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COVID-19 roundup

Thursday, Dec 10, 2020

* WBEZ

Big hospitals in Chicago with highly trained specialists have treated the most patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, newly released federal data shows.

But the data also shows that when small hospitals that mainly treat low-income people of color were full, these larger hospitals at times had plenty of beds to spare.

During the week of Thanksgiving, this reality was stark. St. Bernard Hospital in Englewood on the South Side had no more intensive care beds for the sickest patients. Neither did Mount Sinai on the Southwest Side in Lawndale, about 10 miles away, a WBEZ analysis of the data show.

Sinai’s sister hospital, Holy Cross in Marquette Park had seven beds left. Roseland Community on the Far South Side had six.

Meanwhile, big teaching hospitals Northwestern Memorial in downtown, Rush University Medical Center on the Near West Side and University of Chicago Medical Center in Hyde Park on the South Side had nearly 200 empty ICU beds combined that Thanksgiving week.

* The story glosses over it, but college campuses and hospitals are exempt for the same reason

Restaurants and bars across the state are banned from serving customers indoors, but there are two places in Chicago where you can still legally drink inside a bar: the city’s airports.

Despite an emergency travel order requiring travelers from 46 states to quarantine upon landing in Chicago, people are still allowed eat and drink alcohol inside bars at Midway and O’Hare. That’s because the airports are exempt from Gov. JB Pritzker’s Tier 3 mitigation measures.

Allowing indoor drinking at high-traffic airports is dangerous, one doctor said, calling the move “ludicrous.”

The rules, which went into effect Nov. 20, say restaurants and cafeterias within airports, hospitals and college dining halls can remain open as other bars and restaurants in affected state regions must close. These places are exempt to ensure people “can eat a meal with no alternatives provided in these venues for eating,” the measure states, and patrons must wear masks when waitstaff approach them when they are not eating or drinking at a table.

The liquor service thing is a serious sore spot, though. This needs a rethink.

* I’m not sure I’d want to be the lawyer who loses this particular client’s case, if you catch my drift

Despite a statewide ban on indoor dining and drinking, a River West tavern is continuing to serve patrons inside and has put the city on notice: a letter on its door warns staff “will not comply” should city officials attempt to shut them down.

On the front door of Richard’s Bar, 491 N. Milwaukee Ave., a posted note tells patrons the bar is open and asks people to wear a mask when entering. Below, the letter tells government agencies the bar’s owners won’t comply with any department’s shutdown requests and will send citations to their lawyer.

“If you are asking us to shut down our business, we will not comply as that request is unlawful according to the law identified below,” the note reads. “We have legal counsel … representing us and we’re happy to provide any notices or citations to him if that’s necessary.”

The note also threatens legal action if a health department tries to close down the bar or pull its licenses. […]

Thomas DeVore, an attorney for Richard’s Bar, declined to comment before speaking with his client.

* Sticking with the Chicago angle…


* Could you get a jab at the dentist office? Maybe

Illinois officials don’t want to have ample stores of vaccines with limited numbers of people to administer doses, Ezike said.

“Absolutely all conversations are on the table,” she said. “I think dentists maybe do have the ability to take part in this process.”

Illinois State Dental Society Government Relations Director Dave Marsh said the society is preparing staff to be able to help off-site, like at a public health clinic.

“And then as the vaccines change, obviously they might be able to do them in their office,” Marsh said. “The storage issue is the biggest hurdle for any provider to do the vaccines.”

* Kids will have to wait, though

Doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are already in short supply, but that’s not the main reason it will be months before children are able to be inoculated.

“The vaccines have not been tested on children,” explained Dr. Sara Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, headquartered in Itasca. “But now is the time to start enrolling children in the vaccine trials because we should not really expect them to suffer the consequences of COVID-19 without getting the vaccine as well.”

* Tribune live coverage blog headlines

COVID-19 pandemic relief set to expire in Illinois as Congress negotiates aid package. Here’s what to know.

Six Flags Great America adds drive-thru to Holiday in the Park

Second stimulus check updates: Trump’s chief COVID-19 relief negotiator sees ‘a lot of progress’ on $900 billion-plus plan

‘Incredible landmark’: Advocate Aurora doctors excited as COVID-19 vaccine approval is closer to reality

Illinois colleges and universities suffer enrollment losses after pandemic disruptions

FDA meeting on vaccines today is ‘important day for America,’ commissioner says

The year that was in Chicago music was one that, because of a pandemic, was like no other

Tenants’ advocates, real estate industry gear up for clash over proposed Cook County residential tenant, landlord ordinance

* Sun-Times live blog headlines

COVID doesn’t care if you follow all the rules

Mayor ‘deeply disappointed’ in Tunney for violating indoor dining ban

Bears shut down Halas Hall after another positive coronavirus test

Seniors’ COVID-19 vaccine consumer guide: What to expect once the shots are available

Illinois’ infection rate drops again, but hospitalizations jump

‘Sweet gentle soul’ holes up in his room with flu-like symptoms — dies on the way to the hospita

