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COVID-19 roundup

Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021

* Lisa Donovan

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh says the disappointing jobs report released in recent days points not only to fears among eligible workers about COVID-19′s highly contagious delta variant, but also an attitude shift in the American workforce.

“I think that we’re seeing people still living with the concern and maybe fear of the pandemic. Maybe their health is not necessarily the best and then they’re worried about their personal health,” Walsh said in a phone interview with the Tribune. The former Boston mayor, whose political star began to rise as a labor leader, said he’s also hearing from employers ranging from health care to financial institutions to construction who say some employees have reconsidered their professional path amid the pandemic and “have just left the job market because of their work-life balance.”

The U.S. logged 194,000 new jobs in September, according to monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday. That’s less than half the 500,000 jobs economists were predicting would be added to the economy as enhanced federal unemployment benefits expired and a new school year brought the promise of a raft of teacher and support staff hires, which typically boost fall jobs numbers.

Neither scenario played out. Walsh said it’s clear to him the special federal unemployment benefits, which ended early last month, weren’t keeping people out of the workforce — an argument that picked up political steam as the pandemic wore on — or “we would have seen different numbers” in the recent jobs report.


A group of parents are suing a school district in southern Illinois over who has the right to issue a mask mandate. The suit, in the Triad district, hopes to overturn mask mandates in schools, arguing that the State Board of Education doesn’t have the right to issue one.

Governor JB Pritzker says groups like those are working against the best interests of everyone connected to a school.


There are people who are irresponsible, extraordinarily irresponsible, who are going around the state suing because they basically want to make schools less safe. That’s not right. I mean, we are not at a moment when this pandemic is over.

* Wirepoints

The Delta variant and its limited impact on Illinois children

Response from the governor’s office…

Misinformation is killing people and putting the wellbeing and safety of communities at risk. The administration, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Illinois Department of Public Health have worked closely with school districts to require masks, establish a vaccine mandate for teachers and staff, and ensure students have access to learning. The pandemic is still here, and it will be irresponsibly prolonged by those twisting data and spreading misinformation.


The CDC found that the odds of a school-associated COVID-19 outbreak in schools without a mask requirement were 3.5 times higher than those in schools with an early mask requirement.

* Meanwhile, to the north of us

Minnesota on Tuesday reported a COVID-19 test positivity rate of 8.3% that is the highest in the vaccine era and a level of hospitalizations that hasn’t been seen since the first shots against the coronavirus were administered in mid-December.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota reached 960 on Monday and included 254 people needing intensive care because of breathing problems or other complications. While that is below the record 1,864 hospitalizations on Nov. 29, it is the highest in 2021 and combines with patients with trauma and other illnesses to fill up 96% of available intensive care beds and 93% of non-ICU beds. […]

Minnesota hospitals continue to report observational findings about COVID-19 patients that match recent vaccine research.

While vaccines might be losing some effectiveness at preventing any infections, studies show they remain protective against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

* More…

* COVID-19 update: 2,913 new cases, 39 additional deaths, 1,615 hospitalizations: The state’s positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 2.1% based on a seven-day average, up a notch from 2% on Tuesday.

* New COVID-19 cases drop by 27% on average in October, yes to mingling flu and COVID shots

* Downtown office vacancy hits new record as delta variant slows leasing

* Illinois Told to Prepare to Vaccinate Young Children by November, White House Says

* Who Can Get a COVID Booster Shot Right Now? A Breakdown of Who is Eligible

* With a booster vaccine, should we expect the same kind of side effects?: Dr. John Segreti, medical director of infection control and prevention at Rush University Medical Center, said this is something we will continue to study, and it’s possible that side effects might be similar to initial vaccinations.

* Former Mass Vaccination Center to Reopen in DuPage County for Booster Shots

* 2 Peoria TV stations tell employees to get vaccinated against COVID or get terminated: However, at WEEK-TV and HOIC ABC, all union employees complied to the vaccination edict, Collins said. Further, he said, the company demand does not violate the union contract.

* Do We Really Need to Meet In Person? Videoconferencing is flawed, but it’s still better than the alternative.

* ADDED: Danville Veterans Administration nursing home where 11 residents died didn’t follow COVID guidelines, report finds

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Actual Red - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:27 pm:

    With regards to the jobs numbers -
    The choice American’s have been offered since the turn away from the New Deal and erosion of the social safety net that came with it has been “work or risk starvation.” With covid, its basically been “risk covid or risk starvation.” Can’t really blame anyone for picking the second option.

