Illinois coronavirus updates: here’s what’s going on Monday

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Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Monday an effort to intensify contact tracing in Illinois with a pair of pilot programs in Lake and St. Clair counties.

Pritzker said that a comprehensive way to track, notify and quarantine anyone who has had significant contact with diagnosed COVID-19 patients is one of the key requirements for the full reopening of the state.

Illinois officials also reported 2,294 new COVID-19 infections and 59 additional deaths. The latest figures pushed the total number of known cases to 96,485 and the number of deaths to 4,234.

Here’s what’s going on with COVID-19 in the Chicago and Illinois area on Monday:

2:43 p.m .: Pritzker announces efforts to speed up contact tracing; 2,294 new COVID-19 infections known and 59 additional deaths reported

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Monday an effort to intensify contact tracing in Illinois with a pair of pilot programs in Lake and St. Clair counties.

Pritzker said that a comprehensive way to track, notify and quarantine anyone who has had significant contact with diagnosed COVID-19 patients is one of the key requirements for the full reopening of the state.

With a significant increase in COVID-19 testing in the state in the past month, nearly 30% of known cases in the state are part of a contact tracing effort. The goal is to more than double “the industry standard by more than 60%,” Pritzker said on Monday.

The State Department of Public Health is collaborating with 97 local health departments across the state on their capabilities to “expand and deploy their contact tracing capabilities.” The state’s Department of Public Health will coordinate funding to local health services to hire contact tracers using federal assistance and funding from the Disaster Relief Act.

State officials announced 2,294 new known cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state total to 96,485 since the start of the pandemic. Almost all of the counties in Illinois – 100 out of 102 – have seen confirmed cases. There were 59 additional deaths, for a total of 4,234 deaths across the state. –Jamie munks

2:33 p.m .: Uber sacked 3,000 other workers, raising questions about the company’s future in Chicago

Uber Technologies is laying off 3,000 additional workers and closing approximately 45 offices around the world as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the company’s main profit generator, its carpooling business.

The news questions the tech giant’s plans for Chicago. Uber has already halted construction of its huge space at The Old Post Office last month due to the pandemic, and has extended its move-in date from this fall.

The San Francisco-based company announced last year that it had signed a 10-year lease for 463,000 square feet in the old former post office. Uber planned to consolidate its Chicago offices and hire 2,000 employees over three years.

“Although we do not expect to use these offices until 2021, we do not anticipate any changes to our strategy at this stage,” Uber spokesperson Lois van der Laan said on Monday.

It has refused to share the number of people at Uber’s Chicago offices that will be removed.

The company had more than 1,000 employees in the Chicago area in September, including employees from Uber Eats and Uber Ride activities, such as salespeople, lawyers, marketing and operational staff for Chicago and other Midwestern markets. . Learn more here. —Ally Marotti

2:07 p.m .: Civil rights groups denounce anti-Semitic messages and other hate speech during home protests

Civil rights groups on Monday spoke out against anti-Semitic and other hate messages from protesters at the homes in Springfield and Chicago.

Swastikas appeared on some panels worn by the protesters, at least one comparing Governor J.B. Pritzker – who is Jewish – to Hitler.

“Invoking Hitler is not only totally unfit, it is counterproductive,” said Lonnie Nasatir, president of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. “It is a real affront to the Americans who fought the Nazis and to the survivors of the Holocaust.”

Andy Kang, executive director of the Association of Asian Americans for Justice Chicago, said such rhetoric was dangerous.

“It is not about home support,” he said. “Hate rhetoric has almost always led to incidents of violence and hatred.”

Sindy Benavides, head of the League of United Latin American Citizens, noted that COVID-19 cases were increasing among Latinos and he was concerned about the pressures felt by vulnerable people.

“We hope that individuals abide by home state orders, especially for those who cannot work from home,” she said. —Jessica Villagomez

1:17 p.m.: Business owners now face criminal charges if they reopen despite Pritzker’s home maintenance order

Business owners who fail to comply with a state-wide home reopening order may now face a Class A offense under an emergency rule that the administration of Governor JB Pritzker filed at the end of last week.

