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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Oct. 7 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Officials reported 58,820 new tests in the last 24 hours, as the state surpasses 6 million total COVID-19 tests. The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 3.5%.

The new statewide numbers come as Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that the gains that most regions in Illinois had been making in bringing down COVID-19 positivity rates in recent weeks have “cooled off a bit.” The governor noted specifically that the northeastern region that includes Lake and McHenry counties has seen a reversal after a period of decline.

“That progress has cooled off a bit, across Illinois,” Pritzker said. “We are seeing changes in positivity averages around the state level off, with three regions that were decreasing last week now sitting at a stable level.”

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

7:15 p.m.: CPS says clerks must report to work in person, despite labor ruling that questions COVID-19 protections in schools. CTU says the action ‘threatens jobs.’

Despite an arbitrator’s ruling that certain Chicago Public Schools employees should be allowed to work from home when feasible during remote learning, the district is continuing to require them to work in person.

An email from Chief Talent Officer Matt Lyons sent late Tuesday told clerks, clerk assistants and technology coordinators that the expectations have not changed.

“As critical members of our school community, you are integral in our collective work communicating and supporting families, staff, and students,” the email states. “This means you will continue to be expected to report to work in person, unless you have an approved or pending request for a leave of absence or accommodation.

“You may have received conflicting information recently on this reporting requirement,” the email continued, “but we are writing today to confirm CPS’ expectation and directive to report to work onsite.”

Without a leave of absence or accommodation request approved or pending, employees are not allowed to work from home, according to the email, which states that if employees don’t show up in person, “CPS will consider your absence unauthorized and proceed accordingly.”

The Chicago Teachers Union is interpreting the email as a threat of discipline and an attempt “to strongarm workers into schools in defiance of the ruling.” The union also claims CPS is stalling on bargaining over remedies.

6:55 p.m.: The Purple Pig employees hold protest over concerns of coronavirus safety negligence

After spending much of Tuesday night calling colleagues at The Purple Pig, Ryan Love felt upbeat about the five people who committed to picketing the Chicago restaurant Wednesday morning.

The protest, which ended up being four people greeting passersby with signs saying, “211K Americans dead. Tapas anyone?” and “No transparency, no accountability,” was inspired by frustration over the perceived actions of restaurant chef and owner Jimmy Bannos Jr. and other members of management. Love contends they did not take appropriate steps to keep employees and guests safe after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 24.

Love, a lead server and bartender, said a full

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Oct. 5 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Meanwhile, President Trump staged a dramatic return to the White House Monday night after leaving the military hospital where he has been receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19. He immediately ignited a new controversy by declaring that despite his illness the nation should not fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans — and then he entered the White House without a protective mask

Also on Monday, the CDC said that the coronavirus can spread more than 6 feet through the air, especially in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials maintained that such spread is uncommon and current social distancing guidelines still make sense.

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

5:05 p.m.: Nearly one-third of COVID patients in Chicago-area study had an altered mental state

Nearly a third of hospitalized COVID-19 patients experienced some type of altered mental function — ranging from confusion to delirium to unresponsiveness — in the largest study to date of neurological symptoms among coronavirus patients in a U.S. hospital system.

And patients with altered mental function had significantly worse medical outcomes, according to the study, published Monday in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. The study looked at the records of the first 509 coronavirus patients hospitalized, from March 5 to April 6, at 10 hospitals in the Northwestern Medicine health system in the Chicago area.

These patients stayed three times as long in the hospital as patients without altered mental function.

After they were discharged, only 32% of the patients with altered mental function were able to handle routine daily activities like cooking and paying bills, said Dr. Igor Koralnik, senior author of the study and chief of neuro-infectious disease and global neurology at Northwestern Medicine. In contrast, 89% of patients without altered mental function were able to manage such activities without assistance.

Patients with altered mental function — the medical term is encephalopathy — were also nearly seven times as likely to die as those who did not have that type of problem.

4:40 p.m.: St. Viator Catholic school moves to all-remote after ‘several’ positive COVID-19 cases over weekend

St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights is shifting from all-onsite learning to all-remote following an uptick in positive novel coronavirus cases in recent days, school officials said Monday.

School officials told Pioneer Press Monday that the decision was made after several positive COVID-19 test results “among those in the school” Saturday and Sunday.

Officials declined to say whether those testing positive were students or staff, or to provide additional information.

“While we had experienced only a few isolated instances since returning to school on August 24, in the past few days the number of reports exceeded what we feel allows us to provide a safe environment for our faculty, staff and students,” school President Brian Liedlich said in a statement.

