Coronavirus in Illinois updates: State sets another one-day vaccination record with nearly 75,000 doses administered as 3,660 new COVID-19 cases and 83 deaths reported

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: State sets another one-day vaccination record with nearly 75,000 doses administered as 3,660 new COVID-19 cases and 83 deaths reported

Illinois set a new daily high with 74,965 COVID-19 vaccinations administered on Thursday, bringing the state’s total number of vaccinations to 1,231,418, officials announced Friday.

The number of Illinois residents who have been fully vaccinated — receiving both of the required shots — reached 272,444 Friday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 49,082 doses. One week ago, that number was 41,045.

Meanwhile, Chicago Public Schools leaders announced late Friday that they’ve proposed a staggered return of teachers and students over the course of several weeks. But the district also indicated that it will begin locking out no-shows at the end of the day Monday — which could launch the second CTU strike in less than two years.

Here’s what’s happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

Table of Contents

9:40 p.m. (update): CPS proposes slower phase-in for school reopening but CTU says any new lockouts would spur a strike

In their latest move to try to wrangle an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union over the reopening of schools, Chicago Public Schools leaders announced late Friday that they’ve proposed a staggered return of teachers and students over the course of several weeks.

But the district also indicated that it will begin locking out no-shows at the end of the day Monday — which could launch the second CTU strike in less than two years.

The new schedule has prekindergarten and special education cluster programs resuming in-person classes on Tuesday, while kindergarten through fifth graders would return Feb. 22, and grades six and eight would begin classroom learning March 1. High school students have not been given a return date.

Educators for the first group are expected to return to school buildings on Monday, and CPS said those who fail to do so who haven’t been granted an accommodation “will be deemed absent without leave (AWOL) and access to CPS systems will be terminated at the close of business Monday.”

7:10 p.m.: Boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes sees first COVID-19 death

The boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes near North Chicago saw its first COVID-19 fatality this week when an instructor died from causes related to the virus.

Chief Quartermaster Herbert Rojas, 50, of Richmond Hill, N.Y., died Tuesday, according to Lt. Cmdr. Phillip Chitty, a public affairs officer at Naval Service Training Command.

Rojas entered the service in 2001 and served on numerous vessels before becoming a Great Lakes instructor in 2018. His job was to give recruits a basic introduction to the Navy, Chitty said, covering the Uniform Code of Military Justice, equal opportunity and other subjects.

Chitty said Rojas did not show symptoms of the disease when he was chosen randomly for a test in a “sentinel” program meant to detect the virus. Chitty said he didn’t know how Rojas contracted COVID-19 and declined to say when the positive test was recorded.

4:50 p.m.: Chicago police investigating officers’ role in party after bar is cited for COVID-19 violations

When asked about the gathering, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said in an emailed statement that an internal investigation had been opened.

News of the gathering comes after the department has faced criticism around a lack of precautions taken by some Chicago police officers during the pandemic. That includes a rare rebuke from a federal judge who in a recent court order pointed to photographs and videos that showed Chicago police on the job without masks, putting them out of compliance with health guidelines and directives.

The investigation into the Jan. 7 gathering at Guide’s Sports Club, 5544 S. Archer Ave., also includes an anonymous allegation that it was held in honor of James R. Sanchez, who retired in October 2020 as commander of gang investigations and was recently rehired to work as a civilian as deputy director of gang investigations.

Sanchez, when reached by the Tribune, declined to comment.

4:15 p.m.: A third stimulus check may be coming. Here’s how some Chicagoans spent the first two.

As Congress haggles over a proposed $1,400 stimulus check for most Americans, Chicagoans say they spent the first two rounds of relief money on everything from septic systems and treadmills to a new winter coat.

Economists say people didn’t spend enough.

At the center of President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, the $1,400 stimulus check would be aimed at helping struggling Americans navigate the economic disruption of the pandemic.

Many Americans have not used their stimulus money to buy things, with most stashing it away or paying off debts, according to recent studies.

“To the extent the U.S. government wanted to stimulate spending, you could say it was somewhat of a failure,” said Michael Weber, a finance professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Millions of Americans received up to $1,200 each in April as part of a massive $2.2 trillion pandemic relief package, but only 15% of recipients spent most of the money, according to a study co-authored by Weber and published by the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research.