The new enforcement provision comes as the state approaches the start of a third month under Pritzker’s home maintenance order, which faces mounting opposition.

Among the companies, the new targets are restaurants, bars, gymnasiums and fitness centers, salons and hairdressing salons, which have been closed to customers on site since March.

Under Illinois law, a Class A offense can result in a fine of $ 75 to $ 2,500. Learn more here. —Jamie Munks and Rick Pearson

1:13 p.m .: Five reasons why your stimulation test may have been lower than you expected

Why is my stimulation test so thin? Why do I get so much less than I thought?

And more people than some might imagine are upset. The Internal Revenue Service has even listed a number of reasons why the dollar amount of your economic impact payment could be, as the IRS delicately put it, “different from what was expected.”

Many people have already received stimulus payments of up to $ 1,200 for singles and up to $ 2,400 for couples, plus $ 500 for dependent children 16 and under.

However, these amounts are not guaranteed. They vary depending on your income. And in some cases, you might not see any money at all.

Here are some reasons why your stimulus may have been a little weak. Learn more here. –Detroit Free Press

12:23 p.m .: Chicago public health officials report 626 cases of COVID-19 in homeless shelters, two fatalities among workers

There have been at least 626 confirmed cases of coronavirus in homeless shelters in Chicago, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Two shelter staff died from complications from the virus on May 14.

Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said it was “pretty remarkable” that no homeless people have died from the virus so far.

She attributed the use of downtown hotels to isolate residents and “decompress” shelters.

Arwady discussed the statistics in a public question and answer forum on Monday. Last week, the city released data on shelter positivity rates, with around 12% of people living in single rooms testing positive for the virus, compared to 32% of people in shared accommodation. –Cecilia Reyes

11:10 a.m .: Lightfoot says city will fine churches that violate social distancing rules

The city will impose fines on churches that had more people than expected under the statewide house arrest order, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Monday.

Which will be specifically determined later today, said Lightfoot.

Over the past week, Lightfoot had asked churches to abide by the rules of social distancing and warned it that it would take action against churches that refused.

At an unrelated press conference to highlight coronavirus testing sites for black and brown communities, Lightfoot said the city would fine churches that fail to comply with its guidelines, although it did not specify which. Learn more here. —Gregory Pratt

11:00 am: Actor Sean Penn joins Lightfoot for a tour of the Chicago coronavirus test site

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and actor Sean Penn visited one of the coronavirus screening sites she set up on Monday with support from her charity, drawing attention to expanded tests for black communities and brunettes and low-income residents.

Last week, the city announced that it would increase Chicago’s COVID-19 testing capacity before a potential reopening by adding six sites in predominantly black and brown communities with the help of charitable Community Organized Relief Effort Penn co-founded with Ann Lee.

Standing on a podium in front of the Dr. Jorge Prieto School of Mathematics and Science on the northwest side with Penn behind her, Lightfoot stressed that the tests are free and that officials will not ask questions about immigration status .

“Please come out of the shadows,” said Lightfoot.

Penn, who is known for his humanitarian work, said his organization exists to help governments and other organizations solve public health problems.

“We like to think of ourselves as a quick non-bureaucratic weapon in the arsenal of bureaucracies,” said Penn. Learn more here. —Gregory Pratt

10:18 am: The pandemic stimulates a stagnant industry of meal kits. But will the interest continue when people are no longer stuck at home?

Meal kit services like Chicago-based Home Chef are experiencing increased demand as legions of people cook at home amid COVID-19 home orders. This is a welcome development for an industry that had more than 100 competitors and stagnated before the coronavirus struck.

The share of the population using meal kits has risen to 7% since the start of the pandemic, after being frozen at 5% all last year, according to Darren Seifer, food and beverage analyst at the NPD Group. The elevator may be temporary, but some say it could be a defining moment as people avoid going out and try to stretch their dollars.

