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


“Reopening will be like slowly turning on a dimmer, without turning on a light switch,” said Lightfoot.

Meanwhile, the state’s assessment of the coronavirus has continued, with authorities announcing a record number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period on Wednesday. The additional 192 deaths brought the state’s total death toll to 3,792.

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

11:35 a.m .: Will County officials and small business owners will take legal action against staying at Pritzker’s house

Two Republican officials from Will County and a handful of small business owners sued Governor J.B. Pritzker in federal court, alleging that the governor’s orders to stem the spread of the coronavirus were essentially an unconstitutional seizure of property.

George Pearson, chairman of the Will County Republican Committee, and Republican County Board member Steve Balich, filed a lawsuit in US District Court Wednesday for compensation for residents who were forced to close. companies and lay off workers due to the governor’s continuous stay – home command. The owners of a hair salon, auto shop and pet care business in Will County are also among the complainants.

The 11-page lawsuit alleged that through Pritzker’s order, the state “seized without compensation the assets and businesses and livelihoods of individuals across the state, forcing indefinite closures and layoffs. thousands of people. “

“In the aftermath of a rapidly evolving disease outbreak, the plaintiff’s position on the brink of economic collapse” is the direct result of the governor’s actions, the prosecution said.

A Pritzker spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

The case was the latest to go to Chicago’s federal court to undermine Pritzker’s response to the COVID-19 threat. In the past two weeks, two different judges have sided with the governor.

The Will County trial was assigned to US district judge Robert Gettleman, who on Wednesday published a notice criticizing two churches for what he called “ill-founded and selfish” to hold religious services in disregard of orders from Pritzker.

In denying the churches’ request for a preliminary injunction, Gettleman said group worship would endanger the lives of the faithful and their friends and families. ”

Their interest in community services cannot outweigh the health and safety of the public, “Gettleman wrote in his order. —Jason Meisner

11:30 a.m .: Senior high school and college seniors ask their schools to host in-person graduation ceremonies later than ever

Students from more than a dozen Chicago suburban high schools and Northwestern University have launched online petitions requesting that their canceled graduation ceremonies be rescheduled once COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings are lifted lifted.

“Frankly, even if you could have all the graduates in a Zoom meeting, most of the kids wouldn’t even come, because we want a real party just like the other alumni,” said Emily Butryn. , 17, a senior from John Hersey High School who launched an online petition last month asking Township 214 school district officials to consider rescheduling canceled graduation ceremonies at six high schools of the district.

To date, Butryn’s online petition has attracted more than 5,200 supporters, including students and parents.

Across the country, more than half a million people have supported various online petitions launched by high school students and students claiming that online virtual degrees are an unacceptable substitute for traditional in-person ceremonies, according to Change officials. org.

In Illinois, the five-phase program “Restore Illinois” recently unveiled by Governor JB Pritzker indicates that the graduation ceremony, which can attract thousands of participants, will be authorized as soon as possible is phase five, when large public gatherings will again be allowed. Learn more here. —Karen Ann Cullotta

10:00 a.m .: Additional wages for many essential workers are expiring, even as deaths from COVID-19 are increasing. Workers’ groups are fighting to maintain the “hero’s salary”.

Temporary wage increases for many essential workers working in grocery stores, warehouses and factories are expected to end this week and workers’ groups want to see wage increases extended, arguing that the risk of contracting the virus at work is not has not decreased.

Many employers implemented temporary wage increases or bonuses at the start of the pandemic, both to attract new workers and to reward existing workers who put themselves in danger of coming to work.

As spread of coronavirus continues, Illinois announced the highest number of deaths from COVID-19 in a single day on Wednesday since statewide tracking, calls by unions and workers’ groups request companies to maintain higher rates of pay. Read mroe here. –Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

9:43 am: They are neither doctors nor nurses. But they share the same high exposure to the coronavirus, and they feel forgotten.

When using her equipment to assess the kidneys of COVID-19 patients, Angela Huang scans her machine so closely that she and the patient are often hip to hip.

