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*** UPDATED x2 *** COVID-19 roundup

Friday, Aug 20, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 24,682 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 126 additional deaths since reporting last Friday, August 13, 2021. More than 77% of Illinois adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 60% of Illinois adults are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,482,369 cases, including 23,717 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Since reporting on Friday, August 13, 2021, laboratories have reported 462,916 specimens for a total of 28,072,697. As of last night, 2,000 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 468 patients were in the ICU and 234 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from August 13-19, 2021 is 5.3%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from August 13-19, 2021 is 6.1%. However, regional 7-day test positivity averages range from 4.2% to 10.4%.

A total of 13,745,822 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 33,564 doses. Since reporting on Friday, August 13, 2021, 234,949 doses were reported administered in Illinois.

*All data are provisional and will change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at

Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to

For perspective, the spring spike peaked at 2,288 hospitalizations on April 19.

*** UPDATE 2 *** I know Nancy Werden and she’s a conscientious person who did the right things and stuff still went wrong

Staunton, Illinois schools shut down after one week because of COVID-19 spread

After opening for one week of classes, schools in Staunton, Illinois, moved to virtual learning Thursday due to an increase in cases of COVID-19, district officials said.

The first day of school in the Macoupin County district was Aug. 11.

Staunton schools will reopen Aug. 30 for anyone not under a quarantine order, reads a message from Nancy Werden, interim superintendent.

Gonna be rough for a while. Get your shots, people.

…Adding… This guy, man…

* Mary Ann Ahern peppered the governor with mask mandate questions at this morning’s media availability

MAA: Where do you stand on a statewide mask mandate as the city of Chicago puts theirs in place today? Certainly there are a high number of counties with a high transmission.

JBP: Well, as you know, I have not been reticent to act when I think it’s appropriate to do so on mitigations. And we’re always considering every day what next we need to do. I applaud the city of Chicago and taking proactive efforts here. I encourage other local governments, whether they be cities or townships or counties, to also take proactive steps and we will look at the state level, whether that’s an appropriate thing at some moment. And again, every day I’m looking at these numbers and talking to Dr. Ezike.

MAA: But what else would it take? It’s almost [garbled] political governor, now.

JBP: No, you would like to say that. This is not political. This is every day, [crosstalk]. As you know, listen, if it was political, we wouldn’t have any mitigations. It would be much easier not to have mitigations. [Crosstalk] The truth, the truth of the matter is that I have acted, every time I have believed and the doctors have advised me that we need to put mitigations in place, we have done it. And so I’m not reticent to do that. We know now that we have vaccines available, and masks work. People should follow the science. If you wear a mask and you get vaccinated, you’re pretty safe. And I hope that everybody will do that and I will take action, if we see that the numbers can move up in an exponential fashion, which they’re not there, But in an exponential fashion, that’s something that we’ll look very closely at. And again, I talk every day or text or have communication with Dr. Ezike or with her senior staff to try to determine what we need to do on any given day. Also to be helpful, I’ll just add this to the hospitals, especially in Southern Illinois. And in areas where there are a limited number of ICU beds that are yet still available, how we can provide more staffing, how we can provide support for those hospitals. […]

MAA: If you can’t give us the metric on the masks, it makes folks think, wow, the city of Chicago has to wear a mask but boy if you go out to, you know, I don’t know, pick a town in the suburbs, you don’t have to.

JBP: It’s always been the case, Mary Ann that local communities and cities have decisions that they can make that are more stringent on mitigations than what the state, that’s always been the case. And there have been moments throughout the last year and a half that you’ve seen, not just the city of Chicago, but other places that have taken proactive actions that they believe would work in their communities. So I encourage those local community leaders to do so. Indeed, I have celebrated those people throughout the last year and a half, because very few, frankly, local leaders, very few elected leaders have been willing to stand up and make tough decisions for their communities. I mean, it’s about time for some of them, but I want to congratulate folks who actually already do that.

Please pardon all transcription errors.

…Adding… MAA’s story

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday declined to give a specific metric at which the state might impose another indoor masking mandate, leaving the door open for further mitigations but deferring to local authorities to take action, even as he called the current COVID-19 surge fueled by the delta variant a “very dangerous moment.”

