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COVID-19 roundup

Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Jake Griffin

State health officials today reported 3,628 COVID-19 patients are being treated at hospitals throughout Illinois.

That’s up 115 patients from the day before.

Of those hospitalized, 743 are in intensive care, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records.

IDPH officials are also reporting 28 more residents have died of COVID-19, while 7,390 new cases of the respiratory disease were diagnosed. That brings the state’s death toll from the virus to 26,934, and 1,911,649 infections have been recorded since the outset of the pandemic, IDPH records show.

The state’s seven-day case positivity rate is at 4%, the same as the day before. Case positivity is the percentage of new cases derived from a batch of tests. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.

That’s the most hospitalizations since January 8th.

* Things got a bit heated today

Amy Jacobson: The governors of New York and California have implemented new mask mandates, but both of their governors have given their people end dates of January 12. What about giving Illinois a mandate [end]?

Gov. Pritzker: Here’s why we have a mask mandate: because we need to keep people safe. We need to stop pretending that masks don’t work. They do. Countless studies show that masks do work to reduce the transmission of infection. We also know that the most important thing you can do is to get vaccinated and if you’ve been vaccinated to get boosted, that is what keeps people out of the hospital. It’s what keeps people safe. And so I encourage everybody to please wear your mask indoors. Please make sure that you go get vaccinated if you’ve not been and if you haven’t had your booster yet. We just opened booster shot vaccination clinics across Cook County as well as in other parts of the state. We have vaccination clinics that are open to people who want to get booster, so I just want to encourage everybody to do the right thing. We are in the state of Illinois and we’re gonna keep doing it. Following the science.

Amy Jacobson: But we went from 300 cases in Chicago to a thousand…

Gov. Pritzker: Look, every time the numbers go down, you say you want everybody to take the masks off. Every time the numbers go up, you say you want everybody to take the masks off. I know what you stand for. Let’s keep moving on. I’d like to talk to reporters.

Heh. Somebody must’ve heard about yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling.

* At the moment, omicron appears to spread very, very fast. It also appears to generally cause milder symptoms with most people. But do the math: A smaller percentage of hospitalizations per infected person doesn’t mean much if lots more people are infected than now

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that omicron, which is being reported in 77 countries, is spreading at a faster rate than previous coronavirus variants and delivered a stark warning against dismissing it as mild.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that even if data eventually confirms that omicron causes less-severe disease than other variants, the sheer number of infections could “once again overwhelm unprepared health systems.”

* However, if this turns out to be true, then maybe, just maybe we can all get a break from the insanity

A highly anticipated study of Pfizer’s Covid pill confirmed that it helps stave off severe disease, the company announced on Tuesday.

Pfizer also said its antiviral pill worked in laboratory studies against the Omicron variant, which is surging in South Africa and Europe and is expected to dominate U.S. cases in the weeks ahead.

“We are confident that, if authorized or approved, this potential treatment could be a critical tool to help quell the pandemic,” Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Last month, Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the pill, known as Paxlovid, based on a preliminary batch of data. The new results will undoubtedly strengthen the company’s application, which could mean that Americans infected with the virus may have access to the pill within weeks.

Know hope.


  1. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    I had hoped our country would take the threat of a fast-spreading and fatal novel infection overseas seriously and be ready when it arrived here.

    I had hoped masking and mitigations would minimalize its impact until we got to vaccinations.

    I had hoped vaccinations would be taken up far and wide with effective top-down federal messaging and coordination.

    I had hoped that, once delta went on a tear and it became clear that a third of our country will never take the shots, that rapid testing would become more plentiful and affordable, as it has in other countries, and/or state testing infrastructure would ramp up as it did during the first wave.

    I had hoped, seeing variants blossom in countries with limited access to the vaccine, that the federal government would compel pharma companies to relinquish their patents or freely share their processes to get more jabs in arms.

    Now I have to hope that a pill will work as well as early tests suggest, because getting COVID (again) is becoming more and more likely despite my trying to do what’s right for 21 months.

    I’m sorry, but at this point, my hope is encountering some significant supply chain issues.

  2. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:02 pm:

    While Illinois (and other states) has a mask mandate, I see people every day not wearing masks. I suspect many of these people also aren’t vaccinated.

    So when the anti-mask crowd says, mask mandates don’t work because infection, hospitalization, and death rates are going up even with mandates, well duh.

    It’s so predictable.

  3. - Pundent - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:07 pm:

    Hopefully Paxlovid will be approved and effective. I’ve given up any hope that Amy Jacobsen will be a reporter.