  2. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:30 pm:

    Wisconsin is reporting rising numbers, too. Here we go again with the same cycle: It ravages the hottest places as people seek shelter indoors, and then it ravages the colder places as the weather turns and those people spend more time indoors. The predictability and preventability are just making me angrier at this point.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:48 pm:

    === Harvard study just released showing the vax/masks make no difference in covid cases on a county level. No difference at all.===

    Cite please.

    So a Harvard study says vaccinations and masks make no difference?

    I doubt that.

  4. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    “Irresponsible, extraordinarily irresponsible.”


  5. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:53 pm:

    “Wisconsin is reporting rising numbers, too”

    they had a one-day increase - the 3-day moving average and 7-day moving average of new cases are still showing a decline.

  6. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:53 pm:

    === Harvard study just released showing the vax/masks make no difference in covid cases on a county level ===

    Is that you, DeVore?

  7. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:53 pm:

    Wow, a Harvard University study said that? I guess I’ll just take your Facebook group’s word for it, in between all the threads about how elite institutions are lying to us about the pandemic.

  8. - Findaway - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    Publicservant, no…why do you ask?

  9. - Findaway - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:55 pm:

    For anybody who is doubting it

    I trust Harvard people a lot

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 1:58 pm:

    ===I trust Harvard people a lot===

    Springer, where you found this, is a doc publishing site.

    I can’t find where this was peer reviewed, was it?

  11. - LocalGovGuy - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:02 pm:

    “The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta
    (B.1.617.2) variant and the likelihood of future variants. Other pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions may need to be put in place alongside increasing
    vaccination rates. Such course correction, especially with regards to the policy narrative, becomes paramount with
    emerging scientific evidence on real world effectiveness of the vaccines.”

    In other words, get vaccinated and wear a mask.

  12. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:03 pm:

    Well Findaway, I just read it, I failed to notice anything about masking in the article. What am I missing?

    The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to
    mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs
    to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant and the likelihood of future variants.

    If anything that would seem to encourage other methods as well (like masking).

  13. - Montrose - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:04 pm:

    Findaway, the number of problems with that “Study” are too numerable to count. That is answer in seek of a question.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:05 pm:

    === If anything that would seem to encourage other methods as well (like masking).===

    But… Harvard…

  15. - SWIL_Voter - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:05 pm:

    The author of that Harvard study disagrees with your characterization of its findings: “
    “That conclusion is misleading and inaccurate,” Subramanian told me of Horowitz’s Blaze column over email. “This paper supports vaccination as an important strategy for reducing infection and transmission, along with hand-washing, mask-wearing, and physical distancing.””

  16. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:05 pm:

    Without peer review, this is very suspect as a study. Further, it’s a data review. Not a research that can be duplicated to support it. Lastly, the conclusions are simply illogical.

  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:07 pm:

    People, move along.

  18. - very old soil - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:08 pm:

    Alas, there’s just one problem… : S.V. Subramanian, the Harvard professor of population health and geography behind the paper, says the vaccine doubters are completely wrong.

  19. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:09 pm:

    Anyone keeping a list of school districts that have hit their ‘fundraising goals’ to be in the lawsuit.

    Found out my local district had.

  20. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:17 pm:

    =Anyone keeping a list of school districts that have hit their ‘fundraising goals’ to be in the lawsuit.

    Found out my local district had.=

    Maybe it is because I do not associate with these districts, but this is the first I have heard of this. Can you share more info?

  21. - Enviro - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    Here is the link to a CDC chart on Covid cases.

    43,257 cases on October 11, 2020 with a 7 day average of 50,872

    53,327 cases on October 11, 2021 with a 7 day average of 85,196

    This is not to say that the vax/masks do not make a difference on a country level. So many more places and events are open this year compared to last year. Without the vax/masks the hospitals would be even more overwhelmed.

  22. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:36 pm:

    JS Mill, it isn’t the districts that are raising the money but parents and the like to join a lawsuit about masks and such it seems you have to come up with 5K for your district to be included.

  23. - H-W - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 2:40 pm:

    @ Oneman

    My local (Macomb) is at $1390.00

    I think the real story here is that the Honorable, Esq. Thomas DeVore has a virtual fundraising campaign in virtually every school district in the state of Illinois, in which he is having locals solicit funds on his behalf, for his personal benefit. Clearly, one case would set a precedence. However, hundreds of fundraisers doing the same thing is about soliciting excessive funds for doing nothing legally.

  24. - Cash Cow - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    $5,000 per district. There are over 800 districts in IL, plus private schools all over. If only 200 districts have parent groups that raise the money - $1M in legal fees.

  25. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 3:57 pm:

    Here is the group that is aiding districts with raising their 5 grand to DeVore.

  26. - H-W - Wednesday, Oct 13, 21 @ 5:53 pm:

    Marketing lawsuits. Seems unethical to me, particularly if they all all redundant.

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