* Crain’s

The Archdiocese of Chicago this week announced that all employees and clergy will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19. While people will have an opportunity to request a medical exemption, religious objections will not be considered.

The Archdiocese of Chicago and its agencies, including Catholic Charities and Misericordia, join a growing list of organizations mandating COVID-19 shots for workers and patrons as the delta variant surges.

“We have made this decision convinced that this is the best way to stop the spread of this deadly illness,” Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, said in a Thursday email to clergy and staff. “Following the lead of Pope Francis, we encourage everyone to be vaccinated as an act of charity. … Religious exemptions to vaccination cannot be supported by Catholic teaching and I have instructed our pastors not to grant them.” [Emphasis added.]

Cupich claims that more than 90 percent of staff and clergy are already vaccinated.

* More…

* Editorial: Americans need a better vaccination ID than a flimsy piece of paper

* CTU negotiations with CPS over COVID-19 precautions drag with start of school year days away

* Why the NEA Refuses to Support Vaccine Mandates

* Three private schools in the suburbs punished for defiance on masks

* Some McHenry County families have started home schooling because of COVID-19 mask mandate

* Long-term care facilities are using the pandemic as a shield, even in lawsuits unrelated to covid-19

* COVID-19 in Southern Illinois: Additional deaths reported in Johnson, Massac, and Pulaski Counties on Thursday


  1. - City Zen - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 12:42 pm:

    Kudos to Emma Green at The Atlantic for her persistence in that interview with the NEA president.

  2. - jimbo26 - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    Wonder what Bishop Paprocki will say now.

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    Don’t worry. The Joliet Diocese is already planning on handing out religious exemptions.

  4. - JS Mill - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    From the Atlantic interview-

    =“We have to make sure that school districts work with educators to address accommodations that need to be made.”=

    The NEA isn’t supporting a vaccine mandate, and they want us to take time and resources to “accommodate” staff that do not vaccinate.

    I would like to see staff accommodate students and their employers and get vaccinated.

    We bent over backwards to make it easy for staff to be vaccinated and still just over half are vaccinated. We have hosted clinics on site, provided time off, and continue to offer clinics we will talk about mandating all employees getting the vaccine.

  5. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===”Religious exemptions to vaccination cannot be supported by Catholic teaching and I have instructed our pastors not to grant them.”===

    Yep. Good for Cupich for reminding everyone of this fact.

  6. - Jocko - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:21 pm:

    ==handing out religious exemptions==

    Unless you’re a Christian Scientist, I don’t think they will have a leg to stand on. Lookup Fallon v. Mercy Catholic Medical Center.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    Blase Cardinal Cupich understands.

    The fire and brimstone about religious freedom to opt out of a vaccination that can, as a whole, the globe, save humans from severe illness or worse… that’s practicing faith… looking out for others.

  8. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:34 pm:

    The states with averaging the most COVID deaths over the past 7 days.


  9. - ForSure - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    Cupichs quote has 2 problems. One: In one breath he says “we encourage.” Umm, you are mandating it. Encourage and mandate are different things. The bigger problem is he is actually wrong on Church teaching. That is not what the Church teaches. Let me clear. Yes the pope is encouraging it. Yes the church wants you to get it. But it is not church teaching you have to get a vaccine or any vaccine. Big difference. In fact, the CDF (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican) concluded that persons may — not must — get vaccinated. “[P]ractical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary.”

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:45 pm:

    - ForSure -

    You realize what Cardinal Cupich is saying, correct?

    You can’t use religious (in this case, the Catholic diocese helping) freedom to opt out.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:47 pm:

    - ForSure -

    For context, the third paragraph of the Cupich letter makes clear his intent, and the diocese’s intent too.

  12. - Amalia - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:50 pm:

    Nice to see you recognizing a conscientious person even if things went wrong.

  13. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    McLean County is reporting 101 new cases today. It’s been a while since there has been triple digits for new cases. Breakdown by age was not available.

    Illinois State started classses this week and Illinois Wesleyan starts next week. University students not fully vaccinated will have to be tested weekly. Hopefully, there won’t be a repeat of last year’s surge of positive tests in the college age.

  14. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:55 pm:

    ===McLean County is reporting 101 new cases today===

    Cases mean less now than before because of the vaccines.

