Chicago bars that don’t sell food will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol indoors starting this Friday as part of a new effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday. The city also will limit all indoor fitness classes to a maximum of 10 people and ban personal services requiring the removal of masks, such as shaves and facials, her administration said.
The announcement came as Illinois reported 1,173 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 162,748. State health officials also said six more people have died after contracting the virus. So far, 7,301 people have died in Illinois.
Here’s what’s happening Monday regarding COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:
5:20 p.m. (update): Trump, Congress square off over coronavirus aid as crisis worsens
President Donald Trump acknowledged Monday a “big flare up” of COVID-19 cases, but divisions between the White House and Senate Republicans and differences with Democrats posed fresh challenges for a new federal aid package with the U.S. crisis worsening and emergency relief about to expire.
Trump convened GOP leaders at the White House as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prepared to roll out his $1 trillion package in a matter of days. But the administration criticized the legislation’s money for more virus testing and insisted on a payroll tax cut that could complicate quick passage. The timeline appeared to quickly shift.
3:50 p.m.: Illinois Federation of Teachers latest to urge school districts, colleges to stick with remote learning this fall
The Illinois Federation of Teachers called on school districts Monday to return to remote learning for the beginning of the school year unless in-person teaching is safe and possible.
The announcement made IFT the latest statewide educators’ union to endorse the continuation of virtual instruction, though the federation didn’t reject the idea of in-classroom learning completely.
2:35 p.m.: 1,173 new known COVID-19 cases, 6 additional deaths
Illinois reported 1,173 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 162,748.
State health officials also said six more people have died after contracting the virus. So far, 7,301 people have died in Illinois.
The state also reported 34,598 new COVID-19 tests in a span of 24 hours, two days after setting a record with 46,099 tests.
—Chicago Tribune staff
12:50 p.m.: Wisconsin’s largest teachers unions call for online school due to the coronavirus pandemic
Teachers unions for Wisconsin’s five largest school districts asked Gov. Tony Evers and the state’s top health and education officials on Monday to keep schools closed at the start of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter was signed by union leaders for teachers in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and Racine. It was sent to Evers, Department of Public Instruction Secretary Carolyn Stanford Taylor and Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm.
12:05 p.m.: White House to resume its daily public coronavirus task force briefings
The White House is reviving its public coronavirus task force briefings, and President Donald Trump will again take on a starring role.
Trump says he’ll lead a briefing at 5 p.m. Tuesday, his first since April 27.
The coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, briefed the public daily in March and April with Trump participating and dominating many of the televised sessions. But the briefings disappeared in late April after ratings began to slide and Trump mused about the possibility of using disinfectants inside the body to kill the virus.
11 a.m.: Residential buildings to set guest limit at 5 as part of new COVID-19 restrictions announced Monday
Chicago is asking residential buildings to limit guests to five per unit as part of a new set of restrictions announced Monday morning in hopes of curbing a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
The rule is meant to avoid large indoor gatherings and parties, and goes into effect Friday.
10:26 a.m.: COVID-19 patients could be at risk for chronic fatigue syndrome: ‘Your whole life can change if you get this’
As the world continues to watch the number of COVID-19 cases increase (and daily records being broken), patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis, aka chronic fatigue syndrome, want to tell those recovering from coronavirus to listen up.
COVID-19 patients may be at risk of developing the neuroimmune condition ME/CFS that depletes one’s energy. ME/CFS, which leaves 75% of those affected unable to work and 25% homebound or bedridden, impacts 15 million to 30 million people worldwide, and symptoms may be triggered by an infection, according to the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says some diagnosed with coronavirus are showing symptoms that resemble those seen in ME/CFS patients.
10:20 a.m.: Lightfoot bans indoor service at Chicago bars starting Friday
Chicago bars will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol indoors starting this Friday as part of a new effort to curb the coronavirus, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced.
The city will also limit all indoor fitness classes to a maximum of 10 people and ban personal services requiring the removal of masks, like shaves and facials.
9:34 a.m.: COVID-19 vaccine prompts immune response in early test, Oxford University scientists say
Scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot.
British researchers first began testing the vaccine in April in about 1,000 people, half of whom got the experimental vaccine. Such early trials are designed to evaluate safety and see what kind of immune response was provoked, but can’t tell if the vaccine truly protects.
