Two men in their 80s became the 13th and 14th Vermilion County residents to lose their lives to COVID-19, the local health department announced Monday.
Both were previously hospitalized, county health Administrator Doug Toole said, adding: “Our hearts go out to their friends and family.”
Toole also announced that a previously announced fatality that had been attributed to Vermilion was done so in error, explaining the reason for the county’s death toll only increasing by one Monday.
Meanwhile, the county added 27 cases Monday, raising its total to 1,701, 178 of which are classified as active.
Fifteen Vermilion County residents are hospitalized due to the coronavirus.
How the new cases break down by age:
- One resident in their 80s
- Three in their 70s
- Four in their 60s
- Four in their 50s
- Four in their 40s
- Three in their 30s
- Two in their 20s
- Four teens
- One grade-school-aged child
- One toddler
On the day COVID-19 mitigation measures took effect across the area, Region 6’s seven-day positivity rate rose again — from 9.3 to 9.5 percent.
For the restrictions to be lifted, the region that includes Champaign, Douglas, Ford, Piatt, Vermilion and 16 other counties must have three consecutive days of a rate under 6.5 percent.
The metrics the state uses cover a period that ends three days earlier (figures announced Monday are through Oct. 30) and exclude data from the UI campus’ massive saliva testing (if UI tests were included, the region’s rate would be 3.3 percent).
Here’s a look at the rolling seven-day rates of the 21 counties that make up Region 6 (and how those rates compare to the previous day):
- Cumberland: 25.9 percent (+1.3%)
- Macon: 15.5 percent (+0.8)
- Coles: 14.3 percent (+2.8)
- Shelby: 14.1 percent (-0.9)
- Douglas: 13.9 percent (-1.5)
- Effingham: 13.7 percent (+1.7)
- Vermilion: 10.9 percent (+1.2)
- Clay: 10.1 percent (+0.6)
- Iroquois: 9.9 percent (+1.9)
- Crawford: 8.6 percent (+0.6)
- Clark: 8.1 percent (-0.1)
- Moultrie: 7.2 percent (-1.5)
- DeWitt: 6.9 percent (+0.3)
- Jasper: 6.8 percent (-1.9)
- Piatt: 6.5 percent (unchanged)
- Ford: 6.4 percent (+0.6)
- Lawrence: 6.2 percent (+0.7)
- Champaign: 5.6 percent (unchanged)
- Richland: 5.2 percent (+0.4)
- Fayette: 4.8 percent (-0.7)
- Edgar: 3.7 percent (-0.6)
If the UI’s saliva testing results were included in the state’s count, Champaign County’s seven-day rate would be 1.2 percent.
Reports Sarah Mansur of our Springfield-based news partner, Capitol News Illinois:
All 11 of the state’s mitigation regions will face stricter COVID-19 based restrictions by Wednesday due to increasing positivity rates, while opposition grows from some bars, restaurants and other small businesses struggling during the pandemic’s economic downturn.
“The virus is spreading. And every region of the state is suffering from its insidious, invisible contagion,” Gov. J.B Pritzker said Monday during his daily COVID-19 briefing.
“Nothing we can do will immediately reduce the positivity rates, or hospitalizations, but our resurgence mitigations are designed to have an impact over several weeks as long as everyone takes some responsibility for masking, social distancing and following the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and (Illinois Department of Public Health) guidelines. Just like driving a car, when someone blows through a stoplight, they not only risk their own life, but also the lives of all the drivers around them. Right now, the stoplight is red. Please act accordingly.”
According to the governor, the past week was one of the worst single-week increases in regional positivity across the state since the spring, with none of the regions experiencing a decrease in their positivity rates.
The lowest increase in any region was by 1.2 percentage points, which was in Region 5 in southern Illinois, and the highest was a 3.1 percentage point increase in Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties.
Last week, the Illinois Restaurant Association called on Pritzker to consider alternative mitigations to reduce the hardships that many restaurants are already experiencing. The organization also said it plans to file a legal brief in support of pending lawsuits from restaurants challenging the administration’s executive orders.
A group of more than a dozen restaurants in Springfield also filed a similar lawsuit against Pritzker on Friday. The new restrictions have also received pushback from some local leaders, including Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, who have said they would not enforce them.
“All we’re asking is for simple enforcement,” Prtizker said in response to a question about pushback to the new restrictions. “Many, many restaurants and bars are doing the right thing. They’re either using outdoor tents, or they’re just providing pickup and delivery service or drive through during this difficult period.”
But the governor also said some officials are choosing not to do the right thing.
“I would encourage people to speak to their local leaders and remind them that leadership means making some difficult decisions,” he said.
