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COVID-19 roundup

Monday, Sep 20, 2021


Gov. JB Pritzker’s deadline for some professionals to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was Sunday, Sept. 19.

This requirement is for all PK-12 grade teachers and staff, all higher education staff and students, and all hospital staff.

This mandate was announced by Gov. Pritzker in late August.

Those who do not get vaccinated will be required to do routine testing.

The mandate also applies to healthcare workers and Gov. Pritzker was asked today about if he was concerned that the teacher and healthcare worker shortage could be exacerbated by this mandate

Of course I’m concerned about people who will refuse to get vaccinated and refuse to get tested. So we don’t want to cause any shortages, but we do want to keep everybody safe. We do have these alternatives available to people, but, again, vaccination is the safest thing that people can do for themselves, for their communities for their schools, as well as healthcare workers in their healthcare settings.

* Kankakee Daily Journal

Riverside Healthcare notified what could be hundreds of employees by email on Friday that their religious exemption request regarding the COVID-19 vaccination has been denied.

In the email provided to the Daily Journal, the nonprofit organization — Kankakee County’s largest employer with more than 3,000 employees — stated, “We take all requests very seriously and respect the time you invested to submit it.”

The hospital administration further stated it could not risk having unvaccinated employees caring for patients.

The denial letter, which went to those not willing to participate in the healthcare organization’s COVID Vaccination Program Policy, sets the stage for what could be a showdown between Riverside and a significant portion of its employees.

As of the end of August, Riverside had a vaccination rate of 54 percent. The current rate was not available.

The denial form letter further stated, “Based on our review of your declination request and our COVID Vaccination Program Policy, your request has been denied. Although your religious or strongly held belief may otherwise qualify for an exemption, Riverside has decided to deny your request because you are in a patient-facing position.”

* Click here for the online calculator and then enter your basic information. WCIA

A new online calculator has been created to reportedly compute a person’s chances of contracting COVID-19 based on different circumstances.

Smithsonian Magazine reports the calculator was created by a group of friends who made a mathematical model based on the most recent research including on masks, vaccine efficacy and current COVID-19 cases in each county.

It’s called the microCOVID project.

* New York Times

For the first time in Alabama’s known history, the state had more deaths than births in 2020 — a grim milestone that underscores the pandemic’s calamitous toll.

“Our state literally shrunk in 2020,” Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama’s state health officer, said at a news conference on Friday. There were 64,714 total deaths in the state last year, compared to 57,641 births, Dr. Harris said.

Such a gap had never been recorded, not even during World War I, World War II and the flu pandemic of 1918, Dr. Harris said. Going back to the earliest available records, in 1900, “We’ve never had a time when deaths exceeded births,” he said.

Illinois, Minnesota and New York were the only Great Lakes states to have recorded more births than deaths in 2019 and 2020, according to the study

* More…

* COVID-19 is the leading cause of death in law enforcement nationwide: The 2021 report shows from January 1st to June 30th, 71 officers nationwide died of COVID-19 related causes. This number was more than firearm and traffic-related incidents combined.

* Horse owners are struggling to buy ivermectin as Americans scramble for the unproven COVID-19 treatment and Amazon sellers cash in by gouging prices, reports say

* The days of full covid coverage are over. Insurers are restoring deductibles and co-pays, leaving patients with big bills.

* Senator Durbin said he would support mask, vaccine mandates for local government employees

* Another Truth About Remote Work: A misconception about the prevalence of remote work explains a lot about confirmation bias in America: In reality, only 13.4 percent worked from home in the final month of summer.

* To slow the spread of COVID-19, Illinois must decarcerate: Alongside releases, vaccination is key. Pritzker announced a vaccine mandate for state-employed correctional workers effective Oct. 4. But with less than one month until the deadline, only 44% of Illinois prison staff are vaccinated; two facilities, Lawrence and Vienna, are not yet at even double-digit staff vaccination rates.

* COVID-19’s US death toll on verge of surpassing that of 1918-19 Spanish Flu pandemic

* As plans for booster shots are still up for debate, many with medical conditions have already received a third dose. ‘I want to be protected.’

* Is a ‘twindemic’ on the horizon? Experts warn of brutal flu season as COVID-19 still spreads.