4:15 p.m.: CDC now says coronavirus can spread more than 6 feet through the air in updated guidance

The top U.S.

‘This Incident Should Never Have Happened,’ Hancock Says

new video loaded: ‘This Incident Should Never Have Happened,’ Hancock Says

transcript

transcript

‘This Incident Should Never Have Happened,’ Hancock Says

Nearly 16,000 people who tested positive for the coronavirus were not recorded in Britain’s daily number of reported cases for a test and trace program.

Mr. Speaker, I want to take the first available opportunity to set out to the House the technical issue around case uploads discovered by Public Health England on Friday evening. This is an ongoing incident, and I come to the House straight from an operational update from my officials. On Friday night, Public Health England identified that over the previous eight days, 15,841 positive test results were not included in the reported daily cases. This was due to a failure in the automated transfer files from the labs to P.H.E.’s data systems. Mr. Speaker, this incident should never have happened. But the team have acted swiftly to minimize its impact, and now, it is critical that we work together to put this right, and to make sure that it never happens again. I want to reassure the House that outbreak control in care homes, schools and hospitals has not been directly affected because dealing with outbreaks in these settings does not primarily rely on this particular P.H.E. system. The chief medical officer has analyzed that our assessment of the disease and its impact has not substantially changed as a result of these data, and the J.B.C. has confirmed that this has not impacted the basis on which decisions about local action were taken last week. Nevertheless this is a serious issue, which is being investigated fully.

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Video: GMB’s Dr Hillary issues stark warning over catching flu and coronavirus at the same time (Manchester Evening News)

GMB’s Dr Hillary issues stark warning over catching flu and coronavirus at the same time

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a person standing in front of a crowd: Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters


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Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Why is Trump at risk?



a person standing in front of a crowd: New Yorkers pray for President Donald Trump after he was diagnosed with Covid-19.


© Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters
New Yorkers pray for President Donald Trump after he was diagnosed with Covid-19.

Three key factors put Trump at a high risk of suffering severe respiratory problems in the wake of his Covid-19 infection. Firstly, he weighs more than 17 stone. He is obese and that makes him 74% more likely to end up in an intensive care unit than a patient of a healthy weight. At the same time, he is 48% more likely to die. A second factor is his age: Trump is 74 and in an age bracket that suggests he is five times more likely to need hospital treatment than an 18 to 29-year-old – and 90 times more likely to die. And finally, he is male. Research suggests that men appear to be twice as likely to die from the disease as women.

What treatment is he getting?

Reports indicate that Trump has been given two drugs: remdesivir and REGN-COV2. However, these medicines have still not completed full clinical trials and it is unclear how effective they are going to be in helping the president recover. Other medicines being administered to Trump include vitamin D, an antacid called famotidine, melatonin and aspirin. These are intended to alleviate his fever.

What are the early symptoms of Covid-19?

Covid-19 can cause a dry, racking cough, high temperature and loss of sense of smell. These symptoms are sometimes mild but in other cases patients can be left feeling fatigued, drowsy and confused. Itchy eyes, runny nose and upset stomachs are also experienced during the first days of infection.

When will he enter the most dangerous period of the infection?

According to Trump’s doctors, the president is displaying only mild symptoms. The danger period will come in the second week of his infection, when inflammatory reactions are typically triggered by the virus, causing severe respiratory problems – typically in those who are obese, male and old. Those who suffer particularly badly are put on ventilators to help them breathe. When the pandemic first struck, the majority of patients on ventilators died. However, survival rates have improved considerably since then.

Where is Trump being treated?

Trump has been taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, where previous US presidents and vice-presidents have been routinely treated for various ailments over the decades. The centre has a dedicated presidential office suite that includes a sitting room and a conference room. It is widely considered to be one of the most advanced hospitals in the US.

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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Sept. 30 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

“IDPH recognizes that some who will choose to gather together anyway, and instead of denying that reality, we are issuing guidance and recommendations for safer ways to celebrate together in person,” IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike wrote in a statement. “Remember, we know what our best tools are: wearing our masks, keeping our distance, limiting event sizes, washing your hands, and looking out for public health and each other.”

Additionally, the central Illinois region around Champaign-Urbana could be hit with stricter restrictions on restaurants, bars and other businesses as the percentage of positive coronavirus tests is on the rise, state public officials warned on Wednesday.