Pritzker also touted the number of local businesses that have benefited from federal stimulus funding released by the state — the Business Interruption Grants program and the Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (or Local CURE) Support Program.
“Until we can reduce the upward movement of hospitalizations and bring the rate of spread down, we must keep our economy moving forward, and support our small businesses,” Pritzker said during his briefing. “And I encourage everyone listening to support your local small businesses. These are the heroes who are the lifeblood of our communities, and they are job creators.”
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has distributed $95 million in BIG funds to businesses through 4,000 individual grants, and there remains $175 million in program to disburse, according to the governor’s office.
Nearly $50 million has also been distributed from the CURE program, which reimburses local governments for COVID-related expenses. About $31.9 million in CURE funding is in the process of being distributed, with $170 million remaining.
Both the BIG grants and Local CURE funding comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.
Tania Hernandez, a business owner who has benefited from BIG funds, spoke at Pritzker’s daily press briefing about how the grant money helped keep her dress shop from failing due to the ongoing pandemic, as her business pivoted to making masks instead.
“The BIG grant that was provided by the state was essential for us. It allowed us to keep our employees and pay rent. Without this financial help, it was impossible for us to survive.
“We’re facing critical times but the BIG grant has been a lift for us,” Hernandez said.
Still, Pritzker said, more is needed in the way of aid to struggling businesses.
“The dollars provided by the federal government aren’t nearly enough,” Pritzker said. “So I’ve simultaneously called for the federal government to deliver more direct assistance for Americans in every state. And I would encourage elected officials across the state to join in on that advocacy.”
Seventeen new cases emerged from 4,823 new tests Sunday on the UI campus, a rate of 0.4 percent, according to data updated Monday.
The campus’ seven-day positivity rate remained 0.4 percent for the sixth straight day.
Since Aug. 24, when classes began, there have been 2,783 unique cases of COVID-19 on the UI campus.
Since Aug. 16, when move-in week kicked off, there have been 3,065 cases.
Here’s a daily breakdown of tests and unique cases since students began reporting to campus in mid-August, according to the UI’s COVID-19 dashboard:
- Sunday, Nov. 1: 4,823 new tests, 17 new cases
- Saturday, Oct. 31: 3,522 new tests, 9 new cases
- Friday, Oct. 30: 10,787 new tests, 39 new cases
- Thursday, Oct. 29: 8,980 new tests, 27 new cases
- Wednesday, Oct. 28: 9,579 new tests, 34 new cases
- Tuesday, Oct. 27: 10,294 new tests, 36 new cases
- Monday, Oct. 26: 11,112 new tests, 74 new cases
- Sunday, Oct. 25: 4,935 new tests, 23 new cases
- Saturday, Oct. 24: 3,870 new tests, 15 new cases
- Friday, Oct. 23: 9,284 new tests, 22 new cases
- Thursday, Oct. 22: 8,581 new tests, 23 new cases
- Wednesday, Oct. 21: 9,639 new tests, 20 new cases
- Tuesday, Oct. 20: 9,964 new cases, 18 new cases
- Monday, Oct. 19: 10,611 new tests, 18 new cases
- Sunday, Oct. 18: 4,320 new tests, 6 new tests
- Saturday, Oct. 17: 3,666 new tests, 2 new cases
- Friday, Oct. 16: 9,700 new tests, 9 new cases
- Thursday, Oct. 15: 7,777 new tests, 9 new cases
- Wednesday, Oct. 14: 9,322 new tests, 11 new cases
- Tuesday, Oct. 13: 10,057 new tests, 14 new cases
- Monday, Oct. 12: 9,573 new tests, 23 new cases
- Sunday, Oct. 11: 4,358 new tests, 8 new cases
- Saturday, Oct. 10: 3,574 new tests, 11 new cases
- Friday, Oct. 9: 9,867 new tests, 10 new cases
- Thursday, Oct. 8: 7,953 new tests, 14 new cases
- Wednesday, Oct. 7: 9,780 new tests, 21 new cases
- Tuesday, Oct. 6: 10,369 new tests, 25 new cases
- Monday, Oct. 5: 11,142 new tests, 48 new cases
- Sunday, Oct. 4: 4,374 new tests, 7 new cases
- Saturday, Oct. 3: 3,851 new tests, 9 new cases
- Friday, Oct. 2: 10,765 new tests, 18 new cases
