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*** UPDATED x1 *** COVID-19 roundup

Friday, Sep 10, 2021

* 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.

* More…

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

34 Comments »
  1. - G'Kar - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    It looks like Logan may finally have a decent president.

    The local wacko group I follow on FB is already arguing that the uptick in RSV is due to masks on kids.


  2. - Blue Dog - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 11:53 am:

    I’m digging that moderna booster that also acts as a flu shot.


  3. - Yiddishcowboy - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:07 pm:

    Hmmm… I think the article quoted Shawnee’s Taylor but attributed it to SIC’s Jonah Rice.


  4. - Norseman - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:08 pm:

    === … Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday he’s not ready to take that same step yet. ===

    Gov’s leadership rating just went down a couple of notches in my book.


  5. - Out Here In The Middle - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    ==I’m digging that moderna booster that also acts as a flu shot.==

    Blue Dog - would you mind pointing to that info? Very Interesting.


  6. - Out Here In The Middle - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:11 pm:

    We are in this situation because 1/4 of US citizens will believe any idiotic post that they read on Facebook . . . .


  7. - Asteroid of Caution - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:15 pm:

    Good for Abingdon-Avon.

    And if Bailey has lost the Wooden Shoe parents in T-town, what hope does he have?


  8. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    WGN just had a story about a funeral director in Florida and the huge number of families he has had to deal with during the pandemic, and how hard it is for his wife now and urging people to be vaccinated. that funeral director is Andre Dawson. Even as a Sox fan I like that Andre is speaking up.


  9. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:29 pm:

    I had no idea Teutopolis exists. Its history per Wikipedia is fascinating and the town’s website is particularly well done.


  10. - Frank Manzo IV - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==IDPH ought to focus more on the vax rate of kids 12-17. We need a whole lot more urgency and public awareness here.==

    Agreed. If that data is easily available, I couldn’t find it.

    But doing arithmetic on the IDPH’s reported number of fully vaccinated Illinois Population 12+ and the number of fully vaccinated Illinois Population 18+, it’s 43.6% of children ages 12-17.

    We need to fully vaccinate more than 184,000 more children to get to the current adult vaccination rate of 62.2%… and then significantly more of each to achieve anything close to herd immunity.


  11. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:35 pm:

    =Gov’s leadership rating just went down a couple of notches in my book.=

    If your primary focus is health and safety and not politics, the choice is obvious. The fact that Biden provided additional cover makes it a no brainer.


  12. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    Livingston County had 166 new cases reported for Aug 31-Sep 7. Only 10% of the cases were fully vaccinated. But only 42% in the county are fully vaccinated. There is also a lot of resistance in the county for wearing masks as well. Yesterday, one school did not have enough bus drivers so they did not have school. Grrr


  13. - LakeCo - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    =“What do we have to gain by continuing to go against this mandate?”=

    That’s the question for the age, isn’t it?


  14. - DHS Drone - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:45 pm:

    President gave JB cover to do the right thing. JB needs to just issue a mandate, bargain impact, and move on. Disappointed he is taking this long to do the right thing.


  15. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:45 pm:

    – Gov’s leadership rating just went down a couple of notches –

    What I llke most about Pritzker is his ability to think long-term, and plan actions accordingly instead of jumping right in.

    He will always side with giving people the choice first, and if…when… they fail is when he will advance the position accordingly.

    This same thing happened last spring prior to the school shutdowns. He gave districts the individual choice to do the right thing and go remote of their own doing. When it became obvious there was going to be a patchwork of superintendents who were going to go against health advice, was when the state finally stepped in to make the policy and take the choice out of the hands of the superintendents.

    I think his leadership style is good, and he is continuing to demonstrate he is willing to let people realize the correct choice on their own first. While I’m sure he hopes people in decision making positions will do what is needed, he probably also knows many of them won’t.

    The choice is the important part. The failure of so many supposed decision makers around the state to understand the choice is not his doing.


  16. - Pundent - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:46 pm:

    It seems that each week we have this 17% point or so gap between those with one dose and those being fully vaccinated. And the relatively low number of weekly doses being administered suggests that we aren’t closing that gap.

    So the question is, do we have a problem with the data or do we have a large number of people skipping dose number 2? And if it’s the later is their a thought as to why that’s happening? Because there’s a big difference between 79% having received one dose vs. 62% being fully vaccinated.


  17. - H-W - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    Perhaps the President of Shawnee needs to look at his paycheck and retirement plan. He is the state. Indeed, he is a major representative of the State. If he does not see that, perhaps he needs to resign and take a job in the private sector so as to make his argument rational.

