Note: Press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker or Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the video player above.
Chicago Public Schools on Monday held the first of five virtual meetings to hear feedback on the district's fall reopening plan, a hybrid model that would sort students into small pods and bring most of them into the classroom two days a week.
The meeting comes as both Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker were scheduled to discuss the coronavirus response at separate news conferences.
Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around Illinois today, July 27:
Wisconsin Being Added to Chicago's Travel Order, Mayor Says
Wisconsin is being added to the Chicago's emergency travel order, requiring anyone entering or returning to the city from the state to quarantine for 14 days, Mayor Lori Lightfoot revealed Monday.
Lightfoot, speaking during an unrelated press conference Monday, said Illinois' northern neighbor will be added to the quarantine list "later this week."
"I think Chicago, we are doing well because we were extremely prudent when we started to reopen up," Lightfoot said. "We didn't go as large with capacity, for example, as other areas across the country. So what we're seeing is cities and towns, particularly across the south through the southwest and on to California are really having significant struggles now because many of those communities took a very different approach to the one that Chicago took. We're also seeing an increase in states around us. Wisconsin, for example, is going to go on our quarantine list later this week."
The city's travel order is evaluated every Tuesday, with any additions taking effect the following Friday.
Last week, city health officials warned that Wisconsin was "very close" to being added to the list of states the city requires a quarantine from. The state was one of several in the U.S. sitting near the cutoff of being added to that list, which currently sits at 18 states.
"When I talk to folks in Wisconsin… we know people are not wearing masks there at the level they are here in Chicago," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said at a news conference last week.
States are added to the list if they have "a case rate greater than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population, per day, over a 7-day rolling average."
Illinois Reports 1,231 New Coronavirus Cases, 18 Additional Deaths Monday
Illinois reported 1,231 new cases of the virus on Monday, along with 18 additional deaths, a sharp increase from the single death reported Sunday.
The new cases bring the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 172,655 since the pandemic began, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
With Monday's additional 18 fatalities, Illinois is now at 7,416 COVID-19 related deaths during the pandemic.
On Sunday Illinois reported a single fatality, marking the lowest single-day increase in the death toll from the virus since March 21.
Monday's case number was lower than recent days, but the state also reported roughly 10,000 fewer test results in the last 24 hours compared to the previous day.
Officials reported 30,567 new coronavirus test specimens turned into state labs over the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to more than 2.5 million during the ongoing pandemic.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate also continued to rise, going up to 3.8% from the 3.6% reported a day earlier.
While Illinois’ hospitalization and ventilator usage numbers have both been either stagnant or declining in recent weeks, ICU usage by COVID-19 patients has crept up in recent days, although it still remains fairly close to the state’s low watermark in that metric. As of midnight, 350 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units statewide.
Pritzker Issues Warning to Illinois Residents Traveling to Other States
Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a warning Monday to Illinois residents traveling to other states, specifically Iowa and Missouri, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
"If you cross the border to Iowa or Missouri, remember that they have three and four times our positivity rate," Pritzker said during a news conference on the pandemic response alongside local elected officials in Adams County, which borders Missouri and sits just south of the state's border with Iowa.
"So even if you see someone there not wearing a mask, don't think you're safe," Pritzker continued. "Wear your mask. In fact, encourage them to wear theirs."
Illinois has seen "relative success in the handling of this pandemic," Pritzker said Monday, adding that the state has maintained a positivity rate "around half of our nearest neighbors, or a third or a fourth in some cases, including Missouri."
Illinois reported 1,231 new coronavirus cases and 18 additional deaths on Monday, as the statewide positivity rate - calculated as a seven-day rolling average to show overall trends - continued its gradual rise to now 3.8%.
Missouri's positivity rate over the past seven days stands at 8.8%, per the Missouri Department of Health's website. Iowa health officials reported a one-day positivity rate of 7.2% on Sunday, with an overall positivity rate of 9.3% since the pandemic began.
Chicago Public Schools Holds Virtual Feedback Meeting on Reopening Plan
Chicago Public Schools held the first of five virtual meetings Monday to solicit feedback on the district's reopening framework for the fall, announced earlier this month.
The framework includes plans for a hybrid model of learning that combines some in-person instruction and some remote learning from home, CPS said.
Under the framework, both half and full day pre-K programs will learn at school, while students in kindergarten through 10th grade would operate under a hybrid model. In the hybrid model, CPS says approximately 50% of its student population would attend school in person on any given day.
Most students in 11th and 12th grades - high school juniors and seniors - would learn entirely at home "given the diverse course scheduling requirements" of those students, the district says.
Under the hybrid model, "students will be placed in pods of approximately 15 students during the school day in order to minimize exposure to other students and to support rapid contact tracing should a member of the pod contract COVID-19," the district said. Pods will gather in assigned rooms with assigned seating, desks spaced six feet apart where feasible, and will use the same designated spaces in buildings, like the bathroom.
