Coronavirus in Illinois updates: 1,466 new known COVID-19 cases and 20 more deaths reported as Pritzker asks state agencies to prepare for budget cuts

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Illinois health officials on Tuesday announced 1,466 new known cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 264,210 and the statewide death toll to 8,332 since the start of the pandemic. Officials also reported 39,031 new tests in the last 24 hours. The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 3.6%.

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Also on Tuesday, city officials said Wisconsin is back on the clock to perhaps get added to the COVID-19 rogue’s gallery of states from which people are expected to stay inside for two weeks if they travel from there to Chicago.

Pointing to a recent spike in cases in Illinois’ neighbor to the north, city Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said as soon as next week, Wisconsin could again join other states on the mandatory self-quarantine list if numbers don’t improve.

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

3 p.m.: Utah added to Chicago’s travel order as six states removed

Just one state was added to the city’s travel order Tuesday, as Florida, Idaho, Texas, North Carolina, Hawaii and Nevada were removed, leaving 15 states on the list, but officials warned against travel to Wisconsin, even though the state wasn’t added back onto the list.

Utah was added to the revised mandatory quarantine order. Changes will go into effect Friday, according toDr. Alison Arwady, the city health commissioner.

2:40 p.m.: Hundreds turn out for Barrington rally calling for end to remote learning, restart of student sports

Hundreds of people packed the lawn at Citizens Park in Barrington Monday, protesting against continuation of remote learning and calling for officials to allow students to play fall sports.

Barrington police estimated that 500 people attended the “Barrington Back-to-School Rally” and officers were out on foot and directed traffic ahead of the anticipated audience turnout.

The rally was to advocate to get children back to school in person.

“I want my kids to be in school,” said parent Erin Matta, of Barrington.

Amid ongoing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus, some school districts – including nationwide – opted to start the 2020-2021 academic year with students doing remote learning.

E-learning was a hot topic at the rally in Barrington Monday and the subject of adverse signage.

2:25 p.m.: Chicago health commissioner again sounds warning on Wisconsin COVID-19 cases, talks Halloween planning in the city

Wisconsin is back on the clock to perhaps get added to the COVID-19 rogue’s gallery of states from which people are expected to stay inside for two weeks if they travel from there to Chicago, city officials said Tuesday.

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Pointing to a recent spike in cases in Illinois’ neighbor to the north, city Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said as soon as next week, Wisconsin could again join other states on the mandatory self-quarantine list if numbers don’t improve.

“We will not formally add them today, but we are advising against travel to Wisconsin,” Arwady said. “I want to highlight that Wisconsin has had the most cases that it has had at any point since COVID broke out last week, and they are having percent positivities that range from the 13 to 17% range, and problems across the state.”

It would be the second time the Badger State earned the distinction.

1:20 p.m.: Metra launches $1 million ad campaign to lure commuters back

With its ridership running at about 10% of normal, Metra is launching a nearly $1 million ad campaign touting its increased daily cleaning regimen in an effort to lure commuters back during the pandemic.

The “My Metra” campaign, which will hit TV, radio, billboards and digital platforms, highlights the transit agency’s focus on more thorough disinfecting and sanitizing of the train cars to combat the spread of COVID-19 and safety concerns among passengers.

“That expanded definition of cleanliness is now our new priority,” Metra CEO Jim Derwinski said as he introduced the campaign at a news conference Tuesday.

Billboards, a large part of the campaign, will feature a worker spraying seats with a new electrostatic disinfecting fogger and slogans such as “Dedicating to Disinfecting” and “Commute with Confidence.”

The budget for the campaign is $967,000 and runs through April, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said. The campaign was produced by Chicago ad agency LKH&S, which has worked with Metra for several years.

1 p.m.: 1,466 new known COVID-19 cases and 20 more deaths reported

Illinois health officials on Tuesday announced 1,466 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional fatalities. The Illinois Department of Public Health is now reporting a total of 264,210 cases, including 8,332 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the start of the coronavirus’ spread.

The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 3.6%. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 39,031 new tests, according to the IDPH.

1,584 people in Illinois are in the hospital with COVID-19 in Illinois. Of those, 373 patients were in the ICU and 144 patients are on ventilators, according to state health officials.

—Chicago Tribune staff

12:25 p.m.: Wrigleyville struggles to stay open during pandemic without Cubs crowds

From the back patio at Nisei Lounge to the sudsy sidewalks around Murphy’s Bleachers, the fight is on. Same for Sluggers, The Cubby Bear and everywhere in between.

The goal is tomorrow. If you get to tomorrow, it’s the next day. All over Wrigleyville — the quirky neighborhood that surrounds Wrigley Field, the longtime home of the Chicago Cubs — they are counting pennies, searching for help and dreaming of a return to normalcy

“We have no choice but to make it through this,” said Zach Strauss, who runs Sluggers with his brothers David and Ari after their father, Steve, opened the bar in 1985.

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12:15 p.m.: Will the Big Ten announce a football restart decision tonight? A hot mic in Nebraska gives some hope.

