For much of the pandemic, the rate of new COVID-19 infections among people younger than 20 trailed the rates for other age groups. But that’s changed. In the most recent week’s worth of data, those under 20 experienced the highest rate of new infections.
For the week ending Sept. 4, Illinoisans under 20 saw more than 300 new cases per 100,000 people in that group. That’s 22% higher than the state average, which is near 245 per 100,000 residents. […]
The state’s southern region topped 1,320 weekly new cases per 100,000 kids [12-17] — or six times the rate of that age group in Lake and McHenry counties. The good news, for the southern region, is its latest figures were slightly lower than the prior week, stopping what had been a steep climb since mid-August. […]
The average number of kids admitted [to hospitals] each day in Illinois with confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen from less than one a day in July to about six now. When adding in suspected cases upon admission, the number increases to nearly 44 kids a day, on average, which is about as bad as the spring 2021 surge and close to levels of last fall’s surge.
* Also from the Tribune…
President Joe Biden’s newly issued mandate that companies with 100 or more employees must require vaccinations or weekly COVID-19 testing among their workforce may be just what the doctor ordered for a number of Chicago-area companies, including WeatherTech, the southwest suburban car floor mat manufacturer.
The company, which has 1,700 employees on its sprawling Bolingbrook campus making everything from dog bowls to cellphone holders, has no vaccine or testing mandates in place, despite having “several very sick employees” and one death from COVID-19, according to WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil.
MacNeil, a strong proponent of COVID-19 vaccinations for his employees, said the legal landscape for imposing a company mandate was unknown — at least before Biden announced his proposed mandate Thursday.
“I welcome government help in getting the job done,” MacNeil said Friday.
Keeping employees and their families healthy is good for business. Period.
* And Chicago is attempting to use the fight against COVID as one angle in its business recruitment program…
Chicago is taking aim at Texas’ new social policies with a full-page ad in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News, urging companies uncomfortable with the state’s recently enacted abortion and voting laws to head to the windy city.
World Business Chicago, the city’s public-private economic development arm, purchased the print ad, which opens with “Dear Texas” before jumping into reasons companies should consider moving north. It cites the Midwest city’s startup ecosystem, attraction of tech and engineering graduates and a top-ranked logistics and transportation sector as strengths.
Then it hones in on what it perceives as Texas’ new weakness.
“In Chicago, we believe in every person’s right to vote, protecting reproductive rights and science to fight COVID-19,″ the ad states.
* On that same topic, here’s the New York Times…
Like other Republican governors around the country, Tate Reeves of Mississippi reacted angrily to the coronavirus vaccine mandates President Biden imposed on private businesses. Declaring the move “terrifying,” he wrote on Twitter: “This is still America, and we still believe in freedom from tyrants.”
There is a deep inconsistency in that argument. Mississippi has some of the strictest vaccine mandates in the nation, which have not drawn opposition from most of its elected officials. Not only does it require children to be vaccinated against measles, mumps and seven other diseases to attend school, but it goes a step further than most states by barring parents from claiming “religious, philosophical or conscientious” exemptions.
Resistance to vaccine mandates was once a fringe position in both parties, more the realm of misinformed celebrities than mainstream political thought. But the fury over Mr. Biden’s mandates shows how a once-extreme stance has moved to the center of the Republican Party. The governors’ opposition reflects the anger and fear about the vaccine among constituents now central to their base, while ignoring longstanding policy and legal precedent in favor of similar vaccination requirements.
…Adding… A truly dumb take…
With a majority of colleges in Illinois requiring students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before attending classes, one organization is pushing back.
Young Americans for Liberty is coordinating with student leaders at 23 public campuses around the country, including at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, to speak out against the forced mandates.
Spokesman Eric Brakey says the organization is not anti-vaccine, but rather anti-vaccine mandate at taxpayer-funded academic institutions.
“That is not what America is supposed to be,” Brakey said. “Those are the kind of policies we saw in the Soviet Union that we used to make fun of a generation ago.”
* A Second Major Seasonal Virus Won’t Leave Us Any Choice: Businesses and schools must adapt, because the dual threat from COVID and the flu will be too severe.
* Galesburg doctor says new COVID-19 cases are more severe, ICU patients younger: Carpenter said all six ICU beds at OSF St. Mary Medical Center were filled during his shift Tuesday. All six were COVID-19 patients and all six were on ventilators. “We are seeing a higher number of patients requiring ventilator care than with the previous round,” Carpenter said. Likewise, this spike is having more serious effects on a younger demographic.
* Springfield family of fully vaccinated COVID-19 victim sends a message to doubters in her obituary: “Vaccinated individuals with other health conditions … may not have developed as strong of an antibody response with the vaccine as others and may not be able to fight off their illness and COVID as well,” said Gail O’Neill, director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health. That apparently was the case with Candace Ayres, who had dealt with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis the past 10 years, her son said.
* Chicago Public Schools parents plan to protest at Mayor Lightfoot’s home in call for remote learning