    I also agree with Rich’s last point, about then need to start informing us daily regarding the impact Covid is having on our children. It is good to say that a lot of adults have had one shot. But since none of our children have, that is the most important information we need right now.


  18. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 12:53 pm:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/09/moderna-says-its-developing-a-single-vaccine-for-covid-and-flu-boosters-shares-gain.html


  19. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    It may be a good political fight for Biden that anti-mandate Republicans instigated. One reason may be the flexibility of allowing mandatory weekly testing for anti-vaccine employees, as an option (employers in the private sector). How much fairer can the guy be? Do this very fair system or get fired. The FDA green-lighted us. Many would agree we have to clamp down on the pandemic.


  20. - Norseman - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    === If your primary focus is health and safety and not politics, the choice is obvious. The fact that Biden provided additional cover makes it a no brainer. ===

    I understand the practical and frequently argue the danger of refusing to accept necessary compromises. Having spent a career in politics and health, I’ve seen instances that make this challenging. Mostly situations involving communicable diseases that affect larger numbers of people. Covid is such an extreme situation and the malicious partisan actions by one party, I hold a higher expectation for leadership. Although, I understand the politics.


  21. - Cubs Win - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 1:03 pm:

    From the Shawnee CC president’s LinkedIn bio:

    “A lifelong leader with the ability to inspire and engage my teammates in ways that contribute to the accomplishment of a collective vision, often leading to an improved quality of life for the people served. In addition, I am a proven creative thinker, complex problem-solver, collaborator, data-driven decision-maker, and strategic risk-taker. I treat everyone with dignity and respect, lead-by-example, cultivate teamwork, and ensure an environment where open communication and mutual accountability exists.”

    Great to know he’s interested in improved quality of life for the people served, a complex problem-solver, a data-driven decision maker and believes in mutual accountability. Oh, wait a minute…


  22. - Blue - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    Thanks Nearly.


  23. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    =We need to fully vaccinate more than 184,000 more children to get to the current adult vaccination rate of 62.2%… and then significantly more of each to achieve anything close to herd immunity.=

    My kid has the shot, one is 11 and waiting. But that gap will close when full FDA approval is given to that age group and schools/states begin to add the vaccine to their list for admission to school.


  24. - Sir Reel - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 1:15 pm:

    “Bull headed” is an apt description of the anti-maskers.

    I would also say they’re bull brained, but then that is demeaning to bulls.


  25. - Yeah Right - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    Why is there no exemption for those who already had Covid?


  26. - filmmaker prof - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 1:48 pm:

    Why does everyone here seem to blame Facebook as the primary source of misinformation about covid? Can someone point to some credible data that shows that? Thanks.


  27. - Citizen Kane - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 2:10 pm:

    What I don’t get (as a vaxxed person mind you) is why the Governor is the one doing this. I believe that most of the animosity is based on “The Governor is making us do this” which I don’t think would hold true if the General Assembly passed something and the Governor signed it. Let’s face the fact that Americans hate people that hold a lot of power - it’s in our blood and frankly why America exists. So it’s a bad idea for the legislature to be absent from such decisions.


  28. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    Here you go professor:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-study-misinformation-six-times-more-engaged-with-than-news-2021-9


  29. - Nitemayor - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 2:27 pm:

    I thought I’d seen it all, until yesterday when I was at our lives cal Casey’s when a motorcyclist pulled up wearing a helmet. Took off the helmet and walked in the store without a mask.


  30. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 2:40 pm:

    =Why does everyone here seem to blame Facebook as the primary source of misinformation about covid? ==

    One would think a prof could do their own research. Must not be tenure track


  31. - illinifan - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 3:00 pm:

    Yeah Right, having COVID does help prevent infection but if you get the vaccine after you had COVID you have superior protection to even just the vaccinated folks https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2782139


  32. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 3:27 pm:

    === focus more on the vax rate of kids 12-17. ===

    And hospitalization and ICU data for 18>.

    They used to report deaths by age by county, I notice we are not doing that anymore…why?


  33. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 3:34 pm:

    People who spread stupid COVID rumors are gonna be banned for life, even if they’re spreading them by “asking” a question. Done it about 4 times already in two days. Don’t test me.


  34. - Stormsw7706 - Friday, Sep 10, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    Is Shawnee’s President named Buck Passer or Ima Passer. I can’t remember because my mask is keeping the oxygen from my brain


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