Coronavirus Christmas? State’s top doc says keep gatherings virtual: ‘Let’s give the gift of health’

* NBC Chicago live blog headlines

Even With Vaccine Nearing, Illinois Will Continue Ramping Up COVID-19 Testing, Pritzker Says

Chicago Health Officials Say ‘Bothersome Side Effects’ Possible With COVID Vaccine

Who in Chicago Will Be First in Line for the COVID Vaccine and Why

If COVID Vaccine is Approved, First Doses Could Be Given Out in Chicago Next Week

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:04 pm:

    === I’m not sure I’d want to be the lawyer who loses this particular client’s case, if you catch my drift…==

    “I think I want my money back”

    “I’ll wake up, have breakfast, walk over to your law office… “


  2. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:05 pm:

    ==The liquor service thing is a serious sore spot, though. This needs a rethink.==

    It should be limited to throat-sanitizing shots of hard liquor.


  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:13 pm:

    ===“I’ll wake up, have breakfast, walk over to your law office… “ ===

    “On second thought, meet me at La Scarola”


  4. - Annoin' - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:21 pm:

    speaking of disaster news we were very surprised your #1 item wasn’t the special notice from Katrina that she will label every piece with opinions as “opinions” Guessin’ this was a appeasement to the Kassamoron readers who could not figure it out on their own. It would be fun to know what triggered the message and/or who got canned. Happy to help


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===“On second thought, meet me at La Scarola”===

    “So, we met in a crowded place we both knew.”

    :)

    To the post,

    === The rules, which went into effect Nov. 20, say restaurants and cafeterias within airports, hospitals and college dining halls can remain open as other bars and restaurants in affected state regions must close. These places are exempt to ensure people “can eat a meal with no alternatives provided in these venues for eating,” the measure states, and patrons must wear masks when waitstaff approach them when they are not eating or drinking at a table.===

    The exemption(s) to the rule, during a pandemic, make the needed rule(s) even more important to the greater good, and thinking that “exceptions” are similar, it is true, but it’s the circumstances… and that’s why there needs to be a closer look/see.


  6. - Steve Polite - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    a letter on its door warns staff “will not comply” should city officials attempt to shut them down.

    That sounds like a challenge to me. The health department along with the state police should take up the challenge and follow all the legal steps necessary to suspend their liquor license and shut them down until they are willing to follow the law.


  7. - Tommydanger - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    Said Alderman Burnett, “I’m shocked, shocked to find out there’s drinking going at Richard’s.”


  8. - 1st Ward - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:36 pm:

    “These places are exempt to ensure people “can eat a meal with no alternatives provided in these venues for eating,”

    The airport Chilli’s is incapable of to-go containers? They have McDonald’s and a fast food court as well. Also, to discourage traveling/flying wouldn’t it make sense to have these sit-down establishments closed?


  9. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:42 pm:

    Surprised that Richard’s Bar would hire Tom DeVore as their legal representation. When DeVore loses the case for Richard’s, he might end up with a couple of broken kneecaps.


  10. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 12:57 pm:

    Rudy beat me to it, but yeah, these are not people who will take their mouthpiece losing in court.


  11. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 1:25 pm:

    I take Rich’s point that Governor Pritzker is limited to a relatively small number of ISP officers, but is it really that hard to at least fine/close the places that are taunting him with their “we’re staying open” announcements and social media posts? Can he use the state national guard? The places that follow the rules and close indoor service must feel like suckers.


  12. - Michael Westen - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    Richard’s Bar has also never complied with the no indoor smoking laws. I’ve been in there and ash trays are on the table and indeed the joint smells like an ash tray.


  13. - cityrat - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 2:11 pm:

    The only shocking thing is that Richard’s Bar hasn’t been closed already. It’s a mob-connected, cop friendly place which brazenly ignores the smoking ban and recently tried to cover up for a homophobic murder at the premises. They have protection and they are flaunting it. https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/02/28/friends-of-slain-barista-kenny-paterimos-plan-protest-outside-richards-bar-we-really-need-justice-for-this-kid/


  14. - Rudy’s teeth are - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 2:18 pm:

    Richard’s Bar is not the place for squares or mopes.

    And, if ‘ya can’t pay in cash, stay home.


  15. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 2:21 pm:

    Regarding the airport. Does it really matter where you eat the food at the airport? Whether it’s at the gate seating, food court seating, or in a restaurant … there’s no real social distancing available. Allowing some people to sit in the restaurant relieves the food court and gate area congestion.


  16. - PP - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    I saw Bob Fioretti enjoying (if you know what I mean) Richard’s Bar a while back.


  17. - Chatham Resident - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 6:02 pm:

    Springfield is now cracking down on propane heaters in outdoor dining tents at city restaurants. For violations of the fire code:

    https://newschannel20.com/news/local/outdoor-dining-tents-go-cold-after-springfield-says-no-propane-heaters-allowed?fbclid=IwAR26uhyPVlm6-zdeya34qJ_hZa4wJumZXRDgSuFtRm3N6HMb2qV2NMkoqWk


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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