* Hospitalizations are down 25.12 percent in the past week. Good stuff. The lagging indicators will eventually catch up. Press release…
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 123,812 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including an increase of 843 deaths since January 21, 2022.
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 2,897,174 cases, including 30,688 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Since January 21, 2022, laboratories have reported 1,310,730 specimens for a total of 50,798,837. As of last night, 4,533 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 800 patients were in the ICU and 460 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from January 21 – 27, 2022 is 9.4%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from January 21 – 27, 2022 is 12.0%.
A total of 20,423,100 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 36,787 doses. Since January 21, 2022, 257,512 doses were reported administered in Illinois. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 75% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, 66% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated, and more than 46% boosted according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
All data are provisional and will change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html.
Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.
* More on the stealth omicron subvariant…
Why is it called stealth omicron? You cannot identify the type of variant through a PCR test like you can with omicron. Genomic sequencing has to be conducted in a specialized lab to identify the variant, which takes longer.
In Denmark, where stealth omicron cases are rapidly increasing, it went from 20% of cases in December, to 45% of cases two weeks ago, and now it’s about 65% of cases. […]
Early studies in Denmark indicate stealth omicron doesn’t create a higher risk of hospitalization compared with omicron.
Denmark recently found that stealth omicron is as much as 1.5 times more transmissible than omicron.
* The federal government really needs to step up, and not just for restaurants. Omicron has been devastating. Just because there are no government shutdowns does not mean there haven’t been business problems. Wall Street may have done well, but this president has repeatedly said he was more concerned with Main Street. Well, it’s bad…
In Illinois, 4,524 restaurants received federal grants totaling more than $1.4 billion. But 15,674 applied for nearly $3.5 billion, meaning more than 71% of Illinois restaurants did not receive funds, according to SBA data. […]
The Independent Restaurant Coalition, a grassroots group that sprung up as the pandemic took its toll on the industry, found 42% of businesses that did not receive a restaurant grant are in or on the verge of bankruptcy, according to a nationwide survey conducted this month. […]
The coalition has been pushing for Congress to replenish the restaurant fund. Such a measure was not included in President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, which was approved by the House in November but stalled in the Senate. Several other stand-alone proposals, however, are gaining traction.
The clear front-runner is the $48 billion Cardin-Wicker bill, Polmar said. The bipartisan proposal, introduced in the Senate in August, would provide funding to the nearly 180,000 applicants that did not receive grants during the initial Restaurant Revitalization Fund awards last year.
* Press release…
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is announcing the availability of 225,000 free, rapid COVID-19 self-administered test kits through Project Access Covid Tests (Project ACT) to residents in certain zip codes in 14 Illinois counties. Project ACT is a new direct-to-consumer mail order program in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, health care technology company CareEvolation, test manufacture iHealth Labs, Inc., and logistics provider and distribution leader Amazon.com.
IDPH encourages eligible residents in vulnerable communities in 14 counties to order these free COVID-19 tests. Counties include Cook, DuPage, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Kankakee, Lake, Macon, Madison, Marion, Peoria, St. Clair, Will, and Winnebago counties. Residents living in specific zip codes [click here] can go to AccessCovidTests.org to sign up for a free home delivery. These tests are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Each household will receive five tests within one to two weeks after ordering. In this initial phase, there is a limit of one kit per household and each kit will include five tests. The tests and shipping are free to eligible residents.
* From The Atlantic…
Though many clergy are pro-vaccine, they often feel paralyzed or confused talking with congregants about their own stances, according to Curtis Chang, a consulting professor at Duke Divinity School. Chang also runs Christians and the Vaccine, a project dedicated to helping pastors use biblical principles to encourage congregants to get their COVID shots. While about 90 percent of evangelical faith leaders say they would encourage others to get inoculated, less than half of evangelical congregants are in favor of it. “What’s happening is that the base is actually taking their cues on social and political issues not from their pastors primarily,” Chang told me, “but from Fox News.” He believes that as some conservative politicians continue to push the idea that vaccine mandates strip the populace of its civil liberties, faith leaders are losing their influence over their congregation.
* Daily Herald…
On Thursday, 37,652 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 36,787.
The state’s positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 9.4% based on a seven-day average.
So far, 8,357,859 people have been fully vaccinated or 66% of Illinois’ 12.7 million population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC defines fully vaccinated as two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s.
Of those people who are fully vaccinated, 46.5% have received a booster shot.
* House media rules for next week were just distributed. No real surprises. But it was mentioned that Senators will not be allowed onto the House floor for what is usually a joint session. They can watch from the gallery or elsewhere. House members are being allowed to watch from their offices and there will be no committee of escorts.
…Adding… Meant to post this and forgot…
Centenarian Holocaust survivor Margot Friedlaender urged the young generation on Thursday to always remember the Nazi genocide and denounced the use by some anti-COVID vaccination protesters of the yellow star Jews were forced to wear.
“Today, I see the memory of what happened being abused for political reasons, sometimes even derided and trampled all over,” she told EU lawmakers in Brussels at a ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
“Incredulous, I had to watch at the age of 100 years how symbols of our exclusion by the Nazis, such as the so-called ‘Judenstern’, are shamelessly used on the open street by the new enemies of democracy, to present themselves - whilst living in the middle of a democracy - as victims,” Friedlaender added.
She was referring to some demonstrators at anti-vaccination protests who have pinned yellow star badges to their clothes, reminiscent of the cloth badges the Nazis forced Jews to wear to mark them as outsiders.
People who do such things are beneath contempt.