During the second round of stimulus checks in January, most Americans received a $600 payment.

While Biden is urging Congress to “go big” and act fast on his COVID-19 relief package, Weber said smaller checks and a more targeted approach — focusing the relief on lower-income Americans — would create more economic bang for the buck.

“Subsidizing people that haven’t lost income in the pandemic is just not efficient,” Weber said.

4:10 p.m.: For some, COVID vaccination was a breeze — after mad scramble to get an appointment

As a nurse at a private school, Mary Dyra-Hamel was anxious to get a vaccine against COVID-19, but had a hard time lining up a vaccination appointment.

When her email chain of about 40 private school nurses alerted her to a Jewel-Osco pharmacy in Orland Park that was giving shots to medical workers, she jumped at the chance. She signed up on New Year’s Eve, got her first shot by Jan. 2 and her second dose by late January.

“We were all desperately trying to get the vaccine since all our fellow nurses who work at hospital systems had already gotten them,” she said.

She also got her 93-year-old grandmother vaccinated through Cook County’s online registration. But the teachers at her school, the British International School of Chicago in the South Loop, are on standby to get shots through the Chicago Department of Public Health.

“They’re very frustrated,” Dyra-Hamel said. “That’s become a big part of my job, trying to find somebody to vaccinate the teachers.”

Across the state, nearly 1.2 million doses had been reported as administered as of Thursday, but that was just slightly more than half of all doses received by the state. Many people have been frustrated just trying to get an appointment

One survey respondent (who didn’t want his name used) described the process as “vaccine roulette.”

4 p.m.: Zanies reopens with live shows Feb. 12 in Rosemont

Zanies Comedy Club has Valentine’s Day plans.

The Zanies location in Rosemont will reopen for live performances Feb. 12, headlined over the weekend by Larry Reeb and Brian Hicks and with calendar of live shows announced through early March. And Zanies will also continue its series of streaming standup performances (titled “Laugh More Live”) with a special Valentine’s Day “Cupid Edition” taped from the Chicago club, with regular streaming host Calvin Evans Feb. 14.

There are no plans yet to resume live performances at the club on Wells Street, said Zanies spokesman Rick Gieser. The Rosemont live performances will be at reduced capacity, with 50 tickets sold per show and social distancing precautions and special cleaning procedures in place.

2:56 p.m.: Illinois reports 74,965 daily COVID-19 vaccinations, a new high

A new daily high of 74,965 COVID-19 vaccinations was administered in Illinois on Thursday, bringing the state’s total number of vaccinations to 1,231,418, public health officials announced Friday.

After touring a Winnebago County vaccination site at Auburn High School in Rockford on Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker commended local public health departments and the state’s pharmacy partners for the recent increase in vaccinations.

The number of Illinois residents who have been fully vaccinated — receiving both of the required shots — reached 272,444 Friday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 49,082 doses. One week ago, that number was 41,045.

2:03 p.m.: After Tribune story, Kane County reverses decision and will now allow pregnant, lactating women to get COVID-19 vaccines

Kane County officials have reversed a policy that denied COVID-19 vaccines to pregnant and lactating women.

In a statement released Friday, the Kane County Health Department issued a clarification saying it would provide vaccines to pregnant and lactating women. The decision came after consultations with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Updated) 1:56 p.m.: CTU signals it won’t accept CPS’s ‘final offer’ on reopening schools, pushing the district closer to another teachers strike

Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot say they have made their “last, best, and final offer” to the Chicago Teachers Union over a plan to reopen schools as the coronavirus pandemic continues. But the union has already indicated the offer isn’t good enough.

Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson Friday morning sent a joint statement announcing that after receiving the CTU’s latest counter proposal Thursday afternoon, they had responded with the last offer they will be making.

“We expect a response from CTU leadership today,” Jackson and Lightfoot said. “We will be making further statements later today about school on Monday.”

The latest developments appeared to diminish the chances that a deal to avoid a teachers strike is within reach.

12:15 p.m.: 3,660 new COVID-19 cases and 83 additional deaths reported as state sets new one-day vaccination record

Illinois health officials on Friday announced 3,660 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 83 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 1,141,219 and the statewide death toll to 19,526 since the start of the pandemic.