  4. - King Louis XVI - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:08 pm:

    — However, if this turns out to be true, then maybe, just maybe we can all get a break from the insanity…—

    What makes you think the crazies will abandon their favorite horse paste dewormer? Why would they suddenly embrace an authentic scientific recommendation after flocking for two years to quack cures?

    I don’t see it.

  5. - Huh? - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:08 pm:

    “I know what you stand for. … I’d like to talk to reporters.”


  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:13 pm:

    This is how you *take down* a questioner without *punching down*…

    ===… every time the numbers go down, you say you want everybody to take the masks off. Every time the numbers go up, you say you want everybody to take the masks off. I know what you stand for.===

    In a nutshell, Pritzker clarified Jacobson. The rest is Jacobson ginning up either of her hot topics. Talk radio folks do this every single day. It’s who they are.

    Clarifying to Jacobson that he knows who she is… that’s some good work by Pritzker and his crew.

  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:17 pm:

    ===What makes you think the crazies will abandon===

    I don’t care about the crazies. I care about the rest of us.

  8. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    So is Amy also going to be a Lt Gov candidate?
    seems the bar has been set low enough.

  9. - Big Jer - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:54 pm:

    ===Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 2:13 pm:===

    What Willy said. +1

  10. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 3:03 pm:

    The pill seems to be the real deal. Boosted and flu shot in the past two weeks.

    A possible extra dose of good news with the pill is that it might limit the time your infectious. More study is needed for sure - but its that way with many other antivirals. So using the pill would get people back to work sooner, kids in school faster.

  11. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    ==Let’s keep moving on. I’d like to talk to reporters.==

    “Reporters” not only doesn’t include Jacobson, but it also should not include anyone from Channel 20 either.

  12. - SSL - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 3:36 pm:

    Got the third jab a month ago. Just got back from a trip to a non mask state and it was as if they have totally moved on from Covid. You saw the occasional mask but really surprising how few. While everyone in the airport here and there wore masks, too many were on the chin. I feel for the flight attendants.

  13. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 3:56 pm:

    Lincoln High School has just paused its boys basketball schedule for the rest of the week due to COVID. Basketball is a religion in Lincoln as the Railers have been a perennial boys basketball power for decades.

  14. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 3:57 pm:

    Forgot the link to the Lincoln basketball COVID article:

  15. - Brian - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 4:33 pm:

    I’d hoped that leaders at all levels of government hadn’t played politics with the crisis since the beginning.

    I’d hoped that public health officials had played it straight with the country regarding their initial mask/no-mask statements.

    I’d hoped that the CDC would have been more competent in standing up testing capabilities early last year, and not directly prevented 3rd parties from doing so.

    I’d hoped that presidential candidates wouldn’t have used the vaccine hesitancy to earn votes.

    Unfortunately, deposing the Trump administration, replacing the incompetents in the federal public health bureaucracy, and encircling New York City and Seattle with barbed wire, all by the end of January was not possible.

  16. - TiredOfIt - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 5:10 pm:

    Where are the other mitigations. Clearly vaccine and masking not keeping cases down. Too many people in restaurants. Cook County almost at 5%, we need to act so we don’t need to build another field hospital.

  17. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 5:44 pm:

    ==Where are the other mitigations. ==

    I agree. It would be prudent to pause Phase 5 and restore the “Phase 4 Bridge phase” we had last spring once vaccinations began in earnest. At least for a month. Even if there’s no restaurant and business federal aid left. If it hurts restaurants and businesses they can just pound sand for all I care now.

  18. - Proud Papa Bear - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 5:47 pm:

    Byron schools are going remote due to an outbreak which was likely the cause of death for a teacher.

  19. - Circular Persective - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 7:20 pm:

    ===What makes you think the crazies will abandon their favorite horse paste dewormer? Why would they suddenly embrace an authentic scientific recommendation after flocking for two years to quack cures?===

    A. It’s a pill. People take pills all the time, which makes them not scary.
    B. No one will ever be asked to take it for the good of the public. That means there is no one to rebel against by not taking it.
    C. The decision to take or not take a pill comes after a person becomes sick. That means only a very small number of fox news viewers will care about it. Segments about the choice to take or refuse the pill will not provoke the level of anger and fear needed to drive viewership.

  20. - skutt - Tuesday, Dec 14, 21 @ 8:41 pm:

    Odd how Chicago floated the idea of requiring more places to require the vaccine to enter a week ago, and then crickets …

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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