Your Illinois News Radar » COVID-19 roundup

* Text message from Rep. Deb Conroy…

I believe we have an epidemic of asymptomatic super spreaders of this virus. Two of my fours sons are positive and have no symptoms. That God for contact tracing. They are fine and are in quarantine. Now another of my sons and I are scrambling to get tested. He got a cancellation and is in a line that will be hours long. I’m still trying to get an appointment. We will also be in quarantine.

These long testing lines are starting to make me very nervous.

* And while we’re talking about asymptomatic spreaders

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike suggested Wednesday that poll workers, voters and others who participated in the election throughout the state be tested for the coronavirus. […]

She asked that even people who test negative for COVID-19 following a week of exposure to “be careful” as many develop symptoms up to two weeks after encountering the virus.

* WUIS

Individuals not wearing a face covering around their nose and mouth in grocery stores, gas stations and other retail businesses in Springfield can now be fined $50, and businesses can get hit with a $250 fine for not requiring customers to comply with the mask mandate.

A subsequent violation for a business would lead to a $500 fine. Face coverings are proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Springfield City Council approved the ordinance at an emergency meeting Wednesday night.

I’m told the Illinois Retail Merchants Association supported this ordinance and believes the state should follow suit.

…Adding… From IRMA…

IRMA is pleased the city of Springfield will begin fining individuals for not wearing face coverings in retail locations. This is exactly the approach the state should have been taking from the beginning instead of asking businesses to serve as law enforcement officials. Businesses should be held accountable for what they can control (e.g. one or more of the following: sign on door, using public address system to remind consumers, social distancing markers on the floor by point-of-sale, someone at the entrance to remind consumers). Individuals should be held responsible for wearing face coverings. The most common excuse is a consumer claiming they have a medical reason they cannot wear a face covering. At this point, retailers are prohibited by law from inquiring further or taking an additional action. Another common action is the consumer removes it the moment they are in the store or out sight of an employee. Likewise, retailers cannot physically restrain anyone. The most common refrain is “simply don’t sell to them”. That is neither simple nor realistic. Consumers are regularly claiming medical exemptions and retailers risk legal claims on denial of service. Finally, such confrontations put retailers in harm’s way and we’ve recently seen these tragedies become reality in Illinois.

* More from Springfield’s city council via the SJ-R

At the same time, the council passed on an opportunity to endorse a “phased” mitigation plan rolled out by Mayor Jim Langfelder and Sangamon County leaders Tuesday afternoon that directly defies Gov. JB Pritzker’s mitigation order by allowing indoor bar and dining service to continue at 25% capacity for at least two weeks. […]

A resolution affirming the approach to mitigations along with other measures — including the discouragement of private house parties and giving bars and restaurants a six-month credit on their annual liquor license renewal fees — was tabled after an hour of debate.

Some council members, such as Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner and Ward 8. Ald. Erin Conley, said they were unwilling to buck Pritzker and sign off on lax mitigations. Others, like Ward 1 Ald. Chuck Redpath and Ward 10 Ald. Ralph Hanauer, worried the 25% capacity might be too low for many bars and restaurants to stay afloat. […]

Langfelder acknowledged after the meeting that he does have the authority under his emergency powers to implement the contents of the resolution on his own. He said he plans to sign an emergency order in the coming days reflecting that.

“I thought it was better to have a discussion with everybody, and then move in that direction,” Langfelder said. “So we’ll probably be forthcoming with that resolution. But the most important part was the mask ordinance. And I appreciate the council passing that unanimously.”

Maybe just forget about that resolution, mayor.

* Center Square

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a new report showing 61-thousand children nationwide tested positive for the virus last week. As of October 29, there have been over 850-thousand cases reported in children. Children have represented more than 11% of all cases of the virus in the country.

During the daily COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in the latest statewide report that children were the third-largest group in terms of the number of cases.

“They are involved in activities and group things as well,” Ezike said. “There are sports, there’s dance, there’s school, there’s trick-or-treating, there are birthday parties, so there is ample opportunity for our younger residents to get the infection as well.”

According to a CDC report in October, adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 were twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 than kids between 5 and 11 years old.

While cases of severe illness appear to be rare among children, most times it is in infants younger than 1.

I personally know of two infants with the illness. Not a good thing.

* From the Tribune’s live blog

Taste of Chicago, Air Show funding not in city 2021 budget

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces $10 million grant program for bars and restaurants struggling with COVID-19 shutdown

Chicago Bears send players and coaches home after Cody Whitehair reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

Sangamon County judge dismisses lawsuits challenging Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s coronavirus orders and restrictions

Pilsen mural features residents, including essential workers: ‘It mirrors the community’s resilience’

Red Cross appeals for blood donations, plasma to fight coronavirus

State driver facilities in West Chicago, Aurora to reopen Thursday after closing because of coronavirus case

* Sun-Times live blog

Pies and PPE: Local pizza shop uses ovens to make face shields

91% of classrooms have adequate ventilation, CPS says as debate continues on return during the pandemic

How COVID has shaped this election