The final episode of the Big Ten football soap opera, it appears, will take place Tuesday night.

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Exactly five weeks after postponing the fall season, the conference is poised to announce a restart. Or, far less likely, to declare that no football will be played in 2020.

KETV NewsWatch 7 in Omaha reported Nebraska President Ted Carter was caught on a hot mic Tuesday morning saying, “We’re getting ready to announce the Huskers and Big Ten football tonight.”

Carter was engaged in small talk before a news conference in Lincoln.

Asked to clarify by a local TV reporter, Carter said: “I think that was picked up a little out of context. There is work going on and we remain cautiously optimistic that we will get to discovering when it’s safe to play.”

One Big Ten official reached by the Tribune declined to confirm an announcement will occur Tuesday night. Another declined to reply to a text.

11:45 a.m.: Pritzker asks state agencies to prepare for budget cuts

With Congress and the White House having yet to agree on a coronavirus relief package that would send additional money to ailing state and local governments, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that he’s asked the heads of state agencies to prepare for 5% cuts to this year’s budget and 10% cuts next year.

Pritzker signed a $43 billion spending plan for the budget year that began July 1 which relied heavily on federal aid and borrowing to plug a massive hole caused by revenue lost to the COVID-19-induced economic slowdown.

“Every state in the nation has suffered, every municipality in the nation has suffered from the fiscal effects of COVID-19” the first-term Democrat said at an unrelated event in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. “However, until Republicans in Washington decide otherwise, middle-class, working-class and poor families across our state and across the nation will likely suffer from cuts to public safety, education, human services and environmental safety. And the potential layoffs will make the economic recession worse.”

Members of Pritzker’s cabinet are reviewing the budgets of agencies under their control to identify potential cuts for the current year “and will need to implement those if there is no action taken by Congress,” he said.”I can’t tell you exactly when each cut will take place,” Pritzker said.

11:20 a.m.: Virtual learning marred by hacks and pranks, including images of racism, pornography and guns

As if the other challenges of remote learning weren’t enough, schools in the Chicago area and across the country have been dealing with pranks and hacks that in some cases include racist and pornographic depictions and images of weapons.

Educators say they’re learning ways to block such actions, but the situation has left many teachers and parents frustrated.

One incident involve students in a suburban kindergarten class being redirected to an “inappropriate” site.

“They’re supposed to have this stuff on lockdown,” one CPS parent said. “That is something that kids are not supposed to be seeing. … What are you doing about it? How are you protecting your students?”

10:10 a.m.: Mundelein sisters create made-to-order masks, donate profits

The owners of 2 Little Mask Makers in Mundelein have already earned enough profits to donate money to a food bank and to purchase backpacks for a local school.

Jaina Bartusch, 10, and her sister, Olivia, 11, use their mom’s crafting machine to decorate and sell fabric protective masks with special iron-on designs.

Their aunt encouraged them to start the business after they made a mask for her with a pink sparkly heart and her initial.

They started advertising on social media with a few designs.

“But then, it grew bigger,” Jaina said. “People started asking for quotes. They told us the pictures they wanted. People asked for ballerinas, sayings, flowers, a 20-sided die.” They had never heard of a 20-sided die, but fulfilled the customer’s request.

7:05 a.m.: Pritzker to announce a second round of grants to businesses

Gov. J.B. Pritzker was scheduled Tuesday to announce a second round of state tax-funded grants to small businesses across the state whose operations have been severely impeded by state shutdown rules aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The first round of $46 million in grants was announced in August. Pritzker was scheduled to announce the second round of grants at a Bronzeville restaurant late Tuesday morning.

—Chicago Tribune staff

6:55 a.m.: School buses, shipping containers and car hops: Winter Design Challenge nets more than 600 entries to extend outdoor dining in Chicago

After submissions for the Winter Design Challenge closed on Labor Day, Samir Mayekar, deputy mayor for Neighborhood & Economic Development, found himself surprised by the sheer volume of entries. More than 600 plans from 13 countries aim solve the problem of outdoor dining come winter and its unforgiving cold, wind and snow.

The submissions, the response to the City of Chicago’s challenge announced in late August, come from restaurant workers and owners, designer firms and architects, and everyday citizens. They’re heavy with heated tables, tents or geodesic domes, wintry versions of Taste and apps. (All are available for public viewing on the website of IDEO, a global design and consulting firm in partnership with the city, along with BMO Harris Bank and the Illinois Restaurant Association.)

5 a.m.: 6 months of COVID-19: Timeline of the outbreak and how politics, sports, entertainment and the economy changed

Six months have passed since the hectic weeks when most of life as it was before COVID-19 shut down. Spring gave way to summer and work, school, sports and entertainment all radically transformed as the pandemic became the driving force behind nearly everything.

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Of course, before Gov. J.B. Pritzker shut down the state, coronavirus was already spreading around the globe with a devastating impact. The Tribune has put together a timeline of key points in the outbreak of COVID-19 in Illinois, the U.S. and the world, in politics, education, business and sports.

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