that wouldn’t make it past the filter.

  10. - Doc Anonymous - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 4:18 pm:

    Thanks for roundup. I think it is particularly rich that the Missouri leg can’t meet to give people the green light to keep open without fear of liability because too many of their members have COVID. At some point denial collapses, but it will take until the health care system collapses, which will be too late for too many.

  11. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 5:02 pm:

    Add Missouri hospitals to the list of states reaching their breaking point:

    Cubs in ‘16, I wish you were right, but in South Dakota, denial is very strong:

  12. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 5:11 pm:

    ==The US started spiking right after Canadian Thanksgiving as well.==

    Which would have been Columbus Day weekend. In this case, correlation still works. Holiday weekends = increased spread.

  13. - Ryan - Monday, Nov 16, 20 @ 8:40 pm:

    …and Canadians are far more responsible than we are. Ugh.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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