Latest coronavirus news for December 5, 2020: 150-person wedding reception cited, ‘The hotel, restaurant, bride, groom, caterer and guests were all reckless and irresponsible’

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

SHARE Latest coronavirus news for December 5, 2020: 150-person wedding reception cited, ‘The hotel, restaurant, bride, groom, caterer and guests were all reckless and irresponsible’


Suburban hotel cited for hosting 150-person wedding reception


Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced tier three mitigations in Illinois to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the James R. Thompson Center in the Loop, Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 17, 2020.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A north suburban hotel has been cited for hosting a large wedding reception Wednesday night with about 150 guests.

The Cook County Department of Public Health announced the citations Friday, a day after health officials announced they’d be investigating the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook, which issued a public apology for hosting the reception. The citations include an order to disperse for non-compliance with the county mitigation order and a notice of non-compliance with state COVID-19 regulations.

“The hotel, restaurant, bride, groom, caterer and guests were all reckless and irresponsible. This event was in violation of the current COVID-19 Mitigation order and should not have taken place,” said Rachel Rubin, a senior medical officer at the Cook County Department of Public Health. “I sincerely hope no one becomes sick or dies as a result of this event. All who were in attendance should quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and get tested to keep from spreading COVID to the greater community.”

Read the full story here.


3:35 p.m. 208 more Illinois coronavirus deaths, second highest daily toll of the pandemic

State health officials on Saturday announced an additional 208 people have died of the coronavirus, marking the second most deaths reported in a single day over the last nine months of the pandemic.

The Chicago area accounted for 64 of the latest fatalities. The vast majority of those deaths reported statewide were among people 60 and older, with people under 60 accounting for 18 of the deaths.

Illinois is in the midst of its deadliest stretch of the pandemic. Saturday’s troubling news comes just three days after the state reported a record-setting 238 fatalities, a figure that shattered the previous record of 191 deaths on May 13.

Since Thanksgiving, Illinois has logged 1,224 coronavirus-related deaths, which is more than 9% of the state’s pandemic death toll of 13,179.

Read the full report from Madeline Kenney here.

11:51 a.m. Ex-state Sen. Martin Sandoval has died: attorney

Former state Sen. Martin Sandoval, who became a key player in the ongoing federal public corruption investigations after his offices were raided in 2019 has died, his attorney said Saturday.

Defense attorney Dylan Smith confirmed Sandoval’s death from COVID-19 based on his conversations with Sandoval’s family.

“I was proud to have represented Martin Sandoval,” Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He was someone of considerable ability who had done a great deal of good in his life and someone who was working very hard to make amends for his mistakes and, in his own way, doing what he could through his cooperation with the government to contribute to their efforts to clean up things in Springfield.”

Read the developing story here.

7:50 a.m. Pritzker lays out vaccine distribution plan as 148 more die of coronavirus

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday laid out his public health team’s plan for distributing Illinois’ first shipments of coronavirus vaccine later this month, as officials announced COVID-19 has killed 148 more residents and spread to an additional 10,526 people statewide.

Nine months after the coronavirus first turned life upside down, Illinois is expected to receive 109,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the federal government by Dec. 19.

That vaccine, which awaits federal approval but is expected to receive it Dec. 10, requires extremely cold storage, and is administered in two doses, three weeks apart.

About 23,000 of Illinois’ first vaccines will be sent to Chicago, with the remaining 86,000 earmarked for the state’s 50 counties suffering the highest per capita coronavirus death rates. That includes suburban Cook County, plus Lake, Kane, DuPage, Will and Kankakee counties. Local health departments are responsible for coming up with their own community distribution plans.

Under what Pritzker called “Phase 1A” of distribution, the first in line for vaccines are frontline hospital and health care workers, followed by long-term care facility residents, essential workers and people 65 or older with underlying health conditions.

Read the full story here.

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Analysis & Commentary

7:53 a.m. House music producer dies of COVID a month before expected birth of son he always wanted

Chicago house music producer Matthew Agostini’s first son is due to be born Christmas Day.

Agostini, known as Turk to his friends and Dirty Turk in the music world, won’t be present for the birth.

Two days before Thanksgiving, the 50-year-old Logan Square resident died from pneumonia caused by COVID-19. His death came less than two hours after he was taken by ambulance from his home to the hospital.

Agostini’s death was a shock to his many friends, who flooded a Facebook remembrance page with stories of a talented and funny man whose passion was music but who supported his family by working as an electrical rigger on television and movie sets.

Jessica Tapper, 38, his partner of nine years and mother of their 3-year-old daughter Violet, said they already had picked the name Matteo for their son-to-be.

A recent ultrasound showed the boy has his father’s nose.

Read the full column from Mark Brown here.

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