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COVID-19 roundup

Tuesday, Oct 12, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Get your shots people…

* Sun-Times

Chicago city employees who fail to report their vaccination status by Oct. 15 will be placed in a “non-disciplinary, no-pay status,” but there will be a testing option for those who haven’t gotten the coronavirus vaccine.

After weeks of confusion and united opposition from police unions, Mayor Lori Lightfoot finally announced the testing option that Fraternal Order Police President John Catanzara told his members about one week ago.

“Employees who are not fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021, including employees who have received an approved medical or religious exemption, must undergo COVID-19 testing on a twice weekly basis with tests separated by 3-4 days,” the policy states.

“Employees are responsible for obtaining those tests on their own time and at their own expense, if any, and for reporting those results to the city,” it says. “The testing option will only be available through December 31, 2021. Thereafter, employees will be required to be fully vaccinated unless they have received an approved medical or religious exemption.” […]

“Employees who fail to report their vaccination status by October 15, 2021 will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no-pay status. Disciplinary action may also be taken against employees who fail to report their status as required by the policy” on the city’s vaccine portal, the policy states.

* Oof

[River Trails School District 26, Superintendent Nancy Wagner], said she remains optimistic that potential employees will be attracted to the district’s benefits package and friendly, neighborhood work environment.

“We’re advertising, and doing everything we can, but part of the problem is some of these jobs don’t pay as well as what some local restaurants are offering,” said Wagner, who recalled seeing a sign posted in front of a nearby restaurant, promising wages of $17 an hour.

“All of our full-time employees get health insurance, so we’re hoping that might be enough of an impetus to apply,” Wagner said, adding: “But some applicants have said they’d need their whole paycheck just to pay for day care. It looks like it’s going to be a really tough year.”

* National context

One reason America’s employers are having trouble filling jobs was starkly illustrated in a report Tuesday: Americans are quitting in droves.

The Labor Department said that quits jumped to 4.3 million in August, the highest on records dating back to December 2000, and up from 4 million in July. That’s equivalent to nearly 3% of the workforce. Hiring also slowed in August, the report showed, and the number of jobs available fell to 10.4 million, from a record high of 11.1 million the previous month.

The jump in quits strongly suggests that fear of the delta variant is partly responsible for the shortfall in workers. In addition to driving quits, fear of the disease probably caused plenty of those out of work to not look for, or take, jobs.

As COVID-19 cases surged in August, quits soared in restaurants and hotels from the previous month and rose in other public-facing jobs, such as retail and education. Nearly 900,000 people left jobs at restaurants, bars, and hotels in August, up 21% from July. Quits by retail workers rose 6%.

* And, finally, is there something that Dr. Ezike can’t do?…

…Adding… Pantagraph

Heyworth schools are taking an “adaptive pause” and returning to remote learning this week amid rising COVID-19 cases and staffing shortages.

“Staffing and substitute shortages have been a challenge all school year, and the issue is heightened when we have multiple staff missing for extended periods of time,” Superintendent Lisa Taylor told The Pantagraph on Tuesday.

In a social media post Monday after students were off for the Columbus Day holiday, Taylor said students would not have homework Tuesday and would begin working in the remote learning schedule Wednesday.


  1. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 1:48 pm:

    This graph is very good at showing what is happening:

  2. - Jocko - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 2:06 pm:

    ==He is in critical condition.==
    From being unvaccinated and contracting covid.

    John Catanzara. Cat got your tongue?

  3. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 2:26 pm:

    ….probably caused. Sounds like somerhing i might say.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 2:41 pm:

    “The jump in quits strongly suggests that fear of the delta variant is partly responsible for the shortfall in workers.”

    Republicans are just cruel, to take extra unemployment income away from millions of workers in the middle of a pandemic. There is no other reason, certainly not an economic one. To add to cruelty, red anti-mandate states are purposely less safe for workers.

  5. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 2:44 pm:

    I noticed Amazon ads popping up this morning promising a starting pay of $23.50 per hour and $3000 signing bonus.