As a diagnostic medical sonographer in a Chicago hospital, Huang is sometimes in the rooms of coronavirus patients for an hour. She holds the hands of people nervous about the procedures; it scans their organs.

“You are with your device within 2 feet of the patient,” she said. “You are intimately linked to them. “

It’s fascinating work that she loves. But it’s a role that puts her in more danger than she imagined.

Huang is one of thousands of people who work in hospitals who are neither doctors nor nurses, but who share the same high exposure to the coronavirus. They go through the same doors, use the same elevator buttons, and take the same precautions when they return to their families. They are food service workers who bring trays and cut food for patients, electricians who go to a hospital to change the light bulbs and receptionists who greet patients. And many say they feel forgotten.

“People feel neglected,” said Huang, “and they are definitely part of this front line. “

8:54 am: swings and trampolines are rare as staying at home becomes a game at home during the pandemic

When Illinois reached last month’s order to stay at home last month, Chicago lawyer David Barrett did something he never dreamed of before COVID-19: he bought a trampoline backyard.

Living 24/7 in a Glencoe home with his wife and three “fiery” children under the age of 10 has changed his point of view.

“We were desperate for everything to take a few hours of the day and safely entertain our children,” said Barrett, 37.

Barretts can be a social distancing, but they are far from alone. Orders for swings, pools and trampolines go through the roof, while the stay at home turns into a game at home for increasingly restless families.

But with supply chain disruptions and a surge in demand, outdoor recreation equipment can be as scarce as toilet paper. Learn more here. —Robert Channick

7:50 am: Nearly 3 million more people apply for unemployment assistance in the United States; number of coronavirus layoffs now stands at 36 million

Almost 3 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits in the United States last week, as the viral epidemic has led to more companies cutting jobs, although most states have started letting some companies reopen under certain restrictions.

About 36 million people have applied for unemployment assistance in the two months since the coronavirus forced millions of businesses to shut down and downsize, the ministry said on Thursday. Job.

However, the number of first-time applicants has declined for six consecutive weeks, suggesting that a decreasing number of companies are reducing their payroll.

By historical standards, however, the latest count shows that the number of weekly jobless claims remains huge, reflecting an economy that is sinking into a deep recession. The rate of new requests for help last week is still four times the record level that prevailed before the coronavirus struck hard in March. Learn more here. –Associated press

7:27 a.m .: a new inflammatory disease in children probably linked to COVID-19, according to a new study

As concerns grow over children with severe and potentially fatal inflammatory disease, new research highlights the hallmarks of the disease and provides the strongest evidence to date that the syndrome is linked to the coronavirus.

The disease, called pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, has been reported in about 100 children in New York State, three of whom died, Governor Andrew Cuomo said this week. Cases have been reported in other states, including Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and California, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that it will soon issue an alert asking doctors to report cases with symptoms of the syndrome.

There have also been at least 50 cases reported from European countries, including France, Switzerland, Spain and Britain, where at least one death has been attributed to the syndrome.

In the new study, published Wednesday in the Lancet journal, Italian doctors compared a series of 10 cases of the disease with cases of a similar rare disease in children called Kawasaki disease. Learn more here. –The New York Times

6:45 am: The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Dioceses of Joliet, Rockford and Peoria announce progressive plans to reopen churches

The Archdiocese of Chicago, as well as the Dioceses of Rockford, Joliet and Peoria, announced on Wednesday evening progressive plans to begin the reopening of churches from Chicago with small gatherings for baptisms, wedding funerals and confessions from May 23.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has been under increasing pressure in recent days as small churches sued the state, trying to lift the almost two-month-old house order. Catholic bishops reached an agreement with the state on Wednesday, according to letters posted on the websites of their dioceses.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, more modest rallies could begin as early as May 23, depending on the preparations for each parish. But because “our movements will be limited as this plan unfolds in different phases, your pastors and bishops will for the time being continue to offer Mass in private each day and broadcast Masses live,” said Cardinal Blase Cupich in his letter.

