Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Sept. 4 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Chicago News

Heading into the Labor Day weekend, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview this week that Illinois and a half-dozen other states with increasing COVID-19 numbers are at risk for a surge in cases over the holiday, according to a Bloomberg report.

On Sunday, Illinois health officials announced 1,403 new known cases of COVID-19 and 5 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 249,580 and the statewide death toll to 8,171 since the start of the pandemic.

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Additionally, Lake County landed on the Illinois Department of Public Health weekly coronavirus warning list on Friday, one of 29 counties the state put on alert leading into Labor Day weekend.

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Suburban Cook County was not on the weekly list, though it had been a week earlier.

Here’s what’s happening this holiday weekend with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

1,403 new known confirmed cases of COVID-19, 5 additional deaths reported

On Sunday, Illinois health officials announced 1,403 new known cases of COVID-19 and 5 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 249,580 and the statewide death toll to 8,171 since the start of the pandemic.

From wake-up calls to wellness checks, how CPS is trying to make sure no child is left disconnected as remote learning resumes Tuesday

From exhausting phone trees and dropping off Chromebooks to calling police for wellness checks, social workers, counselors and other support staff in Chicago Public Schools have gone to great lengths to track down students who aren’t connecting with their schools during remote learning.

With a new school year starting remotely on Tuesday, school communities are redoubling their efforts, while also figuring out how to build new relationships virtually with incoming kindergartners and high school freshmen.

Competing drug companies plan joint statement on vaccine safety, pledging not to prematurely release treatments

A group of drug companies competing with one another to be among the first to develop coronavirus vaccines are planning to pledge early next week that they will not release any vaccines that do not follow rigorous efficacy and safety standards, according to representatives of three of the companies.

The statement, which has not yet been finalized, is meant to reassure the public that the companies will not seek a premature approval of vaccines under political pressure from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has pushed for a vaccine to be available by October — just before the presidential election — and a growing number of scientists, regulators and public health experts have expressed concern over what they see as a pattern of political arm-twisting by the Trump administration in its efforts to combat the virus.

2,806 new known COVID-19 cases, 23 additional deaths

Illinois health officials on Saturday announced 2,806 new known cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 248,177 and the statewide death toll to 8,166 since the start of the pandemic.

—Chicago Tribune staff

Northeastern University dismisses 11 students who gathered in same hotel room, violating social distance rules, and won’t refund tuition

Northeastern University said Friday it has dismissed 11 freshman students for the fall semester for violating campus social distancing guidelines after they were discovered in the same hotel room.

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The students were given 24 hours to leave the Boston campus and were ordered to undergo COVID-19 tests, the university said in a statement. It said any who test positive would be moved into isolated wellness housing rather than sent home, to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Northeastern said the 11 people, whose names were not released, were part of an international experience for first-year students. It said they were among more than 800 students housed in two-person rooms at the Westin Hotel not far from the main campus.

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