- Thursday, Oct. 1: 7,577 new tests, 27 new cases
- Wednesday, Sept. 30: 10,354 new tests, 32 new cases
- Tuesday, Sept. 29: 10,637 new tests, 36 new cases
- Monday, Sept. 28: 10,736 new tests, 36 new cases
- Sunday, Sept. 27: 4,408 new tests, 28 new cases
- Saturday, Sept. 26: 3,892 new tests, 17 new cases
- Friday, Sept. 25: 11,090 new tests, 41 new cases
- Thursday, Sept. 24: 9,086 new tests, 27 new cases
- Wednesday, Sept. 23: 9,671 new tests, 28 new cases
- Tuesday. Sept. 22: 11,030 new tests, 62 new cases
- Monday, Sept. 21: 10,474 new tests, 42 new cases
- Sunday, Sept. 20: 4,383 new tests, 11 new cases
- Saturday, Sept. 19: 4,133 new tests, 13 new cases
- Friday, Sept. 18: 10,564 new tests, 27 new cases
- Thursday, Sept. 17: 7,802 new tests, 18 new cases
- Wednesday, Sept. 16: 9,965 new tests, 24 new cases
- Tuesday, Sept. 15: 11,232 new tests, 45 new cases
- Monday, Sept. 14: 10,214 new tests, 40 new cases
- Sunday, Sept. 13: 4,568 new tests, 17 new cases
- Saturday, Sept. 12: 4,009 new tests, 10 new cases
- Friday, Sept. 11: 11,253 new tests. 35 news cases
- Thursday, Sept. 10: 6,626 new tests, 34 new cases
- Wednesday, Sept. 9: 11,993 new tests, 47 new cases
- Tuesday, Sept. 8: 11,621 new tests, 81 new cases
- Monday, Sept. 7: 6,299 new tests, 69 new cases
- Sunday, Sept. 6: 2,987 new tests, 37 new cases
- Saturday, Sept. 5: 2,609 new tests, 37 new cases
- Friday, Sept. 4: 14,204 new tests, 104 new cases
- Thursday, Sept. 3: 14,841 new tests, 88 new cases
- Wednesday, Sept. 2: 7,089 new tests, 120 new cases
- Tuesday, Sept. 1: 14,367 new tests, 199 new cases
- Monday, Aug. 31: 17,227 new tests, 230 new cases
- Sunday, Aug. 30: 3,640 new tests, 104 new cases
- Saturday, Aug. 29: 2,895 new tests, 50 new cases
- Friday, Aug. 28: 15,030 new tests, 65 new cases
- Thursday, Aug. 27: 15,123 new tests, 60 new cases
- Wednesday, Aug. 26: 6,812 new tests, 54 new cases
- Tuesday, Aug. 25: 15,850 new tests, 89 new cases
- Monday, Aug. 24: 17,656 new tests, 79 new cases
- Sunday, Aug. 23: 4,474 new tests, 53 new cases
- Saturday, Aug. 22: 3,326 new tests, 43 new cases
- Friday, Aug. 21: 10,877 new tests, 54 new cases
- Thursday, Aug. 20: 10,742 new tests, 52 new cases
- Wednesday, Aug. 19: 6,300 new tests, 29 new cases
- Tuesday, Aug. 18: 6,162 new tests, 20 new cases
- Monday, Aug. 17: 9,064 new tests, 24 new cases
- Sunday, Aug. 16: 2,453 new tests, 7 new cases
The hard-hit Rantoul City Schools District on Monday announced more new cases involving three schools:
— Pleasant Acres Elementary: Already in full remote learning mode since Oct. 22 due to a lack of available teachers, the district since learned of four additional positive tests — two involving staff, two students.
“As of November 1st, we will have at least four known staff members who cannot return to work until between the dates of Nov 13-23rd, depending on each person’s situation,” the district announced. “On any given day we also have staff members absent for symptoms. Due to still not having enough staff present to cover classes, Pleasant Acres has extended” the remote learning period, with students now not set to return until Nov. 10.
— J.W. Eater Junior High: Late Friday, the district became aware that a student who was last in school while contagious on Oct. 21 had tested positive. Two staff members did, as well; neither is a teacher and both were last in school on Oct. 28.
“We have determined that no students or staff to be at higher risk due to ‘close contact’ with the person diagnosed with COVID-19,” the district said in Monday’s announcement.
— Eastlawn Elementary: On Sunday, the district learned that two students from the same family — last in school “while possibly contagious” on Oct. 29 — tested positive.
“We have determined that no students or staff to be at higher risk due to ‘close contact’ with the (students) diagnosed with COVID-19,” the district said.
Pleasant Acres is just the latest school to announce remote plans. Others around the area that have shifted to off-site learning:
— Rantoul High, which announced Sunday it was moving all learning online for one week after six staff members and five students tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.
