Coronavirus live blog, Oct. 11, 2020: Illinois’ COVID-19 positivity rate climbs again Sunday with 2,727 new cases

Here’s the latest on how COVID-19 is impacting Chicago and Illinois. Follow here for live updates.

SHARE Coronavirus live blog, Oct. 11, 2020: Illinois’ COVID-19 positivity rate climbs again Sunday with 2,727 new cases

The Latest

Illinois’ positivity rate still rising; 9 deaths, 2,727 new coronavirus cases announced

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A medical worker takes a nasal swab sample from a student to test for COVID-19 at the Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance urgent care pop up testing site.

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Illinois’ average positivity rate continued to rise Sunday as health officials announced another 2,727 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported nine more deaths attributed to COVID-19, raising the state’s pandemic death toll to 8,984.

Saturday marked the first time in a month the state’s seven-day positivity rate has hit 4%. That figure, used by health officials to gauge how rapidly the virus is spreading, rose to 4.2% Sunday — nearly a full percentage point more than last week. On Sunday, Oct. 4, the state’s seven-day positivity rate was 3.3%.

Illinois has reported some of its highest daily case totals of the entire seven-month pandemic over the last week, with Sunday marking the eighth day this.month the state has recorded 2,000-plus cases. However, that rise can be attributed to the state’s increase in testing capacity. Over the last 30 days, Illinois has administered more than 1.675 million tests, including 64,047 tests processed in the last day.

Read the full story here.


News

2:45 p.m. Researchers dig into data for a clear view of the recession

Seven months into our coronavirus-induced recession, how much do we really understand it and do we get why it persists?

Do we grasp why it has affected some communities and income groups more deeply than others?

We rely a lot on government data, such as the Commerce or Labor department reports constantly in the news, but those are often broad assessments with a time lag, and this recession has been swift and evolving, almost like the virus itself. It changes based on our behavior and on new government mandates.

But other data sources can help form a detailed picture for even local markets. This information is in the hands of private companies that have grown up around a singular fact of our technological age: Every person is one cluster of data within a world of clusters. Each credit-card swipe, payroll entry, debit from a transit pass or log-in to an online learning program creates information that can add to our knowledge of the economy up close.

Read the full story here.

1:20 p.m. Chicago Marathon goes virtual amid pandemic

There was no clamoring at the start line Sunday morning for 43rdannual Chicago Marathon.

It had been canceled in June in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Instead, the storied race that typically starts downtown and snakes through some of Chicago’s neighborhoods was relegated to the digital realm. While some runners still took to the streets, many others tackled the 26.2-mile challenge elsewhere and shared their experiences on social media.

“I am sad that we cannot be together in person, but I am inspired by your determination to cross your own finish line, and I am grateful that we can stay together virtually,” Carey Pinkowski, executive director of the marathon, said in a tweeted statement on Sunday.

Despite the official race being nixed, participants could still purchase packages that included medallions and personalized bibs. What’s more, a makeshift “start line” was set up near Monroe Street and Columbus Drive. And the Chicago Area Runners Association also designated four spots along the lakefront trail to offer participants support and fluids as they trotted past.

Read the full story here.

1:00 p.m. NFL postpones Broncos-Patriots game indefinitely after another positive COVID-19 test

The NFL has postponed the Denver-New England game indefinitely due to another positive coronavirus test with the Patriots.

That game, originally scheduled for Sunday, had been moved to Monday night.

A person familiar with the situation says the Patriots have closed their facility again after the positive test result, while the Tennessee Titans announced they closed their facility Sunday morning after a staff member tested positive.

The latest result also endangers the Titans’ game with Buffalo (4-0) set for Tuesday night after it was moved from Sunday. Six games have been moved already as the league is in its fifth week of the schedule.

In addition to the games for Week 5, a person with direct knowledge of the planned changes to the overall NFL schedule tells The Associated Press that the Los Angeles Chargers will see the brunt of the alterations due to Monday’s Broncos-Patriots postponement. Five of Los Angeles’ next six scheduled weeks will change.

Read the full story here.

11:23 a.m. U.S. will get extended look at Amy Coney Barrett who will tell senators courts ‘should not try’ to make policy

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will tell senators that courts “should not try” to make policy, leaving those decisions to the political branches of government, according to opening remarks for her confirmation hearing obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, set to begin Monday as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the country, are taking place three weeks before Election Day and after millions of Americans already have voted. President Donald Trump nominated the federal appeals court judge soon after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

“I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place,” Barrett will tell the committee, according to her opening remarks.

Barrett says she has resolved to maintain the same perspective as her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was “devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism.”

She speaks extensively of her family in the statement, and says she will never let the law define her identity or crowd out the rest of her life. She says a similar principle applies to the courts, which are “not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life.”

“The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People,” she says. “The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Read the full story here.

7:42 a.m. Trump’s doctor says the president is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s doctor said Saturday the president is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

In a memo, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley says Trump meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he is no longer considered a transmission risk.

Read the full story here.

7 a.m. Belmont Snack Shop’s future uncertain after coronavirus, devastating fire

The future of the Belmont Snack Shop is up in the air after a fierce fire engulfed the late-night diner and left behind only charred remnants of the Avondale staple.

Restaurant manager Nelson Rodriguez and his wife, who live in an apartment above the diner near Belmont and Kimball, were cooking dinner Thursday night around 7:50 p.m. when they spotted smoke rising outside their window.

Rodriguez bolted downstairs to try to put out the grease fire, but he was too late.

After evacuating the restaurant, Rodriguez stood beside his wife watching the blaze and smoke destroy the diner that has been in his family for two generations.

Read the full story by Madeline Kenney here.

6 a.m. Illinois’ positivity rate creeps back up to 4% with latest 2,905 coronavirus infections

Illinois’ average coronavirus testing positivity rate rose to 4% for the first time in a month on Saturday as public health officials announced 2,905 more people have contracted the virus statewide.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 31 more deaths were attributed to COVID-19, raising the state’s death toll to 8,975.

Illinois has recorded some of its highest daily case totals of the entire seven-month pandemic over the last week, due mostly to the fact that more people are being tested per day.

The latest cases were confirmed among 66,256 tests, while on average more than 55,000 tests have been administered daily statewide over the last month — almost triple the testing rate during the worst days of the pandemic in May.

Read the full story here.


New cases

  • Downstate Rep. Mike Bost, an Illinois Trump campaign chair, tests positive for COVID-19
  • Public health officials reported 3,059 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Illinois on Thursday, the state’s biggest caseload since the initial peak of the pandemic nearly five months ago.
  • The state last topped 3,000 daily coronavirus cases on May 14, when 3,239 people were infected.
  • The Illinois Department for Public Health reported more than 5,300 cases on Sept. 4, but that bloated figure was the result of a three-day data processing backlog.

Analysis & Commentary

7:26 a.m. Take it from the best of American medicine: Donald Trump must go

It is rare for scientists at the highest levels to take an overt stand on the politics of the day, knowing their professional credibility depends on remaining above the fray.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, most famously, is a case in point. Fauci, the federal government’s top immunologist, has given his best expert advice on the COVID-19 pandemic while resisting the temptation — and he must feel tempted — to call out the failures of the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis.

When an authority of such stature does take a political stand, then, it carries all the more weight. We all should listen closely.

Read the full editorial here.

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