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COVID-19 roundup

Tuesday, Sep 7, 2021

* The big, highlighted takeaway here is get your shots, people

The World Health Organization this week spotlighted a new and worrying COVID-19 variant it says might be resistant to vaccines. The mu strain accounts for a tiny fraction of all coronavirus cases in the U.S. — Illinois has detected only 18, according to the database — but like the delta variant that has become omnipresent, mu has properties that could make it more transmissible. […]

Elena Navas-Nacher, an epidemiologist from Colombia who founded the Chicago-based Global Health Beat Foundation, said the variant has taken a harsh toll on the country. When she visited this summer, she said, intensive care units were 90% full. […]

The caseload has since plunged, which Navas-Nacher attributes to a vigorous vaccination program in the South American country.

* Sun-Times

As an expert treating women with infertility, Dr. Eve Feinberg of Northwestern is asked often about the perceived risk of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“I have vaccine conversations every single day,” says Feinberg, who assures her patients that there is no evidence that the shots inhibit future pregnancy.

An infertility rumor started in Europe late last year has been refuted by multiple scientific studies, says Dr. Randy Morris, medical director of IVF1 fertility clinics in the suburbs. Morris conducted his own research to debunk the myth in a peer-reviewed study published in the spring.

“There is an abundance of evidence that it does not cause problems,” Morris says.

Again, get your shots.

* This is great, but one week does not a trend make

The virus is still sending more Illinoisans to hospitals, but at a slowing pace. A total of 2,286 beds were occupied Thursday night, the most since April 19 and a net increase of 2% compared to last week. Previous week-to-week hospitalization spikes were 12%, 21% and 38%, respectively, dating back to early August.


State health officials today reported 2,333 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout Illinois, including 551 who are in intensive care.

Say it with me now: Get your shots, people.


The Illinois State Board of Education began putting schools on probation nearly a month ago. The order applies to public and private schools. Only 12 public schools and seven private schools remain on probation for defying the mandate.

But there are some dead-enders

A Christian school in northeastern Illinois that declined to enforce a mask mandate has lost state recognition but will seek accreditation in other ways, a newspaper reported.

Kankakee Trinity Academy, a pre-K-12 school in Kankakee, can’t participate in events affiliated with the Illinois Elementary School Association or Illinois High School Association. It also will lose access to state aid for certain programs, though officials said it didn’t add up to much.

* Illinois Chamber

From March of 2020 and throughout 2021, Illinois businesses and organizations have had to weather the COVID pandemic through closures, reopening phases and mandates for employees and customers. The following survey results, offered to Illinois Chamber of Commerce members and partners from August 10, 2021 to August 31, 2021, samples feedback from 335 businesses responding to survey questions pertinent to the evolution of the Delta COVID-19 crisis. […]

With 45% of survey participants located in Cook County and the Collar Counties in the Northeast corner of Illinois, downstate survey responses are slightly overrepresented in comparison to state demographics.

“Slightly”? Downstate makes up less than 35 percent of the population.

* More…

* Editorial: Plea to southern Illinois: Wake up and get the vaccine

* Editorial: Your ‘personal choice’ not to get COVID vaccine is putting our ‘healthcare heroes’ at risk

* How U of I fought the clock to develop a COVID-19 test that schools will use this fall

* Pleasant Plains students exposed to COVID-19 can return to school Tuesday, agreement says: The agreement between the two sides puts in place a “modified quarantine order” that allows the children to return to school Tuesday, the day after the Labor Day holiday, if they receive negative results from COVID-19 tests Sept. 4 and Sept. 6.

* COVID quarantine at Pekin school districts sends up to 5% of students out of the classroom

* This Could Be Israel’s Level-Up in the Fight Against COVID: Now, a new drug developed at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center is providing hope of a better, cheaper, treatment. While still in its early stages, and pending a crucial third trial, Dr. Nadir Arber believes that he’s developed a drug that will turn even the most severe cases of SARS-COV-2 infection into manageable medical events—without affecting the body’s natural ability to protect itself.

* Most NFL Players Understand What Cam Newton Doesn’t

* Overwhelmed Morgues Belie U.S. Illusion of a Defanged Pandemic

* City Club bringing back in-person luncheons: (A)ll attendees will have to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. No luncheon will be served; the food will be in to-go boxes. Attendance will be limited to 150 to 200, about half of usual capacity, and everyone will have to wear a mask.

* Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards seized at O’Hare

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 1:45 pm:

    But should we get the shots, Rich?

    – MrJM

  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 1:55 pm:


  3. - thoughts matter - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 2:01 pm:

    I have a cousin, an LPN, whose been spreading this misinformation about infertility, DNA changes, birth defects for months now. Not vaccinated and pregnant. Earned her certification a couple years ago and ready to leave her job at a nursing home rather than be vaccinated. I don’t know how we get past this pandemic with hold outs like these. .

    Law and order party - if you won’t persuade your fanatics to get vaccinated, at least shame them for getting fake vaccine cards.

  4. - Amalia - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 2:05 pm:

    Rich Miller, officially an influencer on covid-19 vaccinations per the Tribune. This is a good thing. But it is also a sign of how far down the rabbit hole people have gone on this matter. It really should not fall to a political blog helm to list and preach the truth. People wake up.

  5. - essentially working - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 2:24 pm:

    Did I read this right? The mu variant is more vaccine resistant, but a major vaccine push brought the numbers down?

  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===Did I read this right? ===

    Not necessarily and yes, in that order.

  7. - Quibbler - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    The time for exhorting people to get their shots is over. It’s time to start calling on the state and private actors to mandate vaccines and to restrict the ability of the unvaccinated to participate in public activities.

  8. - ChicagoBars - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 3:11 pm:

    That Illinois Chamber poll is just weird. Ranking your “most important” priority on a specific mitigation as “#5″ just feels and reads entirely backwards.

  9. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, Sep 7, 21 @ 4:07 pm:

    ===12 public schools and seven private schools remain on probation for defying the mandate===

    If a school loses recognition and has it restored 6 months later, would their funding be restored retroactively? I hope not because if so that is a major loophole waiting to be exploited.

    ===a new drug developed at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center is providing hope of a better, cheaper, treatment===

    If you want to contribute to these efforts, sign up for OpenPandemics. It uses spare computing power of your laptop or phone to find promising drug compounds to treat COVID.

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