  15. - ForSure - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:58 pm:

    I do realize that. What I’m saying is that he can’t say it’s church teaching to mandate a vaccine. If he wants to mandate it, fine… but he can’t say “church teaching” cannot allow for an exemption. The CDF, the actual Catholic Chipotle teaching office, makes that clear.

  16. - BTO2 - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    Macoupin county doesn’t have the highest percent of vaccinations. Hopefully everyone bounces back quickly in Staunton. We got our email Thursday that one high school student tested positive in Chatham, 2nd day of school.

  17. - ForSure - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    Church, not chipotle. Thats a hilarious typo. I do love Chipotle

  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===I do realize that.===

    The bigger news is that Cupich isn’t going to allow for religious reasons not to take the vaccine.

    Or in his first paragraph, to quote…

    “…there is no basis in Catholic moral teachings for rejecting vaccine mandates on religious grounds.”

    People are gonna “people”, but Cupich makes clear the Chicago diocese thoughts to assisting the non-vaxxers under “religious freedom” thoughts… for Chicago Catholic clergy.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 2:05 pm:

    I’m not afraid if any Chipotle either.

    Now I’m hungry.

    Happy Friday, be well.

  20. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 2:05 pm:

    ===But it is not church teaching you have to get a vaccine or any vaccine. Big difference.===

    No, it is not. But as the Pope said yesterday, getting vaccinated is an act of love for others.

    And more to the point, Cupich just sent a message to all of his priests who get asked to sign some ridiculous “religious exemption” from parishioners who are too selfish to love their neighbors enough to hide behind their faith.

    That’s not going to happen under Cupich. So don’t bother asking for an exemption.

  21. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 3:08 pm:

    === Cases mean less now than before because of the vaccines. ===

    True, but while the number of new cases each day has gone from about 2K a month ago to almost 4K today, the number of hospital admissions from COVID each day has nearly quadrupled, from over 50 a day to over 200 a day.

    Despite attacking a younger population, Delta appears to be making people sicker than previous variants, and a lot sicker than is being reported.

    The CDC is predicting yesterday that we will exceed the hospitalization records set last January by the end of this month, Rich, despite the fact that half of Americans are vaccinated.

  22. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 4:11 pm:

    It would make sense to update our measurements a bit particularly since this is playing out very differently amongst the vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. While a fair number of vaccinated people may appear in the case count, they make up a very small portion of the hospitalizations, ICU beds, and deaths. Drawing those distinctions would be important now that we have a vaccine. Delta is far more dangerous than the prior variant, but that’s primarily among the unvaccinated at this point.

  23. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 4:12 pm:

    I mean, if you’re going to be citing to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, please be sure to note that it also says that if you refuse the Covid 19 vaccine, you are morally obligated to STAY THE HECK HOME and not interact with other people. The common good requires one or the other: People who refuse vaccination “do their utmost to avoid, by other prophylactic means and appropriate behavior, becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.”

    There is no moral justification under Catholic teaching for refusing the vaccine UNLESS one is willing to stay home until the pandemic is over. To do otherwise is to become a vehicle for the transmission of the infectious agent, which is morally forbidden.

    So, yes, vaccination is not MANDATORY in Catholicism. But doing literally everything in your power to avoid spreading Covid 19 IS mandated by Catholic teaching, and clearly spelled out by the CDF. So I want to hear from exactly ZERO Catholics who continue to attend Mass and refuse the vaccine — they are in clear violation of Catholic teaching, and are in a state of mortal sin. The Vatican cancelled the public celebration of Easter Mass in 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid 19 — literally not even the Mass or the Eucharist are sufficient justification to spread the virus.

    Catholicism says get a shot, stay home, or go to literal heck. But definitely don’t claim that refusing vaccination while continuing to do literally anything else that involves interacting with other humans ever is in accordance with Catholic teaching. It’s not. It’s a mortal sin. It’s a violation of the Fifth Commandment (thou shalt not kill, in Catholic counting). Get your shot.

    I swear, it’s like people think the CDF doesn’t read its own statements. (Or, more likely, assume that other people won’t, so they can claim whatever nonsense about Catholic teaching that they want to, and nobody will check.)

  24. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 4:24 pm:

    Well said Suburban Mom.


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