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

8:35 p.m.: American Airlines to furlough 19,000 employees as clock runs out on deal for federal aid

American Airlines will begin furloughing 19,000 employees on Thursday after lawmakers and the White House failed to agree on a broad pandemic-relief package that includes more federal aid for airlines.

CEO Doug Parker said Wednesday night that if Washington comes up with a deal for $25 billion in airline aid “over the next few days,” American will reverse the furloughs and recall the employees.

The move by American represents the first — and likely the largest — involuntary jobs cut across the industry in coming days. United Airlines has indicated it could furlough nearly 12,000 workers.

8:15 p.m.: Pelosi, Mnuchin have ‘extensive’ talks on coronavirus relief

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held an “extensive conversation” Wednesday on a huge COVID-19 rescue package, meeting face to face for the first time in more than a month in a last-ditch effort to seal a tentative accord on an additional round of coronavirus relief.

After a 90-minute meeting in the Capitol, Pelosi issued a statement saying the two would continue to talk. “We found areas where we are seeking further clarification,” she said. Talks resume Thursday.

“We made a lot of progress over the last few days. We still don’t have an agreement,” Mnuchin said after meeting with Pelosi and briefing top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell.

At the very least, the positive tone set by Pelosi and Mnuchin represented an improvement over earlier statements. But there is still a considerable gulf between the two sides, McConnell said.

“I’ve seen substantial movement, yes, and certainly the rhetoric has changed,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said.

7 p.m.: Cook County Board commissioner tests positive for COVID-19

A Cook County commissioner who appeared in a news conference with board President Toni Preckwinkle last week announced on Wednesday he tested positive for coronavirus.

Commissioner Kevin Morrison, D-15th, released a statement late afternoon that he will self-isolate for 14 days and not resume activities until he tests negative. He said he is mostly asymptomatic.

“Unfortunately, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Morrison wrote. “Fortunately, I am feeling well with very little symptoms. … I encourage everyone to continue to follow public health guidance and to stay safe.”

Preckwinkle,

This is what happened when Boris Johnson got Covid-19

LONDON — As news of President Donald Trump’s shock diagnosis with Covid-19 spread Friday, the experience of United Kingdom Prime Minster Boris Johnson, who tested positive six months ago, could offer a clue to what might come next.

Johnson, 55, announced on March 27, at the height of the the pandemic in the U.K., that he was suffering “mild” symptoms and would self-isolate while continuing to work. He was thought to be the first world leader confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.

He kept in contact with ministers through what he called the “wizardry of modern technology,” and 10 Downing Street, his official residence and personal office, maintained that he was in control.

Image: Boris Johnson (Jessica Taylor / AFP - Getty Images)
Image: Boris Johnson (Jessica Taylor / AFP – Getty Images)

Then, on April 6 Johnson was rushed to a London hospital on the advice of his doctor before being placed in an intensive care unit. He spent a week in the hospital and received oxygen treatment but was not put on a ventilator. Queen Elizabeth II was kept informed of his status, Buckingham Palace said.

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who deputized in Johnson’s absence, told a press conference the next day that Johnson was still in control of the government — but he admitted he hadn’t spoken to him since before his hospitalization.

On his release, and as he began a period of recuperation at his house in the English countryside, Johnson won praise for a heartfelt message in which he thanked the National Health Service for “saving my life.” Referring to how serious his condition was, Johnson said “it could have gone either way.”

Image: Jair Bolsonaro (Andre Borges / Bloomberg via Getty Images file)
Image: Jair Bolsonaro (Andre Borges / Bloomberg via Getty Images file)

It wasn’t until Monday April 27 that Johnson finally returned to work. Johnson has dismissed ongoing press speculation that the illness has given him long-term symptoms, saying Tuesday he was “fit as a butcher’s dog.”

The episode was a sober wake-up call to Britons, many of whom were skeptical about the severity and threat of the virus.

And it brought into sharp relief the criticism that the U.K. was far too slow to react to the pandemic. Johnson was personally attacked for a cavalier attitude to the virus: He boasted at a press conference on March 3 that he had been shaking hands with people at a hospital overloaded with coronavirus patients.

It later transpired that the government’s own scientific advisors had by that point privately called for a public warning against hand shaking. The prime minister’s spokesperson said he did not see this advice.

Trump joins a growing list of current and former world leaders to contract the virus.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — who had for months downplayed the severity of the pandemic — announced his illness in July. Like Trump, he promoted the use of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to fight Covid-19. Brazil has the third-highest number of coronavirus infections, approaching 5 million.

Juan Orlando Hernández, the president of Honduras, announced in June that he and