“These meal kits now have an opportunity to prove their worth,” said Seifer. Learn more here. –Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

8:38 am: Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial shows promising results at first, he says

The first vaccine against the coronavirus tested on people seems safe and able to stimulate an immune response against the virus, announced on Monday its manufacturer, Moderna.

The results are based on the results of the first eight people who each received two doses of the vaccine, starting in March.

These people, healthy volunteers, made antibodies which were then tested in human cells in the laboratory and were able to prevent replication of the virus – the key requirement for an effective vaccine. The levels of these so-called neutralizing antibodies corresponded to the levels found in patients who had recovered after contracting the virus in the community.

The company said it is proceeding on an accelerated schedule, the second phase involving 600 people expected to start soon, and a third phase scheduled to start in July involving thousands of healthy people. The Food and Drug Administration gave Moderna the green light for the second phase earlier this month. Learn more here. -The New York Times

7:58 a.m .: after ending pay for additional heroes, Kroger will offer a bonus to front-line workers

Just days after announcing that he would end the pay for at-risk “heroes” for front-line workers, Kroger said it would give them additional thank-you bonuses, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The bonus is $ 400 for full-time workers and $ 200 for part-time workers, which will be paid in two installments on May 30 and June 18, Kroger announced Friday. The risk premium was an additional $ 2 an hour. Learn more here. —Associated press

6:30 a.m .: Lakeview restaurant worker hit by delivery boy in social distress quarrel, police say

Criminal charges were pending against a delivery driver who was recorded driving his Toyota Prius in a worker during a quarrel outside a restaurant in Lakeview, authorities said.

The incident took place around 6:15 p.m. Friday, outside Ms. T.’s Southern Fried Chicken in block 3300 of North Broadway, Chicago police confirmed.

A 40-second video posted on YouTube resumes after the quarrel has already started and shows two women standing along the sidewalk blocking the driver’s car from traffic. “He threatened to overthrow me!” Said a woman standing right next to the camera, exchanging words with the driver behind the wheel wearing a face mask. Learn more here. —William Lee

6:00 a.m .: Chicago’s St. Anthony Hospital fights for survival and sues state for money owed

In a workshop at St. Anthony’s Hospital, maintenance crews spend time each morning making disinfectant wipes that the medical center can no longer afford.

After dipping paper towels in a liquid mixture developed by an infection control specialist, they deliver the 3.5-gallon pails – bright green drums with “Menards” printed on them – throughout the hospital 151 beds.

The regular vendor stopped providing the wipes weeks ago when the medical center struggled to pay its bills on time. And a global shortage has made them hard to find on the open market, where hospitals are now trying to outbid themselves for valuable actions.

With a century-old mission to care for people living in Little Village and other neighboring neighborhoods, it is the unorthodox approach that St. Anthony must adopt to fight insolvency and a deadly virus that has struck the neighborhoods that ‘it serves harder than other parts of the city.

“We needed a solution and we found one,” said Dr. Alfredo Mena Lora, medical director of the hospital for infection prevention. “There have been a lot of difficult problems to solve since the start of the pandemic, but this had to be done because we will be treating COVID for a long time. “

If, that is to say, Saint-Antoine can survive. Learn more here. —Stacy St. Clair

6 a.m .: With a new, stricter grading system – and warmer weather – Cook County now scores a D on social distancing

Chicago still has work to do to stay at home, according to an assessment.

Residents of Chicago and surrounding suburbs of Cook County are now getting a D in terms of social distancing from a New York data company that assesses the country based on home stay orders.

This is a significant drop from the end of March, when the area got an A, but the difference is more in revisions to the ranking system than a huge change in behavior. Unacast, the firm taking measurements from a sample of mobile phone data, has tightened its criteria based on comments from public health experts.

Ratings have also dropped in many other places across the country, including the Chicago collar counties and Illinois as a whole. Some regions, however, have been more successful than the Chicago area. New York City, perhaps more affected by COVID-19 than anywhere else in the United States, scored a B on Friday. Learn more here. —Hal Dardick

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