Public worship of the Eucharist and the reopening of churches for private prayer could begin as early as May 30, according to Cupich. According to the letter, it is unclear when the regular masses will start again, as it will depend on the lifting of restrictions imposed by the state and local rallies.

The other dioceses, which cover most of Chicago’s suburbs outside of Cook and Lake counties, will follow slightly different schedules. In the Diocese of Rockford, small masses could start on May 25, while the planned openings of the Dioceses of Joliet and Peoria follow the same dates as those of the Archdiocese of Chicago, according to the letters of the bishops of these dioceses. – Chicago Tribune staff

6 a.m .: The geographic regrouping of Pritzker in the COVID-19 combat worries many suburban officials.

Opposition to the shutdown of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s coronavirus has escalated in parts of the suburbs and beyond, as elected officials try to separate their fate from that of Chicago and Cook County.

Officials in some cities and counties have asked to be considered separate from the big city, arguing that they have far fewer cases and deaths from COVID-19, and deserve to reopen businesses and rallies earlier.

Grundy County Sheriff Ken Briley went further, saying he refused to implement the governor’s order. He said he had neither the authority nor the desire to name or arrest people for organizing weddings or graduation parties.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are not Cook County,” wrote Briley on the sheriff’s Facebook page. “We are a rural community that believes in freedom, the rule of law and (we) support the Constitution.” Learn more here. —Robert McCoppin and John Keilman

6:00 a.m .: Many cities around the world have seen cleaner air after being arrested for COVID-19. But not Chicago.

Weeks of clear skies over Los Angeles, New Delhi, Wuhan and other foggy, soot-clogged cities are signs of how the locking of the coronavirus has improved air quality around the planet .

Animated satellite maps and daily reports from surveillance networks track what people see with their own eyes. City after city, pollution levels causing lung damage and shortening lifespans have dropped sharply as COVID-19 limited daily commute and shut down national economies.

But for reasons that have not yet been fully explained, the people of Chicago and its suburbs did not breathe significantly cleaner air during the pandemic.

Average daily soot levels in the region decreased by just 1% last month from April 2019, according to a Chicago Tribune analysis of federal and state surveillance data.

Last month on average was dirtier than April 2018 and 2017, the analysis found. Learn more here. —Michael Hawthorne

6:00 am: Summer camp files for bankruptcy as parents demand reimbursement: “I think it will be like getting blood on a stone”

Galileo Learning, a California-based company with 11 locations in Chicago and the suburbs, was among the first camps in the region to pull out the summer record in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. They offered credits for virtual programs and future camps in lieu of reimbursements, a decision that drew criticism and federal prosecution.

Now the troubled company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, hoping to continue its long-term operations while dealing with creditors’ claims.

However, the parents of campers, whose financial situation is uncertain due to the impact of the virus on the economy, are frustrated by the reimbursement policy.

“I feel like they took everyone’s money and ran,” said McDonnell.

In the federal class action, the families allege that Galileo Learning broke its contract with them by reversing its cancellation policy. The company is also the subject of at least six refund claims filed with the Illinois Attorney General’s office. A spokesperson said the office works with clients and the company to mediate complaints. Learn more here. —Madeline Buckley

6:00 a.m .: ComEd offers grants to individuals and non-profit groups struggling to pay their electricity bills

When Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Illinois home stay order in March, ComEd immediately began to suspend service disconnections and waive late fees. For now, late fees are waived until June 1.

The company has also made efforts to reconnect previously disconnected customers, according to Jane Park, ComEd customer manager and senior vice president of customer operations.

“We are spreading the word through social media, email, public service announcements on the radio, billing for shippers and contacting community groups, schools and pantries,” said Park. “ComEd normally makes an effort in the spring to educate customers about financial aid options, but in this COVID-19 world, we are trying to do more. All these efforts are amplified at this time. »Read more here. —Susan DeGrane

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