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COVID-19 roundup

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021

* Certain folks in April: Gov. Pritzker must stop applying the same COVID-19 mitigations to the entire state.

Certain folks in January: My House district has three IDPH regions, and my constituents aren’t following the rules, so obviously the program is a disaster and it’s all the governor’s fault

Just south of Springfield, state Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Beecher City, said his district spans over three of the governor’s regions and they each have different mitigation put on them by the governor.

Wilhour called the situation a “disaster.”

“People don’t know what’s going on,” Wilhour said.

As of Tuesday afternoon per the governor’s plan, one region in Wilhour’s district, Region 4, indoor dining is prohibited. Another, Region 6, there can be 25 percent capacity. And another, Region 5, can have 50 percent capacity.

“But I’ll be honest with you, the folks in my district by and large, they stopped listening to the governor months ago,” Wilhour said. “He’s moved the goalposts so many times. It’s so confusing. He has no credibility.”

“They’ve been doing it safely and responsibly and I think that ultimately we’re going to be in a better situation because of that,” Wilhour said of businesses open in defiance of indoor prohibition. “We’ve had less restaurants shutdown and close their doors and things of that nature. Where it really hits us hard is with our schools.”

The governor hasn’t closed any schools. That’s a local decision.

* Gettin’ harsh

State Representative Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) had harsh words for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to move up prisoner vaccination ahead of vaccinating adults with high-risk medical conditions.

“I support offering vaccinations to prison and jail staff as early as possible due to their high-risk of exposure and risk of community spread, but to put prisoners before medically vulnerable adults who do not live within congregate living facilities is a slap in the face to the public,” said Chesney. “Governor Pritzker has a strange fascination with putting prisoners before the public.” […]

“For all the talk we just heard from Democrats about prioritizing the needs of pre-trial detainees because they are not yet convicted of a crime, we now see the bald truth put to the lie. Clearly, Pritzker prioritizes prisoners above the medically vulnerable public. This is shameful,” chided Chesney.

Wake me when Rep. Chesney lashes out at the Trump administration

“It’s in line with CDC guidance,” said Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “The federal government already began vaccinating prisoners in federal facilities back in December. Illinois has included all (federal) recommendations for congregate facilities as part of (phase) 1b.”


Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said his office plans to make the jail’s vaccination plan available as soon as possible and the priority for staff is corrections officers because of the close quarters in which they work. He is hopeful the vaccine supply will be enough to inoculate staff and detainees simultaneously.

Sgt. Chris Covelli, a spokesman for Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg, said about 50 inmates have expressed interest in receiving the vaccination, which represents about 10% of the jail’s population. However there are concerns about providing one dose of the two-dose regimen to an inmate who might be released before he is due to receive the second dose. […]

The McHenry County jail also houses federal detainees for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. They are working with federal authorities regarding vaccination plans for those detainees as well, officials said.

* You have to read way down in this Herald & Review article to see where the mixed messages were actually coming from

After days of mixed messages about how restaurants in Macon County can operate when it comes to indoor dining, the state came through Monday with news everyone wanted to hear. […]

The news came just days after the Macon County Board amended its food sanitation ordinance to allow for limited indoor dining, a move that went against state restrictions and limited the county health department’s ability to enforce the state rules. The Decatur City Council discussed similar action last week.

* Sun-Times live blog headlines

Older adults resilient in the face of COVID-19 pandemic despite isolation, study finds

Biden challenges all Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days

Field Museum to reopen this week, offer two free days next week

Chicago joins President-elect Biden in national coronavirus memorial ahead of inauguration

Biden’s inaugural address: Unity call depends on beating the COVID pandemic

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:26 pm:

    I’ve completely and utterly had it with the Republican Party. I’m sick of the whining and moaning and complaining. The victimhood. The cheering on of violating rules. It’s despicable. And if anyone should be ashamed of themselves Rep. Chesney it is you and your ilk.

  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:27 pm:

    As for the whining about prisoners getting vaccines, some of you need to grow the heck up. Prisons are ripe for mass outbreaks as we have seen. Get everyone in the prison vaccinated. It’s a congregate facility. If you don’t like it then lump it.

