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COVID-19 roundup

Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

* I told subscribers about this case and its context earlier today. I’ll have more for non-subscribers soonish

The Nauvoo-Colusa School District decided earlier this week to exempt some unvaccinated staff from weekly COVID-19 testing. […]

Those who choose not to get the vaccine or cannot due to medical or religious reasons must then undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Some unvaccinated Nauvoo-Colusa staff members had requested exemptions from weekly COVID-19 testing claiming they have the right to do so under Illinois’ Health Care Rights and Conscience Act. […]

The Nauvoo-Colusa School District is on the Illinois State Board of Education’s probation list because the school district made face masks optional rather than mandated per the governor’s executive order.

* Admitted COVID-19 patients per 100 hospital beds. The greener the better, the pinker the worse

People need to get their heads out of their… you know whats.

* Ugh…


* Message to all the people out there who are whining about how they just want to return to normal life: Vaccines are the best way to that goal. I’m really not sure I can take another year of this nonsense

Moderna Inc Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel thinks the coronavirus pandemic could be over in a year as increased vaccine production ensures global supplies, he told the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

“If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated. Boosters should also be possible to the extent required,” he told the newspaper in an interview.

Vaccinations would soon be available even for infants, he said.

“Those who do not get vaccinated will immunize themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious. In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital.”

* It’s important to remember, though, that not everyone who isn’t vaccinated is a hardcore anti-science freak…


I’ve asked for access to that polling data, but here’s some coverage in the Washington Post

Barriers to getting the shot and information about the vaccines have hindered the “unvaccinated but willing,” who account for approximately 10 percent of the American population, according to a report last month by the Department of Health and Human Services. Unlike those who have declined vaccines, some vocally, because of their politics or ideology, a quieter share — about 44% of unvaccinated people — say they would get vaccinated but are on the fence for certain reasons. Some, like Orosco-Arellano, lack transportation or other means, while others wish to wait and see or don’t know coronavirus vaccines are free.

* More from the city

“The [city worker vaccination] deadline is not going to be pushed back, I can tell you with 100% certainty,” Lightfoot said. “We are not going to retreat from that.”

While other employee unions have engaged city officials in “thoughtful dialogue,” the police union has “been nowhere,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot participated in a ceremony Monday to retire the stars of the four Chicago police officers who died after contracting COVID-19 during the pandemic. The leading cause of death for law enforcement officers is COVID-19, Lightfoot said.

“It is unconscionable — unconscionable — that the FOP is taking the position that they will not do the right thing by their members and get them vaccinated,” Lightfoot said. “I don’t even know what they are doing.”

* Not good enough…

The unemployment rate decreased over-the-year in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas in August for the fifth straight month according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Jobs were up in all metro areas, with the exception of the Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area.

“As reopening and recovery efforts continue to impact metro areas across the state, IDES is committed to continuing to assist both claimants and jobseekers who are still looking to reenter the workforce,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “Claimants are encouraged to utilize IllinoisJobLink.com to search for work opportunities and take advantage of assistance the Department can provide with workforce development, including job trainings and resume building.”

Over-the-year, total nonfarm jobs increased in thirteen metropolitan areas and decreased in one (Bloomington MSA, -0.6%, -500). The metro areas which had the largest over-the-year percentage increases in total nonfarm jobs were the Springfield MSA (+3.5%, +3,600); the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL MSA (+3.1%, +5,400), the Chicago Metro Division (+2.9%, +102,200) and the Peoria MSA (+2.9%, +4,700). The industries that saw job growth in a majority of metro areas included: Leisure and Hospitality (fourteen areas); Transportation, Warehousing and Public Utilities (eleven areas); Other Services and Government (ten areas each); Manufacturing and Educational and Health Services (nine areas each).

Over-the-year, the unemployment rate decreased in all 14 metropolitan areas; the metro areas with the largest unemployment rate decreases were the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division (-5.5 points to 7.5%), the Elgin Metropolitan Division (-3.2 points to 6.1%) and the Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division (-2.7 points to 5.3%). The unemployment rate also decreased over-the-year in all 102 counties for the fifth consecutive month.

* More…

* COVID-19 update: 3,505 new cases, 44 more deaths, 2,008 hospitalizations: The state’s positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 3.8% based on a seven-day average.

* Semiconductor shortage appears to be worsening, as coronavirus causes new supply problems in Southeast Asia: Now coronavirus is worsening the problem, as Delta-variant infections force chip suppliers in Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines to halt production, according to industry executives and administration officials.

* Pritzker announces $40 million workforce recovery grant program, a ‘key component’ for state’s pandemic recovery: The governor also said the state will expand its youth career pathways program that serves young people who might be at risk of dropping out or experiencing violence.

