* John A. Logan College President Dr. Kirk Overstreet gets it…
I don’t see the governor closing us down. As a matter of fact, the whole purpose behind this order is to keep us open, to keep us from having to go remote, to keep us from having to close our restaurants, our entertainment centers, and to not have to stop doing the things that we want to be able to do, albeit with a mask on.
* Shawnee Community College President Tim Taylor does not…
During his public forum, Shawnee’s [Taylor] reminded students that the protocols being put in place are because of the governor’s mandate.
“This is not coming from Shawnee Community College; this is not coming from the board of Shawnee Community College; this is not coming from Tim Taylor, the president of Shawnee Community College, or any Shawnee employee. This is coming from the state of Illinois, from the governor, through an executive order that has the full force of law. We have to exclude you from campus if you are not vaccinated or you are not participating in the testing requirements that are outlined in the executive order,” he said. “It’s not us, it’s coming from the state.”
[Fixed the name. The paper made a mistake and I didn’t catch it, but I should’ve because it looked odd. Sorry.]
* Meanwhile, this is a fascinating, but probably predictable turn…
Teachers, staff and students will wear masks in Abingdon-Avon schools, the board decided Wednesday.
The board voted 6-1, during a special meeting Wednesday, to follow Gov. JB Pritzker’s mask mandate, with all students, staff and visitors required to wear masks in school buildings beginning Friday, Sept. 10.
The decision came after around 90 minutes of public comments, with the majority of speakers encouraging the board to follow the mandate not only for the health and safety of students and staff, but to avoid repercussions including decertification and loss of funding. […]
Prior to Wednesday’s special meeting, the district was among a couple dozen in the state on probation with the Illinois State Board of Education for not following the executive order. They were at risk of repercussions such as not being able to award diplomas and sports teams not being eligible for postseason play.
Members of the district’s teacher and employee unions had filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging unsafe working conditions and asked for the special meeting.
Parents and kids legitimately worried about their futures if the state brings the hammer down and employees standing up for their rights to work in a safe environment combined to turn the board around.
* Effingham County…
Teutopolis initially voted to only recommend masks on Aug. 16. That spurred the Illinois State Board of Education to place the district on probation on Aug. 19 for 60 days. At a special meeting Aug. 31, the board deadlocked 2-2, with Troy Ozenkoski absent from the meeting. Had the mandate not been approved by the board after 60 days, the district would have lost all accreditation from ISBE — meaning a loss of state and federal funding, along with ineligibility for state athletic and extracurricular competitions. […]
The potential for ineligibility for athletes and the Teutopolis program in general was a motivating factor for some who spoke for the mandate, in contrast to the Aug. 31 meeting where nearly all of the public comments opposed it.
Brian Hardiek, a parent in Teutopolis, said he never thought that he would have to stand in front of the school board and ask them to do something he personally opposed. But the fact that his daughter, a basketball player, couldn’t compete in state competitions overrode his personal beliefs. […]
“What do we have to gain by continuing to go against this mandate?” [parent Rich Probst] said. “This is going to be won or lost in a courtroom. It’s not going to be won or lost because one school district decides to be bull-headed. If we vote to go against this mask mandate, opportunities are going to be taken away from these young kids.”
Parents of student athletes tend to dominate school decisions, and it’s now hitting home for them, regardless of their politics.
* On to Jake Griffin…
With President Joe Biden announcing new vaccine requirements for many federal employees without allowing people to test out, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday he’s not ready to take that same step yet.
“At the moment I don’t have a plan for us to do that, but I do think everyone should get vaccinated,” Pritzker said at an event in Chicago.
* The governor was asked about the Biden move again today with regards to negotiations with AFSCME and other unions…
I’m hopeful, and… good discussions. But you know, there’s some people who are resistant, can’t help that. That’s why you have negotiations, so you can come to some reasonable agreement. But look, the very important thing to me is that we’ve got to keep our most vulnerable, and that includes our young children and includes our elderly, as safe as we can. And so obviously our strategy is about vaccines and masks.
* And here’s another reason to wear a mask and get your shots: Hospitals are admitting a lot of non-COVID patients, too. Don’t add to an already really bad situation…
While COVID-19 for central Illinois children is a concern, health officials are seeing more hospitalizations from a different respiratory virus.
There is a an unseasonably high surge of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, commonly known as RSV, right now in central Illinois and Sangamon county.
Health officials say it’s a topic of conversation for doctors and it’s causing a lot of concern.
The Head of pediatrics at HSHS St. John’s, Dr. Carlson, calls it an unusual resurgence of RSV, because it’s not normally seen in the summer months.
*** UPDATE *** IDPH press release…
Public Health Officials Announce 26,062 New Cases of Coronavirus Disease Over the Past Week
More than 79% of Illinois adults have received at least one vaccine dose and more than 62% are fully vaccinated
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 26,062 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 197 additional deaths since reporting last Friday, September 3, 2021. More than 79% of Illinois adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 62% of Illinois adults are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 66% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 51% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated.
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,564,386 cases, including 24,261 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Since reporting on Friday, September 3, 2021, laboratories have reported 578,943 specimens for a total of 29,756,833. As of last night, 2,346 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 549 patients were in the ICU and 311 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from September 3-9, 2021 is 4.5%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from September 3-9, 2021 is 5.1%.
A total of 14,149,453 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 20,514 doses. Since reporting on Friday, September 3, 2021, 143,596 doses were reported administered in Illinois.
*All data are provisional and will change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19.
Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.
Instead of always trumpeting the adult vax rate good news, IDPH ought to focus more on the vax rate of kids 12-17. We need a whole lot more urgency and public awareness here.
* Biden challenges Republican governors who threaten to sue over vaccine mandates: “Have at it,” President Biden said Friday to Republican governors threatening legal challenges to his vaccine mandates.
* For Kids Needing Home Care, a Vaccinated Nurse Is Hard to Find
* CPS says local school councils can continue meeting online, backtracking on in-person requirement
* City should require vaccine proof for patrons of restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, music venues, aldermen say
* After 26-Year-Old Man Dies From Virus, Girlfriend Advocates For COVID Vaccine
* Study Data on COVID Vaccine for Children Under 12 Could be Released Next Month, Doctors Say