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COVID-19 roundup

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2021

* Tribune

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that a continued decline in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Illinois could lead him to lift “certain mask mandates” in time for the holiday season.

“We want to remove the mitigations as we approach the holidays,” Pritzker said during a COVID-19 briefing at the James R. Thompson Center in the Loop. “That’s an important marker for us.”

“We want to make sure that these numbers keep going down,“” he said. […]

At the time the mandate was issued, Pritzker pointed to the recommendation from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people wear masks indoors in areas of “substantial” or “high” coronavirus transmission. As of Monday, that still included all but two of the state’s 102 counties, both of them downstate.

Map

* Pritzker was responding to a question from Amy Jacobson about the state’s mask mandates…

Well, we’re continuing, again, to watch the numbers. You know that we look at these every day, Dr. Ezike and the IDPH team. And we work with them to determine when the right time is. I think you’ve seen that, although numbers have come down. And I know pretty much every moment of every day, you’ve wanted us to remove every single mitigation. Every question that you give is a question about removing mitigations. I want them to go away too. But we want to make sure that we’re keeping people healthy and safe, following the guidelines that doctors are offering for us. And so we’ll continue to do that. And obviously we want to remove the mitigations as we approach the holidays. These are you know, that’s an important marker for us. We want to make sure these numbers keep going going down and we’d like very much to head into, you know we have three holidays coming up. But especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, where people spend extended amounts of time together. So we’d like very much to get to a place where we can remove certain mask mandates.

Please pardon any transcription errors.

* Hannah Meisel took a look at the numbers in a long thread and concluded


* But then up comes the clickbait headlines…

Gov. JB Pritzker Hopes To Lift Statewide Indoor Mask Mandate In Time For Holidays

* IPHA

Community Health Workers responded to 5,586 service requests in September.

Behind each request is someone experiencing the harmful, long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As demonstrated in the data table below, most of the service requests received in September were for basic human needs, such as food and household items, income assistance (including rent and utility payment programs), and even finding a safe place to quarantine. […]

Notice also that [southern Illinois] Region Five, despite being a more rural, sparsely populated part of Illinois, had the highest number of service requests for the month. Health administrators in those southernmost 20 counties reported all intensive care unit beds were in-use as a surge tore through the region. This left patients who would have otherwise been hospitalized with few options other than to remain isolated at home for several days.

…Adding… Today’s data…


* More…

* Pritzker pushes COVID booster shots for eligible residents: Pritzker urged skilled nursing facilities to make booster shots available to all residents and staff before Thanksgiving. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs is also preparing to provide booster shots to residents at state-run veteran’s homes.

* You can’t work at this southwestern Illinois hospital without COVID-19 vaccination: “As the principal healthcare provider in our community, we should serve as a leader to our patients, families, coworkers, and community,” President of Touchette Regional Hospital Jay Willsher said.

* Just 54% of Chicago Police Officers Tell City Officials They Are Vaccinated Against COVID-19

* Compliance with vaccine mandate for city employees worst among police, firefighters

* Hearing planned Wednesday in Chicago Fraternal Order of Police’s battle with city over vaccine mandate

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 12:20 pm:

    I’ll admit I don’t know what I would do if I needed a police officer right now. I suppose I would call 911, but I’d want to meet with them masked and outside.


  2. - tea_and_honey - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    Agreed Cheryl. I had to have firefighters in my home last weekend (thankfully everything is fine) and several seemed offended that I put on a mask.


  3. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 12:45 pm:

    Every question that you give is a question about removing mitigations.

    Can’t believe I am going to defend Amy a bit here, but when only 7 states have mask mandates anymore it seems a reasonable question about what it is going to take to get things back at least to the way they were in July.

    Not saying the current approach isn’t the best approach for the state, but some explicit clarity on what the goal is might not be a bad idea.

    Yeah, the way she asks plays to her audience, but he isn’t helping himself by basically saying ‘things will change when we say so’.

    Seven states — Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington — require most people to wear masks in indoor public places, whether or not they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have similar orders in place.

    https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2020/states-mask-mandates-coronavirus.html


  4. - Norseman - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    OneMan is right that Pritzker needs to be clearer about the goal, but I think he’s waiting for CDC to come up with some direction. He’s not good on his own. I also think it has to be a high bar. While I want to go back to normal, each time we loosen things up the cases go up. Mainly caused by the “freedumb” folks acting irresponsibly.