* Aiming to boost vaccine rates in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot launches new marketing campaign, Vax-Chi-Nation

* More than 90% of CPS students showed up on the first day of school and the first full reopening since COVID-19 shutdown

* No, Vaccinated People Are Not ‘Just as Likely’ to Spread the Coronavirus as Unvaccinated People: Vaccinated people are not as likely to spread the coronavirus as the unvaccinated. Even in the United States, where more than half of the population is fully vaccinated, the unvaccinated are responsible for the overwhelming majority of transmission.

* The Most Important Vaccine I’ll Get This Fall: After last year’s eerie lull, flu viruses could be poised to return packing a bigger punch.

* Vaccines take center stage in tight Virginia governor’s race

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - Dave Fako / Fako Research & Strategies - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 1:21 pm:

    Our firm has done a lot of public opinion research on vaccinations / hesitancy, and we actually picked up on CV19 vaccine hesitancy in the pre-covid days in Feb. 2020 before everything went sideways while conducting online focus groups on childhood immunizations. This statement is fundamentally true: from “unvaccinated are saying, ‘Never me.’ Very small percentage. The vast majority of people who are unvaccinated … is they need to make time for it, they still have some questions about it. They’re not rigidly against the vaccines.”


  2. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 1:30 pm:

    -Some unvaccinated Nauvoo-Colusa staff members had requested exemptions from weekly COVID-19 testing claiming they have the right to do so-

    Aka “because I don’t wanna.”


  3. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 1:34 pm:

    Assuming the district is doing the Shield testing all they have to do is spit. Apparently that’s too much work for these people.

    I’ve lost a lot of respect for some teachers and administrators during this pandemic. Some of them don’t seem to be the slightest bit concerned about their students.


  4. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    the thing that many keep getting wrong about the anti vaccine crowd is that it is two fold, Trump types and some Black people. one doc I follow keeps reminding readers that the let them die logic also applies to traditionally Democratic voters. I’ve yet to see really good messaging combining docs to appeal to each group or an appeal from celebs who appeal to each group. just like with political outreach, your message must be crafted to reach a particular audience.


  5. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 1:39 pm:

    -Some of them don’t seem to be the slightest bit concerned about their students.-

    Worse, some of our supposed educators actually seem to be anti-education.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 1:42 pm:

    Mandatory regular testing rather than a vaccine is a more than fair compromise. In terms of rights, people have the right to be protected against irresponsible COVID spreaders—that especially includes workers who don’t get vaccinated but follow the mandatory regular testing rules. Those who can’t abide by such a fair deal in a pandemic should be fired.


  7. - Jump - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 1:55 pm:

    Lori, the fop isn’t the only police unions in your city fighting the mandates, why aren’t you singling them out also?


  8. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 2:06 pm:

    =I’ve lost a lot of respect for some teachers and administrators during this pandemic. Some of them don’t seem to be the slightest bit concerned about their students.=

    I usually bristle up and push back on criticisms of education, but I feel the same. I hate being told what to do. I am as stubborn as a mule, but as an educated person and an educator how can we not do our utmost to care for our students?

    And why do so many in our business not have at least a basic understanding of the constitution and what our rights actually are? You do not have a constitutional protection from mandatory mask wearing or vaccinations.

    Period.

    Nauvoo doesn’t get much state money and I guess they don’t care much about sports (which is ok with me) and now they will be on an island.


  9. - Southern - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 2:07 pm:

    Is the esteemed Covid lawyer in Facebook jail? Seems to have disappeared from the platform.

    Also, a number of people are saying they’d like to attend these school board meetings that are dominated by anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers, but the people have underlying health conditions. Naturally, they’re worried about being in a room filled with unmasked, unvaccindated people. Would the ADA or Open Meetings Act require school boards to offer electronic attendance/participation as a reasonable accommodation?


  10. - Leslie K - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 2:08 pm:

    ===It’s important to remember, though, that not everyone who isn’t vaccinated is a hardcore anti-science freak…===

    This has taken me a bit of time to get, but I get it now and am trying to meet people where they are. My neighbor, for instance, is 75+ and hasn’t gotten the vaccine, but she masks-up and gloves-up when she is out. She’s just unertain. She doesn’t hate science.


  11. - OneMan - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 2:13 pm:

    I would love to hear the conscience explanation for not getting COVID testing, it would seem for it to be considered legitimate it would have to include all medical testing.


  12. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 2:23 pm:

    What’s next if they interpret the law this way? What other rules can be ignored on the grounds of a phony religious exemption? I say fire them and let them sue. Make them prove they have a deep rooted faith in the church of Alex Jones or whatever.

