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COVID-19 roundup

Friday, Oct 29, 2021

* Daily Herald

Preliminary state data released today confirms what many educators and parents predicted about the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 school year, but is not without hopeful signs.

Statewide, chronic absenteeism worsened, fewer students met grade-level expectations in English language arts and mathematics and the effects of remote learning were hardest on minority students and English language learners, according to preliminary and partial 2021 Illinois Report Card data released Friday morning. […]

Preliminary spring testing data from most schools statewide show steep declines in students attaining proficiency in math and English language arts across grade levels — 17.8% and 16.6%, respectively.

Among English learners, the decline in meeting standards was stark, 51.5% in English language arts and 54% in math. Similarly, low-income students saw a 31% drop in English and 38.7% dip in math, while special needs students saw declines of 30.4% in English and 23.5% in math.

The data show larger decreases in proficiency among younger students who likely struggled more to engage in remote learning than their older peers, officials said

Click here to see the data.

* IDPH…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 14,616 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 183 additional deaths since reporting last Friday, October 22, 2021. Of Illinois’ total population, 69% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 54% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,695,524 cases, including 25,771 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Since reporting on Friday, October 22, 2021, laboratories have reported 796,018 specimens for a total of 35,288,616. As of last night, 1,256 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 281 patients were in the ICU and 133 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from October 22-28, 2021 is 1.8%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from October 22-28, 2021 is 2.2%.

A total of 15,542,790 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 49,742 doses. Since reporting on Friday, October 22, 2021, 348,196 doses were reported administered in Illinois.

*All data are provisional and will change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19.

Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.

* NBC 5

A suburban community has announced that it will no longer abide by the terms of a mask mandate issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, saying that masks will now be optional in businesses.

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson made the announcement this week. He says that the village has been following science, and is now acting to make masks optional as the number of COVID patients in the community, and in the state, continue to decline.

“People are doing well, and I think a bigger reason than that is that people are getting vaccinated,” he said. “As I’ve been saying since January, ‘vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate,’ and it’s working.”

According to the latest data from IDPH, 67.33% of Elk Grove Village residents who are eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, with just over 70% of residents having received at least one dose.

* IDPH…

As we head into the holiday season, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is issuing updated guidance to help people celebrate more safely as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year, many people held off getting together with family and friends during the holiday season due to the pandemic,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “This year, we have a safe and effective vaccine to help protect against severe illness due to COVID-19 that will allow friends and families to more safely celebrate together. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your friends and family, and your community, but there are other actions you can take to celebrate more safely.”

Travel safety considerations:

    • Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated, or wait until you get a booster shot if eligible
    • If you’re not fully vaccinated, test 1-3 days before and 3-5 days after traveling
    • Travel during off-peak times to avoid crowds
    • Drive a private vehicle to reduce exposure to COVID-19
    • If using public transportation, try to travel during non-peak times. Masks are required on/in all areas of mass transit

Guests and gatherings:

    • Keep indoor gatherings small
    • Arrange seating and other areas to allow for physical distance
    • Increase air flow by opening windows and/or doors
    • Avoid having people congregate, such as in the kitchen or at the buffet
    • Clean and sanitize the kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas used by guests

People who are sick with fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, should not travel or gather for holiday events during that time.

More information on COVID-19 Holiday Season Safety can be found on the IDPH website at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/holiday-season-safety.html.

* The governor has threatened to veto this bill

The Illinois General Assembly is advancing a proposal that would allow educators to be able to isolate for COVID-19 without having to use their sick days. Two amendments to the state school code will require all school districts, community colleges, and public universities to allow their employees ample paid leave to abide by “public health guidance, mandates and requirements issued by the Department of Public Health.” The amendments would also apply if an educator has a child who must isolate after virus exposure. The measure is headed to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk, where he will decide whether or not to sign it.

* Related…

* Is Moderna Really Better Than Pfizer—Or Is It Just a Higher Dose? It’s possible that a good deal of the difference in the shots’ performance can be summed up with a simple phrase: More is better.

* Cook County prepares to roll out COVID vaccine for kids 5 to 11 pending federal approval

* Chicago aldermen pass Lightfoot’s $16 billion budget, buoyed by federal COVID-19 relief funds

* Upcoming plays work COVID-type scenarios into the plot

* Trick-or-Treating, Masks and More: Here’s the Halloween Guidance for Illinois

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Oct 29, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    America is suffering burnout?


  2. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 29, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    === make masks optional as the number of COVID patients in the community, and in the state, continue to decline ===

    A pandering politician starting us off on another cycle of COVID surge. Like a roller coaster, cases go up because people disregard mitigation efforts -> responsible leaders clamp down -> cases go down -> pandering politicians loosen mitigation efforts or compliance = more deaths, more dangerous variants, and more economic damage.


  3. - Jibba - Friday, Oct 29, 21 @ 2:52 pm:

    ===the village has been following science===

    That’s cute that he thinks so. BTW, there’s only one decider when it comes to the Governor’s executive orders. That’s why they call them that.


  4. - Anon221 - Friday, Oct 29, 21 @ 3:03 pm:

    Good read… https://www.npr.org/2021/10/29/1049996993/vaccinated-seniors-navigate-life-in-mostly-unvaccinated-rural-america


  5. - Smalls - Friday, Oct 29, 21 @ 3:39 pm:

    One of the school districts only 15 minutes from this town, is seeing their cases surge over the last week. 40% of the cases for the whole 10 weeks of school so far have been cases in the last week.


  6. - Proud Papa Bear - Friday, Oct 29, 21 @ 4:14 pm:

    It would be a huge mistake if Pritzker vetoes that bill. My colleagues and I have been doing everything we’ve been asked - masking, disinfecting, getting vaccinated, dealing with hostile community members, constantly telling kids to put their masks up - all in a school of +1,500 people. Vetoing this bill would be a slap in our faces.


  7. - Lynn S. - Monday, Nov 1, 21 @ 9:08 am:

    Hey Smalls, anyway you could give us a directional clue (northwest, southeast, Eastern Bloc) or a size clue (what football class are they, or a round-ish number of students) regarding the school district?

    The school district I grew up in had 75 cases, out of about 1000 k-12 students, in the first three weeks of school this year. Last year they had 67 for the whole year.

    They’re geographically located in the Eastern Bloc, and like to brag about their football team. You don’t want to ask about their academics–a. they’re atrocious, and b. we all know school is for athletics, not learning. But keep sending those state and federal funds that make up about 70% of their budget (banned punctuation). And we gotta do something about all the “gubmint money” spent on welfare for “those people”. (Pay no attention to all the farming subsidies flowing into the farmers’ pockets.)


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