  5. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    ==Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that a continued decline in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Illinois could lead him to lift “certain mask mandates” in time for the holiday season.==

    Bad idea even if COVID was miraculously eradicated by Christmas. We will still need to mask afterwards at the very least to prevent the flu. The mask and distancing mandates need to remain at least through Spring or until the end of the flu season. Depending on how COVID is.


  6. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 1:13 pm:

    The indoor mask mandate puts JB in a spot. So basically the only place I see people generally wearing them is in stores and schools. Really no one is wearing them much in restaurants or bars, did anyone see the crowd at the Sky game?

    So I think this is about schools, and the fact that JB would like the mask mandate to stick in schools for the rest of the educational year. But you lift the general mandate and the extra pressure comes on to make them optional in schools too. You can add the caveat that for now 12 and under can’t get a shot. But I bet its coming down to schools and masks. A decision by the way I support.


  7. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    =Can’t believe I am going to defend Amy a bit here, but when only 7 states have mask mandates anymore it seems a reasonable question about what it is going to take to get things back at least to the way they were in July.=

    That would be true if “the JAke” was reasonable person.Instead, she is a panderer and has only one tune that she plays over and over.


  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 1:48 pm:

    == Even with vaccine mandates, we also seem to have reached a trough on regional positivity rates ==

    I find this to be very interesting.

    If I’m reading the data correctly, where we are now across almost all regions is the best it will get this season with current mitigations in place.

    I’d love to run some more of these numbers against the regional poll percentages of who is still willing to follow masking, and who is completely ignoring it. It seems at a quick glance the percentage of people in a region ignoring masking is what roughly determines the lowest possible transmission rate in that region. Not a perfect match, but there’s certainly an impact.


  9. - Enviro - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 3:05 pm:

    For Illinois on Oct. 18, 2021 there were 71 COVID deaths with a seven day average of 43 deaths.

    This compares to Oct. 18 2020 when there were 17 COVID deaths with a seven day average of 35 deaths.

    Now the holidays will soon bring people together when we can expect an increase in COVID cases and deaths if people stop wearing masks. This is exactly the wrong time to stop wearing masks. Maybe after the holidays if we see a steady reduction in cases and deaths…but not now.


  10. - Seriously - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 3:23 pm:

    Chuckle.
    Half the population at least is ignoring the Governor’s “mandates”


  11. - Nadine - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 3:24 pm:

    I have a friend that is a Chicago Police Officer and I asked him why there was so much vaccine hesitancy among police officers. He said that he had a very bad case of Covid in 2020 and that most of his officer friends did as well. He still has not regained his sense of smell. He said that he wants nothing to do with the vaccine as there are reports that people who have already had Covid are twice as likely to have side effects with the vaccine. He didn’t want to feel ill again over Covid.

    So among those police officers and firefighters that have vaccine hesitancy, is it because they have already had Covid? Maybe more education needs to go out to police officers? I think police officers in general are more skeptical than most people.


  12. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 3:29 pm:

    Whenever I think Illinois is doing better in the fight against covid, I check the cases per 100,000 of Mississippi and Alabama.
    Both of them are lower than Illinois.
    I shudder and put my mask back on.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 3:34 pm:

    === Half the population at least is ignoring the Governor’s “mandates”===

    The employment and school mandates haven’t fully kicked in.


  14. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==The mask and distancing mandates need to remain at least through Spring or until the end of the flu season.==

    So now you’re asking for mask mandates for the flu now and in the future?


  15. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    ==The mask and distancing mandates need to remain at least through Spring or until the end of the flu season.==

    If Illinois becomes a significant outlier on masking vs other states and especially the midwest, it is going to become both a compliance and a political challenge.


  16. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 5:45 pm:

    ==So now you’re asking for mask mandates for the flu now and in the future?==

    Yes.


  17. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Oct 19, 21 @ 5:46 pm:

    === You can add the caveat that for now 12 and under can’t get a shot.===

    FDA meets October 26, baby. Expect mass rollouts in school the first two weeks of November. My kids can. not. wait.


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