    In the meantime spike this law into the ash can where it belongs.


  13. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 2:36 pm:

    I guess for Nauvoo I would say, OK. You want to exempt some unvaccinated staff from testing. Vaxing and Testing is the plan we have to keep COVID out of your school. What is your plan? Whatever it is you are putting it in action and if you have so much as 1 case of COVID in your school, whether it is traced back to the exempt staff or not (because most likely no CC) then the state will not recognize you as a school, nor send any monies your way. On the other hand, if no cases exist then fine. Essentially what I’m going for is put the ball in their court. How do they keep COVID from ripping through their school without it landing on a medically vulnerable student? And without depriving that medically vulnerable student of their FAPE.


  14. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 2:38 pm:

    =Illinois’ Health Care Rights and Conscience Act.=

    Our attorney said no, this act does not prevent us from testing. But this is where the ILGA could help us and pass an amendment.


  15. - 62558 - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 2:51 pm:

    - it would have to include all medical testing.-

    Not really, we rarely test unless there are obvious symptoms or suspicion of an underlying issue. This is simply “get the vax or we’ll make your life miserable” , nothing more.


  16. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 3:12 pm:

    Make your life miserable? You have to spit.


  17. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    ===hardcore anti-science freak…===
    Oh, I can think so many more appropriate words than freak.
    But, I’m pretty sure Rich would not allow them.


  18. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 3:41 pm:

    “Would the ADA or Open Meetings Act require school boards to offer electronic attendance/participation as a reasonable accommodation?”

    That’s a good question…I would guess a court would agree… it’s an “easy” to provide accommodation…and eminently reasonable.


  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 3:47 pm:

    ===Oh, I can think so many more appropriate words than freak===

    So could I.


  20. - Just Thoughts - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 3:50 pm:

    Folks citing the HCRCA seem to skip right over the phrase “phase of patient care” in the definition of “health care”–it seems pretty clear this just protects the rights of health care providers and patients in healthcare settings. If “phase of patient care” doesn’t limit the application at all, then it pretty much means any employee can object to safety related drug tests, psychiatric exams, the list goes on…


  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 3:55 pm:

    ===Folks citing the HCRCA seem to skip right over the phrase “phase of patient care” in the definition of “health care”===

    You’re ignoring stuff like this…

    Sec. 7. Discrimination by employers or institutions. It shall be unlawful for any public or private employer, entity, agency, institution, official or person, including but not limited to, a medical, nursing or other medical training institution, to deny admission because of, to place any reference in its application form concerning, to orally question about, to impose any burdens in terms or conditions of employment on, or to otherwise discriminate against, any applicant, in terms of employment, admission to or participation in any programs for which the applicant is eligible, or to discriminate in relation thereto, in any other manner, on account of the applicant’s refusal to receive, obtain, accept, perform, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer, assist or participate in any way in any forms of health care services contrary to his or her conscience.


  22. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 4:19 pm:

    - or we’ll make your life miserable -

    Another poor baby snowflake heard from. My tiny violin is out, playing for you. Thoughts and prayers.


  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 4:26 pm:

    ===rarely test unless there are obvious symptoms==

    Then you’re an idiot. Full stop. This virus has long been known to spread before symptoms appear.


  24. - JoanP - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 4:46 pm:

    = What other rules can be ignored on the grounds of a phony religious exemption? =

    This isn’t a religious exemption. It’s a “conscience” objection, which is even broader.


  25. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 5:23 pm:

    Cheryl44


  26. - Al - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 5:24 pm:

    Terra Haute Indiana, Paducah Kentucky and Saint Louis Missouri provide a lot of healthcare to some of the purple shades areas of southern Illinois.


  27. - jackmac - Thursday, Sep 23, 21 @ 7:02 pm:

    I scheduled an appointment for a flu shot at my local Walgreens in the far western suburbs this afternoon and had to wait 90 minutes for the jab. I witnessed a lot of people coming in for their first COVID-19 vaccinations. I don’t know if there’s suddenly a rush due to employer mandates or other reasons. I’m not going to speculate, only wonder what took these people so long.


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* COVID-19 roundup
* Chicago Sky open thread
* *** UPDATED x1 *** More remap stuff
* There's always something more that can be done about big problems like armed violence
* Pritzker spent more than $7 million on advertising in third quarter
* Harvard's former Motorola plant appears to have been transferred from one alleged internatioinal money-launderer to another
* PNA repeal back on the front burner
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* Friday evening updates: New maps aren't as Dem as earlier portrayed; Lipinski eyes comeback on first draft maps; Vaccinated Catanzara muzzled by judge
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