  3. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:32 pm:

    As of 12/31/20, African Americans made up 54% of the IDOC population. Vaccinating incarcerated individuals isn’t only a matter of just treatment of prisoners, it’s a matter of racial justice and equality.

  4. - illinois_citizen - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:37 pm:

    Prisoners should be vaccinated just not before anyone else.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    The most aggrieved folks are the Raunerite/Trumpkins pushing false truths for political division.

    Don’t let honest looks at policy deter a phony narrative void of the factual.

  6. - Mrsfloyddog - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    I live in Wilhour’s district, and he’s a clown who can’t be relied upon for information. My kids have been in school this entire academic year.

  7. - Benjamin - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:52 pm:

    Prisoners are getting vaccinated because they’re especially vulnerable to COVID-19, since they can’t isolate and socially distant in prison. They’re disproportionately vulnerable to the disease.

    If the humane argument doesn’t get you, then how about this: the state pays for prisoners’ medical care, and many COVID survivors have long-lasting medical problems. Do you want to keep paying to treat prisoners’ lingering symptoms for years, or do you want to nip it in the bud with a vaccine now?

  8. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:52 pm:

    I think of prisoners as wards of the state. They give up their freedom but we (the citizens) agree to care for their basic needs. It’s why we do not throw them in a hole and not feed them or not provide medical care when they suffer.

    Congregate settings are dangerous. It’s why we are prioritizing nursing homes and prisons are congregate facilities. People who live in their home can more easily self-isolate than people in prison.

  9. - Benjamin - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 2:53 pm:

    By the way, there are (correct me if I’m wrong) about 40,000 prisoners in Illinois. At current vaccination rates, if we put them all next in line for vaccination, that would delay vaccines for the rest of us by only about two days.

  10. - Jibba - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 3:27 pm:

    It takes guts to vaccinate prisoners before the general public, but it is the right thing to do, since we force them to live in a place where they cannot take any actions to help themselves.

  11. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 3:29 pm:

    I support vaxing prisoners for reasons others have stated, but not racial justice. They’re a special case, otherwise prioritize elderly above all else (though you can make a special effort to get the vaccine to minority elderly).

  12. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 3:44 pm:

    Benjamin. I agree but I did not realize it’s all about the Benjamins.

  13. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 3:44 pm:

    =moved the goalposts=


    I am so tired of hearing these two statements/adjectives all the time.

    Good policy evolves over time as we become more knowledgeable. And we use the word “disaster” too easily. Whilhour is a complete (banned word).

    Pritzker has made his share of mistakes. But in general I think he has done his level best, and far better than most governors, in addressing the pandemic considering the former president abdicated his job in this area.

  14. - Ok - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 3:47 pm:

    Reverse the message: vaccinate prisoners so we can get felons back into prisons, and not out on medical exemptions.

  15. - Smalls - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 4:20 pm:

    On the CDC website today, Illinois is #37 for states administration of vaccines, per 100,000k population. Illinois is quickly becoming a dismal failure in vaccine distribution. Per the state’s website today: Doses Received - 1,388,200; Doses Administered - 537,740. I hope the Governor gets called to task on this failure like he was on unemployment checks. We need this fixed today.

  16. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 4:22 pm:

    It’s always fascinating how quickly a conversation about how to treat prisoners allows one to filter politicians based off of whether or not they believe in human rights.

  17. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 4:26 pm:

    Vaccination issues are not the failures of the states but of the federal government. The federal government has been abysmal in the vaccine rollout. This issue is now President Biden’s to fix and I hope that he fixes it quickly.

  18. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 4:50 pm:

    It’s amazing to me. These clowns complained very loudly to break the state up into regions, then they wanted smaller regions, now they’re upset the State is operating in regions. It’s proof they just want to complain, they have zero interest in being part of any solution.

  19. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Jan 20, 21 @ 6:06 pm:

    Vaccinate based on age. Prisoners that are 25 shouldn’t move ahead of a 60 year old.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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