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.
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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