    So yes, school districts are going to have a tough time hiring at $12 per hour for crossing guards, lunch room monitors, playground monitors.

    Restaurants are going to have a tough time at even $17 per hour for cooks.

    Businesses loved how the free market worked when there was a labor surplus.

  6. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 2:58 pm:

    get the shot. and a second one if needed. and then a booster. and wear a mask. be a help. not a problem.

  7. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 3:23 pm:

    “John Catanzara. Cat got your tongue?”

    Suntimes reported on this Sept 27th. I also hope he gets well.

    FOP’s Facebook page Monday evening read: “Please keep past President Dean Angelo Sr. in your thoughts and prayers. He is in ICU battling major COVID complications.”

  8. - H-W - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    @ArchPundit Thanks for the graph. It appears the increase now may be offsetting the rapid decline earlier in the year. It will be interesting to see if the trajectory returns to a normal rate of growth soon, or if it continues to rise (suggesting something is definitely going on).

  9. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 3:56 pm:

    Nice story featuring Dr. Ezlke.
    She has been such a wonderful leader in our state.
    Congratulations to her and the other team members.

  10. - Publius - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 3:58 pm:

    For schools they will have to lean more on parents who have a little spare time. Other opttion would be to figure out a way to turn some of these into full time jobs with benfits to complete with Amazon. Fast food/Retail is just going to have to change their business model to automate.

  11. - clec dcn - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 4:04 pm:

    I substitute teach off and on and the problem is the pay. Given the recent state of affairs the responsibility of classroom full of kids they need to up the pay. Right now in the area is $100 a day for about 8 hours of time. Really they need to get the pay to at least $125 a day. Then I would be more available. At $150 a day I would pretty much be available much more.

  12. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 4:24 pm:

    The update about school going back to remote is disappointing, but we are going to see more if schools and parents don’t fully embrace vaccines and masks.

  13. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 4:28 pm:

    The testing option is both too lax and too harsh. It should at least be three times a week if not daily, and it should be the higher quality test.
    But I wouldn’t force the unvaxed to pay for it because the narrative should be it’s NOT a vaccine mandate, it’s a “vax or test” mandate and that unvaxed are only being inconvenienced.

  14. - Occasionally Moderated - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 5:00 pm:

    Covid 19 became the #1 killer of cops.

    If anyone kept stats of what the #1 killer of retired cops is, I bet it would be Covid.

    F.O.P. needs to step up and provide leadership instead of pandering to the knuckle heads. All cops who have .5 of a brain in their head have been vaxxed. Now help the others do the right thing.

  15. - Rutro - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 8:30 pm:

    Is the city saying the testing isn’t compensable time, wage and hour lawyers licking their chops.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 8:34 pm:

    Take the shots.

    Vaccinations are important, for all, for us individually, for society.

  17. - Person 8 - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 8:40 pm:

    In Hampshire (d300)(37 confirmed within a few days of each other).
    This was sent out by the Sup after the loud minority started throwing hissy fits about going back to remote:
    On Thursday, October 7th, the Kane County Health Department informed District 300 that some of HHS’s positive COVID-19 cases were epidemiologically linked. Specifically:

    Six classrooms each had three linked positive cases
    Two classrooms had four linked positive cases
    One classroom with five linked positive cases
    One classroom had six linked positive cases
    The first lunch period had 12 positive cases (some, but not all of these were linked)
    The second lunch period had 19 positive cases (some, but not all of these were linked)
    The third lunch period had 24 positive cases (some, but not all of these were linked)
    The fourth lunch period had 15 positive cases (some, but not all of these were linked)

  18. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 12, 21 @ 11:06 pm:

    the death of Dean Angelo is very sad. it should jolt awake those police who resist vaccinations and masks. the virus kills.

  19. - Narc - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 8:58 am:

    Dean Angelo has now officially died. The family won’t say if he had been vaccinated.

  20. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 9:02 am:

    ==F.O.P. needs to step up and provide leadership instead of pandering to the knuckle heads.==

    As should AFSCME 31 too.

  21. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    shame on you Cantazara.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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