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COVID-19 roundup

Friday, Dec 4, 2020

* 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

* WaPo

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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===Pritzker Urges Illinois Residents to Donate Blood During Pandemic, Holidays===

    This is a serious need and doesn’t require financial means to do a good thing for our community.

    In many cases public and corporate employers will provide paid time to donate blood as well and your donation will also be screened for COVID-19 antibodies.

  2. - Highkland IL - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 12:21 pm:

    ===Region 3, which includes Springfield, has just *15* ICU beds available. The region encompasses 18 counties ===

    Even more alarming is that the region boundaries don’t account for which hospital may be available to you. I know for a fact that our hospital in Highland, located in region 4, sends ICU patients to Springfield when St. Louis & other Metro East hospitals aren’t an option.

  3. - OneMan - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    Being in the heath risk group may be the only thing in my life where obesity is an advantage.

  4. - Citizen Kane - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 12:28 pm:

    I’d like to know the population of the La Salle Veterans Home by day since this started? Some are reporting 121 (NPR) some are reporting ~175 (WBEZ). Families were able to pull veterans out of the facility. Is it possible that they literally infected every resident in the facility?

  5. - Citizen Kane - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 12:29 pm:

    And it sure is nice that the House Judiciary - Civil Committee has launched a probe. But where is Representative Kifowit with a probe by the House Veterans Affairs Committee? She is the Chair of that Committee and a veteran!

  6. - Anotheretiree - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    At 64, surprised there are 268 million nationally and 165,300 in Sangamon County ahead of me. I turn 65 in July, tried that age and it abruptly changed to 118 Million and 78,900 ahead. Pretty big one day change. 15 Beds available locally and the first Thanksgiving cases have started to show up I just heard. I figure Christmas and New Years surges will peak Feb 1st, then slowly decline, accelerating as the Vaccine takes hold . We will exceed the World War 2 death toll in the Spring. I cant watch anymore..

  7. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    - Citizen Kane - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 12:29 pm:

    The difference is that Thapedi is someone who actually works at the committee process, knows the House rules and his power as chair and is a skilled lawyer and Kifowit just being there.

  8. - Club J - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 1:22 pm:

    I just don’t understand Redpath and his thinking. It’s like he lives in a bubble that the only people hurting in Springfield are the Bar and Restaurant owners. He has alienated a big part of Springfield with his latest rants. I heard him on both Bishop and Leach’s show yesterday and he sounded like he was being paid by the local bars and restaurants.

    I feel sorry for the people he represents that work in other fields that are now without a job and he seems to careless about.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    Chapa LaVia is still director… as both Chapa LaVia and candidate Pritzker held then Governor Rauner accountable.

    === 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.===

    It’s worth noting, if anything, that Chapa LaVia still in place while Sullivan’s email warranted movement. We’ll see.

    Was it mere lip service towards Rauner?

    To the post,

    Redpath is a sad sort, a person who makes up something as not wear a mask, because “Freedom” means being a phony first to avoid protecting others.

    Dr. Ezike deserves any and every accolade and honor given, I can’t thank her enough for her tireless work trying to keep us safe, congratulations.

    Lastly, not least, Molly Parker and Hannah Meisel, I make sure I catch both their work.

  10. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 1:58 pm:

    Despite Springfield being the seat of state government and having a medical school, a community college, a state university and a nursing school, Redpath and his attitude represent a lot of Springfield narrow thinking.

    Too many in Springfield have a “Trump Mindset” and Redpath does too. And if you ask a lot of them they will tell you they believe in smaller gvt while they are driving to their state job or calling their cousin to get their kid a city or county job.

    And God forbid you impact their worship of their child on the football field or hoops court or baseball field.

  11. - Wilson - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 2:00 pm:

    Salute to Rep Thapedi. No grandstanding, no blaming; rather, logical line of questioning designed to get to the bottom of a sad situation. Keep up the good work.

  12. - Oldtimer - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    Redpath 2015- won with 75% of vote, 2019 won with 74% of vote.

    Pretty sure the only election he’s ever lost was the House Dem primary against Sam Cahnman back in the Ray Poe days.

  13. - 332bill - Friday, Dec 4, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    The Springfield Police Chief said he’d issue Redpath a citation if he didn’t come up with his doctor’s excuse. From the SJ-R:
    “I asked him if he had proof of that,” Winslow said. “He said he would provide me the proof. So I’m gonna give the man a chance to provide the proof to me. If he doesn’t, I will issue him a citation. It’s that simple.”

    Time to break out the popcorn.

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* Question of the day
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* COVID-19 roundup
* We've heard this all before
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* 4,822 new confirmed and probable cases; 107 additional deaths; 3,284 hospitalized; 722 in ICU; 5.5 percent average case positivity rate; 6.8 percent average test positivity rate; 21,869 average daily vaccine doses administered; 2 regions make more progress
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