Sunday, July 25

Mondays coronavirus updates: Unit 4 reports eight positive tests in first week back for elementary students; Villa Grove going all-remote – Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

Monday active cases

During the first week back in school for Unit 4 elementary students, there were eight cases of COVID-19, according to data posted on the district website.

Five involved students and three staff, leading to 17 people required to quarantine (12 students, five staff).

The data is for the week of Oct. 26 through Nov. 1, when elementary students whose families chose the in-person learning option returned to school buildings for the first time since March.

Elsewhere around area schools:

— The latest local district to shift to all-remote learning for two weeks: Villa Grove, which has set a return-to-in-person date of Nov. 16. School’s out on Tuesday, for Election Day, so remote learning will officially take effect on Wednesday.

Both the Arcola and Danville districts are scheduled to end all-remote periods on Wednesday.

— The hard-hit Rantoul City Schools District on Monday announced more new cases involving three schools.

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 at Pleasant Acres Elementary — 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.

Late Friday, the district became aware that a J.W. Eater Junior High 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.

On Sunday, the district learned that two Eastlawn Elementary 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.

Monday’s news came  a day after Rantoul High announced 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 number of confirmed cases in Douglas County grew by 18 Monday, to 894.

In the past 14 days, the county has reported 359 cases, landing it for a second straight week on the state’s coronavirus warning level list.

The new cases, announced late Monday, involve:

  • A 12-year-old girl
  • Two men and one woman in their 20s
  • Four men and three women in their 40s
  • Two men and one woman in their 50s
  • Two men in their 60s
  • One woman and one man in their 70s

Monday Vermilion

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

Monday 7 lede

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).

Monday 7 state

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.

Monday Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at his daily COVID-19 briefing in Chicago on Monday.

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.”

Monday UI positivity

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.

Monday UI 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

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