“The administrative team, along with the school nurse met this afternoon to evaluate the COVID situation in the school and in the community,” Superintendent Scott Amerio wrote in a letter to staff and families. “In the past week, we have had six staff members test positive and ten other staff members who have had to quarantine. We have had five students test positive and forty-three other students who have had to quarantine.
“We feel that our protocols we have in place have allowed us to stay in-session this long, but the current transmission rate in the county is extremely high. This has caused an unsafe situation in the building for our students and our staff as they are exposed to the virus out in the community and then unknowingly bring it into the building.”
— Unity High, where students are scheduled to return to school on Nov. 10 following two weeks off-site. Superintendent Andy Larson told The News-Gazette last Monday night that the move was made in response to “multiple” confirmed cases.
— Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High, which also moved to two weeks of all-remote learning after positive tests by “multiple students,” according to Superintendent Jeremy Darnell. The remote period is scheduled to last through Friday.
— Monticello High, which made the switch on Oct. 19 after three positive student tests. Originally scheduled to last a week, Superintendent Vic Zimmerman announced 10 days ago that classes wouldn’t resume in-person until this Wednesday, after more student cases emerged.
— The Arcola school district, where students have been out since Oct. 20, is scheduled to resume in-person learning on Wednesday, with Monday being a remote learning day and school out for Tuesday’s Election Day.
— The Danville school district, where students have been learning at home since Oct. 19, is also scheduled to resume in-person classes on Wednesday.
A man in his 60s is the 29th Champaign County resident to lose their life to COVID-19.
The county’s first coronavirus-related fatality since Oct. 15 had underlying health conditions, C-U Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde told the N-G’s Deb Pressey on Monday.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in Champaign County grew by an even 90 Monday, to 6,588.
Other Champaign County coronavirus numbers of note:
— The number of county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 held at seven.
— Recovered cases outnumber active ones, 6,022 (up 79) to 538 (up 11).
— The number of close contacts currently in quarantine rose by 189, to 1,946.
Here’s an updated rundown of county ZIP codes with active cases followed by their total number of cases, according to C-U Public Health District data:
- 61820/Champaign: 168 active (up three from Sunday), 2,801 total (up 20)
- 61821/Champaign: 77 active (up six from Sunday), 682 total (up 18)
- 61866/Rantoul: 48 active (down seven from Sunday), 538 total (up four)
- 61822/Champaign: 45 active (up seven from Sunday), 507 total (up 11)
- 61801/Urbana: 45 active (up 10 from Sunday), 604 total (up 15)
- 61802/Urbana: 31 active (down one from Sunday), 450 total (up three)
- 61853/Mahomet: 23 active (unchanged from Sunday), 266 total (up five)
- 61873/St. Joseph: 20 active (down 10 from Sunday), 149 total (up one)
- 61880/Tolono: 15 active (up three from Sunday), 102 total (up four)
- 61874/Savoy: 13 active (up one from Sunday), 158 total (up three)
- 61843/Fisher: 9 active (down two from Sunday), 61 total (up one)
- 61864/Philo: 6 active (up two from Sunday), 38 total (up two)
- 61862/Penfield: 6 active (up one from Sunday), 10 total (up two)
- 61878/Thomasboro: 5 active (unchanged from Sunday), 28 total (unchanged)
- 61816/Broadlands: 5 active (unchanged from Sunday), 11 total (unchanged)
- 61877/Sidney: 4 active (down one from Sunday), 37 total (unchanged)
- 61847/Gifford: 3 active (up one from Sunday), 20 total (up one)
- 61875/Seymour: 3 active (unchanged from Sunday), 13 total (unchanged)
- 61863/Pesotum: 2 active (down one from Sunday), 20 total (unchanged)
- 61859/Ogden: 2 active (unchanged from Sunday), 19 total (unchanged)
- 60949/Ludlow: 2 active (unchanged from Sunday), 11 total (unchanged)
- 61840/Dewey: 2 active (unchanged from Sunday), 8 total (unchanged)
- 61872/Sadorus: 2 active (unchanged from Sunday), 8 total (unchanged)
- 61849/Homer: 1 active (down one from Sunday), 17 total (unchanged)
- 61851/Ivesdale: 1 active (unchanged from Sunday), 6 total (unchanged)
- 61871/Royal: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 10 total (unchanged)
- 61845/Foosland: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 9 total (unchanged)
- 61810/Allerton: 0 active (unchanged from Sunday), 1 total (unchanged)
The county’s pandemic totals, according to CUPHD:
- 817,760 tests (not updated since Saturday)
- 6,588 confirmed cases
- 28 fatalities
- 10,393 close contacts quarantined
- 1,080 close contacts that became positive