* COVID Vaccine for Children Under 12: Pfizer’s Latest Update, Timing and More

* Jacqueline Jackson pushes for COVID-19 vaccination as she and Jesse Jackson recover

* Doctor: Youth COVID-19 deaths less likely, but impactful in Illinois: After a Taylorville teen died after recently recovering from COVID-19, we looked into how common it is for youth to die from the virus. 17-year-old Alexia Garrison was a senior at Taylorville High School.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:03 pm:

    – Is a ‘twindemic’ on the horizon –

    I’m also concerned about the mumps and measles coming back strong. This antivax nonsense has grown, and we were already boderline on herd immunity for those diseases.

  2. - Publius - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    I would wager that if you could split out that map by Chicago and the Suburban Counties that would account for all of the growth. Would be interesting to see this map by county.

  3. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    Mask and vax. Vax for all you can. think of your family and friends and how you would not want them to be ill. Mask and vax.

  4. - H-W - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    Re: Govenor’s mandate, good. The lives of children are always more important that the salaries of teachers.

    Re: Kankakee’ Riverside Healthcare, excellent decision. The lives of patients are always more important that the wages of workers.

    Re: Blue Lives Matter. If COVID is the leading cause of death among Law Enforcement Officers (LEO), then this “suicide by COVID” suggests Blue Lives Matter is only a rhetorical device, not, a serious concern to LEO.

  5. - Jocko - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    If you refuse the covid vaccine on religious grounds, you should have similar objections to Tylenol, Motrin, Claritin, Sudafed, Benadryl, Tums, Prilosec, and Lipitor.

  6. - wildcat12 - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    Welp, I guess I’ll be spending the rest of the day on the COVID risk calculator now. Thanks for sharing, Rich.

  7. - Suburban Mom - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    We’ve got our fingers crossed for a Vaxoween in late October, although a Vaxgiving in November would also be good (banned punctuation mark)

    I told my younger kids about the Pfizer data while we were getting ready for school this morning, they were excited that the shot is almost (almost) here for them.

  8. - JoanP - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    @Jocko -

    Not necessarily. Not all religious objections to the vaccine are grounded in the concern over the use of fetal cell lines.

  9. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    Of organized religions in the US, only Christian Scientists (healthcare would be a weird career choice in that case) and the Dutch Reformed Church have belief against vaccination. If you are a practicing member of those faiths, then there might be a reason for an exception. Otherwise, I don’t see why you would be granted one.

    Those who have been on the site for a while might know that this has long been my position and the State of Mississippi gets this right–medical exemptions only.

  10. - JoanP - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 1:57 pm:

    @ArchPundit -

    Neither the Dutch Reformed Church nor Christian Science has any official belief against vaccination, though individual members may.

    This is CS’s position:

    The DRC hasn’t made any official statement.

  11. - ArchPundit - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 2:01 pm:

    Joan, good point and even that is more nuanced, but I would understand a request for exemption from either religion. Others, not so much.

  12. - Ares - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 2:20 pm:

    If “everybody is fleeing Illinois to the Sunbelt”, why the population declines in AL? The Crimson Tide actively (and successfully) lures IL HS seniors to Tuscaloosa, yet how many U of AL grads from the Land of Lincoln stay on in AL?

  13. - Stu - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 2:23 pm:

    So Riverside Hospital does the right thing and rejects religious exemptions, meanwhile the Kankakee County Health Department is not requiring the vaccine for it’s employees.

  14. - Lynn S. - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 5:07 pm:

    @Arch Pundit:

    There are Christian Science nurses out there.

    I can’t remember what all they do that’s different than a “regular” nurse, but they exist.

  15. - West Side the Best Side - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 5:38 pm:

    Rich - How the (banned word) did gape- free get posted (much banned punctuation) And (another banned word) twice (much more banned punctuation)

  16. - AC - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 6:30 pm:

    Rich switched to a solar powered spam filter in hopes of receiving a tax credit from the new Clean Energy Bill, but it’s cloudy right now in Springfield, so it isn’t working out very well.

  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 6:35 pm:

    West Side the Best Side, it was a clever spammer what done it.

  18. - West Side the Best Side - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 6:45 pm:

    “I don’t like Spam” “Spam, Spam, Spam.Wonderful Spam.”

  19. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Sep 20, 21 @ 9:41 pm:

    Way late to comment here - But those birth and death rate numbers are stunning. If nothing captures the impact this is going to have for generations then I don’t know what will.

    Just think how many babies born will hear about their grandparents dying in the 2020 pandemic.

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