* Molly Parker…
Southern Illinois University Carbondale will bestow an honorary Doctor of Community Health degree on Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the Illinois Department of Public Health director who has guided the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic month after grueling month.
The SIU Board of Trustees approved awarding of the honorary degree at its Thursday meeting, upon the request of Chancellor Austin Lane.
Ezike, the resolution stated, in part, “has widely been praised for her dedicated efforts as part of a leadership team within the State of Illinois to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the citizens of the Land of Lincoln.” Quoting from a New York Times profile on Ezike, SIU also highlighted her “trained eye on the most vulnerable, including essential workers, many of whom are from minority communities.”
Go read the rest for Dr. Ezike’s response.
* The New York Times has developed an app to give you a preliminary and rough guesstimate of where you are in the line to receive a vaccine. Click here…
Nearly 213,000 new coronavirus cases were reported across the United States on Thursday, the highest figure yet. And at least 2,500 covid-19 deaths were reported for the third consecutive day, marking the deadliest stretch since the pandemic began.
But the government’s top infectious-disease expert said the record-setting surge doesn’t fully account for the expected increases after Americans traveled and gathered for Thanksgiving. “We have not yet seen the post-Thanksgiving peak,” Anthony S. Fauci said Friday. “That’s the concerning thing, because the numbers in and of themselves are alarming.”
* And that claim is downright scary when you see numbers like this…
* Speaking of Springfield, the alderman said earlier this week that he had asthma. Nope…
Springfield Alderman Chuck Redpath says he will now wear a mask during City Council meetings, or will participate via Zoom, after the controversy this week when Redpath got angry over a reporter that he felt was too close to him while Redpath was maskless.
Masks are required in the Council chambers under the city’s mask mandate ordinance, but Redpath says a breathing problem makes it uncomfortable for him to wear one throughout the meeting. But he now concedes that he doesn’t specifically have a medical exemption to not wear a mask.
* Speaking of the alderman…
Ward 1 Alderman Chuck Redpath asked Langfelder this week to return to indoor service with a 25 percent capacity limit, but the mayor says concerns about coronavirus cases and the strain on hospitals are valid, so for now he says the prohibition will remain in place. […]
If indoor dining can’t resume, Redpath says at least businesses should be allowed to reopen their video gaming areas, where people can wear masks while they’re playing, in order to generate some revenue.
How are they gonna do that when the state has shut off the terminals, Chuck? Sheesh, man. Give it a rest, already.
* Hannah Meisel has more on the LaSalle Veterans’ Home investigation launched by Rep. André Thapedi’s House Judiciary - Civil Committee…
Thapedi said he was withholding judgment on Pritzker’s actions or the performance of Illinois Department of Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia, with whom he served in the Illinois House for a decade.
But Thapedi said using the power of the committee to investigate the handling of the outbreak and its root causes is his obligation as committee chair.
“It’s definitely a legal matter, a civil legal matter, and definitely within the province of the Judiciary - Civil committee,” Thapedi said. “I have a duty and responsibility to the people of the state to make sure that all civil-related matters are addressed by our committee at a bare minimum.” […]
In his letter to House officials, Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul advising of the investigation, Thapedi called the massive outbreak and resulting deaths “deplorable” and said preliminary reports released by the Pritzker’s administration “show a pattern of conduct indicative of wanton disregard” for the health and safety of the LaSalle home’s residents.
* More from Hannah…
Edwardsville officials are getting serious about their mask mandate.
The City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday night that provides a way to enforce a Nov. 17 executive order by Mayor Hal Patton, requiring people to wear face coverings in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The ordinance allows violators to be ticketed by local police and fined $25 to $250. In addition, owners or managers of businesses, stores and venues can be fined $50 to $500 for not enforcing the mandate on their properties.
* Sun-Times live blog headlines…
Illinois schools are not COVID-19 superspreaders, data shows
’It’s safe to keep schools open,’ pediatric infectious disease specialist says
How Britain’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout will work
Illinois enters deadliest stretch of coronavirus pandemic so far with 192 more fatalities
Biden to call for 100 days of mask-wearing to curb COVID-19 spread
Why Biden, ex-presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton will take COVID-19 vaccines: Need to build trust in new drug
How Chicagoans plan on getting through the COVID winter we’re facing
* Tribune live blog headlines…
State expects to get 109,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses initially
CTU criticizes reopening plan for Chicago Public Schools as unsafe and inequitable: ‘We’re in the process of putting forward demands’
‘I think it’s time to get moving.’ Experts call for COVID-19 vaccination trials to begin for young children.
* NBC Chicago live blog headlines…
Illinois’ Top Doctor Clarifies Latest Quarantine Guidance From CDC
Pritzker Urges Illinois Residents to Donate Blood During Pandemic, Holidays
Health Officials Investigating Large Wedding Held at Suburban Hotel in Violation of Coronavirus Restrictions