In research published Monday in the journal Lancet, scientists said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55 that lasted at least two months after they were immunized.
7:44 a.m.: As companies keep workers in the dark on COVID-19 cases, some employees are turning into amateur sleuths to track virus cases
Jana Jumpp spends eight hours a day updating a spreadsheet – not for work, but a recent hobby: figuring out how many of Amazon’s 400,000 warehouse workers have fallen sick with the coronavirus.
Amazon won’t give a number, so Jumpp tracks it on her own and shares what she finds with others. She relies on Amazon employees at more than 250 facilities who call, text or send her Facebook messages with possible cases. She asks for proof, like messages or voicemails from Amazon, and tries to make sure she doesn’t count the same case twice.
It’s time consuming, but Jumpp says workers should know if there’s an outbreak and just how risky it is to head to work.
“Amazon is not going to do it, so it’s up to us,” says Jumpp, 58, who lost her job in July at an Amazon warehouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana, after she went on leave for fear of contracting the coronavirus and ran out of paid time off.
6 a.m.: COVID-19 took a big toll in Illinois. Will deaths surge again?
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States, Illinois was one of the first hot spots in the country, fueling a death toll that remains among the nation’s highest. Now — after big drops in daily deaths in Illinois and other hard-hit states — the Sun Belt is seeing a massive surge. The daily death rate in Arizona is now as high as Illinois’ ever was, after adjusting for population.
The sharp increases in deaths in these Southern and Western states have added to growing unease in Illinois, where the downward trends on cases and positive test results have started to inch back up.
Researchers say that although the latest data does not signal the need for outright alarm, it does suggest that the state, without changes, could be on the verge of another deadly surge.
6 a.m.: Opioid overdoses skyrocket in the face of COVID-19 pandemic; stronger drugs, scarce treatment blamed
As opioid-related deaths have sharply increased so far this year, Chicago drug users navigating increasingly unsafe drugs on the market and a changed landscape due to the societal impacts of COVID-19.
In Cook County, opioid overdose deaths this year are on pace to double last year’s figures, with the long-simmering public health crisis spiking while Chicago also faces increased gun violence and continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deaths in the three overlapping crises are disproportionately impacting the Black community, highlighting racial inequities in health care, housing, education and other areas. The toll is particularly heavy on the city’s West Side, where since late March, nearly 80 people have died in just a few ZIP codes.
Meanwhile, experts say street drugs are increasingly being cut with more dangerous substances, raising the risk of fatal overdose at a time when the pandemic has resulted in closures of some clinics and a reduction in available social services.
6 a.m.: The risk of drownings has rarely been higher as Chicago endures a pandemic and one of its hottest summers
When public swimming pools and beaches closed, the key to surviving a sweltering Chicago summer during the pandemic was simple for those who could afford it: Buy a pool.
For the rest of us, the options are scarce and mostly illegal, like sneaking a swim in sometimes-dangerous waters where there are no lifeguards.
And that’s increasingly worrying safety experts, who say the risk of drownings has rarely been higher as Chicago suffers through one of its hottest summers.
“There are a lot of factors coming together here that cause us to be concerned about the potential rise in drowning numbers,” said Connie Harvey, national director of Aquatics Centennial Initiatives for the American Red Cross.
“There are fewer places to swim that are protected by lifeguards, but people are still going to go to the water,” she said. “It’s a hot summer, they’re going to find places to swim.”
6 a.m.: Sticky notes on the bathroom door and wipes by the coffee pot. Employees find new rules as they return to the office.
Some Chicago offices are starting to reopen with a limited number of employees who are volunteering to return. As they do, companies are piloting new safety policies to protect workers from a health crisis that shows few signs of waning. The early steps, from practical safeguards to quirky solutions, offer a glimpse at what office life might be like once more companies bring employees back.
Hand sanitizer is everywhere, and certain desks are blocked off to promote social distancing while working. Conference rooms are often off limits, as are dining areas. There are signs on nearly every wall, door and TV screen reminding workers about the new rules.
Steps that once might have felt invasive, like daily temperature checks and health assessments, are often required before employees can walk through the front door.