Officials also reported 105,085 new tests in the last 24 hours. The seven-day statewide rolling positivity rate for cases as a share of total tests was 3.3% for the period ending Thursday.

In addition, the state administered 74,965 vaccinations, a new one-day record. IDPH also says a total of 1,231,418 vaccines have now been administered.

11:49 a.m.: Moms, particularly Black moms, are bearing the brunt of job losses during the pandemic, setting back efforts to climb the economic ladder

Women have endured the brunt of the job losses during the pandemic as industries where they make up the bulk of the workforce, such as hospitality, struggle to recover, and continued school and day care closures make it difficult to juggle family with work. It has set back efforts by women, and particularly women of color, to work their way into higher-paying jobs.

While employment among men grew by 200,000 last month, it fell by 21,000 among women, according to federal data released Friday.

Women are not just losing jobs but dropping out of the labor force altogether at a higher rate than men. That’s especially pronounced among Black women, who historically are more likely to participate in the workforce than white women.

10:36 a.m.: Stimulus check updates: Senate OKs fast-track of coronavirus relief package; Biden meets with House Dems in push for $1.9 trillion plan

President Joe Biden met Friday with leading House Democrats who aim to put his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on a fast track to becoming law, drawing on new signs of strain in the economy to push for its approval.

“We can’t do too much here, we can do too little,” he told them. “Real, live people are hurting. And we can fix it. And we can fix it and the irony of all ironies is when we help them, we are also helping our competitive capacity, through the remainder of this decade.”

The Senate early Friday approved a measure that would let Democrats muscle the relief plan through the chamber without Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris was in the chair to cast the tie-breaking vote, her first.

Senate Democrats applauded after Harris announced the 51-50 vote at around 5:30 a.m. The action came after a grueling all-night session, where senators voted on amendments that could define the contours of the eventual COVID-19 aid bill.

The budget now returns to the House, where it will likely be approved again Friday to reflect the changes made by the Senate. The measure can then work its way through committees so that additional relief can be finalized by mid-March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires. It’s an aggressive timeline that will test the ability of the new administration and Congress to deliver.

7:02 a.m.: Pritzker to tour Winnebago County vaccination site, day after 80 new vaccine locations open

Gov. J.B. Pritzker was scheduled to tour a coronavirus vaccination site in Rockford late Friday morning as the number of mass vaccination sites in the state approaches 400, according to his office.

Pritzker, whose administration this week ordered the diversion of COVID-19 vaccine doses away from a federal program to vaccinate people at long-term care facilities to make them available to others who are eligible, was scheduled to tour a facility at a local high school.

As of Thursday, the state had announce 390 vaccination locations throughout the state, including at more than 300 pharmacies, according to a Thursday release. Of those, 80 locations were added Thursday, 78 of them at local Walgreens locations, according to the state. Two of the sites opened Thursday are run by the Illinois National Guard, including one at Triton College in River Grove.

Check back for more information. —Chicago Tribune staff

5 a.m.: Naperville family blasts state’s plan to divert 97,000 vaccine doses from nursing homes: ‘The most endangered are languishing’

Barbara and Brian McCarthy were dismayed when they learned the governor had diverted COVID-19 vaccine doses away from the federal program managing vaccinations at long-term care facilities to make them available to other eligible seniors and front-line workers.

It has been nearly a year since they have seen Barbara McCarthy’s mother in person at the Naperville memory care facility where she lives, and they are already frustrated at the slow pace of long-term care vaccinations. They fear Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s announcement this week will mean more delays.

“Truly, I just want my mom vaccinated so we can get back in to be with her,” said McCarthy, who also lives in Naperville.

They learned of the state’s new vaccine plans after Illinois public health officials said Wednesday they would reallocate 97,000 doses from the federal partnership with CVS Health and Walgreens, which is handling vaccinations of residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

Pritzker and officials in other states have criticized the federal program for moving too slowly. As of Thursday, the federal government had allocated 496,100 of Illinois’ vaccine doses to the long-term care program, and 178,848 had been administered, state data shows.

Breaking coronavirus news

Stay up to date with the latest information on coronavirus with our breaking news alerts.

Here are some recent stories related to COVID-19.

Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*