Each pod would spend the same two consecutive days each week at school, and the same two days at home. Every Wednesday they would participate in "real-time virtual instruction with their classroom teacher."
The plan also includes "rigorous public health protocols" including a requirement that everyone wear masks, daily health screenings, temperature checks and the hiring of roughly 400 more custodians to carry out cleaning and sanitizing protocols across the district.
CPS has said the framework is a draft and that the district wants community input before making any final decisions on its plans in August. It launched a survey to gather feedback on the framework, which can be found here. The district asked families, students and staff to submit feedback by July 31.
CPS will also hold five virtual meetings, three in English and two in Spanish, to solicit feedback. Participants have to register in advance to participate in the meetings, with one held each day this week, via EventBrite here.
Pritzker to Deliver 2 Coronavirus Updates
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is scheduled to deliver two updates on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic Monday.
The first is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CST at the Adams County Health Department in Quincy. The second will be at the Rock Island Health Department in Rock Island, per his public schedule.
At both news conferences, Pritzker's office said he will be joined by local leaders. Both events can be viewed live in the video player above.
Lightfoot to Announce Housing Assistance Grants
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday afternoon to announce housing assistance grants for residents impacted by COVID-19.
The event will be held at 1 p.m. at City Hall, according to her public schedule. She will be joined by the city's Department of Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara and the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler, her office says.
The event can be watched live in the video player above beginning at around 1 p.m.
Illinois Reports 1,541 New Coronavirus Cases, 1 Additional Death Sunday
Illinois health officials reported 1,541 new coronavirus cases and one additional death on Sunday.
The new cases bring the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 171,424 since the pandemic began, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
With Sunday’s additional fatality, reported in Bond County, Illinois is now at 7,398 COVID-19 related deaths during the pandemic.
The one fatality reported Sunday is the lowest single-day increase in the death toll from the virus since all the way back on March 21, with the number also reflecting a continued decline in the number of fatalities reported over the last two months.
Officials reported 40,844 new coronavirus test specimens turned into state labs over the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to more than 2.5 million during the ongoing pandemic.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate also continued to rise, going up to 3.69 percent. Nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed by the state over the last seven days, the highest rate of infection the state has seen since late May.
While Illinois’ hospitalization and ventilator usage numbers have both been either stagnant or declining in recent weeks, ICU usage by COVID-19 patients has crept up in recent days, although it still remains fairly close to the state’s low watermark in that metric. As of midnight, 345 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units statewide.
Secretary of State's Chicago Business Services Office Closed After Employee Tests Positive
The Secretary of State’s office announced Sunday that it will close its Business Services Office in Chicago until early August after an employee tested positive for coronavirus.
The office, which handles business service filings, including articles of incorporation and of organization, will shutter its doors until Aug. 6 after an employee was diagnosed with the illness, according to a press release.
According to the release, the Illinois Department of Health was consulted on the situation, and has said the public is not directly impacted by the situation.
All employees at the facility are being quarantined for 14 days, and the office is set to be cleaned and sanitized, per CDC guidelines.
Anyone needing assistance with business issues is encouraged to visit the Springfield Business Services office, or to file paperwork online on the secretary of state’s website.
Blackhawks Goaltender Corey Crawford Reveals Coronavirus Diagnosis
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford returned to the practice ice on Saturday, revealing for the first time that he tested positive for coronavirus earlier this summer.
Crawford, who had not participated in any drills or workouts with the team during summer training camp, participated in a scrimmage on Saturday, the final practice for the Blackhawks before the team headed to Edmonton for their play-in series against the Oilers.
The netminder revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 during a conference call with reporters on Saturday afternoon, saying that his symptoms were mild flu-like symptoms.
“The first few days I started feeling symptoms, that was the hardest,” Crawford told reporters, including Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Crawford said he self-quarantined at his home after his diagnosis, staying away from his wife and newborn child.
4 Illinois Counties at 'Warning Level' for Coronavirus, Health Department Says
Four Illinois counties have reached a "warning level" for coronavirus, the Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday.
Adams, LaSalle, Peoria and Randolph counties were all named by the department for reaching "two or more COVID-19 risk indicators."
According to IDPH the concerning numbers coming out of the four counties is due in large part to "outbreaks associated with business and risky behavior."
The department cited the following activities for sparking the warning:
Adams County: larger social events, health care exposure, travel to hotspots including those in neighboring Missouri and Iowa, places of worship, and youth sports.
LaSalle County: large family and social gatherings, increase in cases among people younger than 29 years, younger people visiting bars and attending larger social events, and inconsistencies with masking requirements.
Peoria County: increases in cases among people younger than 29 years, large gatherings including 4th of July parties, and people traveling to Florida, Iowa, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Randolph County: congregate settings, numerous bars not complying with distancing and masking, a large party with more than 200 people, and among households.
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