Coronavirus live blog, December 6, 2020: Illinois officials report 7,598 new COVID-19 cases, 76 new deaths

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

SHARE Coronavirus live blog, December 6, 2020: Illinois officials report 7,598 new COVID-19 cases, 76 new deaths

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Illinois’ pandemic death toll rises to 13,255 as state announces 76 additional fatalities

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Residents in cars wait in line at a drive-up COVID-19 test site on November 13, 2020 in Aurora, Illinois.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The coronavirus has killed an additional 76 people in Illinois and infected another 7,598, state health officials announced Sunday.

That brings the statewide pandemic death toll to 13,255.

Though Sunday was the first time Illinois hadn’t recorded a three-digit daily death toll in five days, the state is still in the midst of its deadliest stretch of the pandemic, and it’s not unusual to see lower numbers on the weekends due to backlogged reporting.

Saturday marked the second deadliest day of the pandemic with state health officials reporting an additional 208 fatalities. That news came just three days after Illinois reported a record-setting 238 deaths, which shattered the previous record of 191 fatalities set on May 13.

Illinois has averaged more than 131 deaths per day over the last two weeks. That’s up from the first three weeks of November when the state averaged a daily death toll of about 80.

Of Sunday’s 76 fatalities, 23 were reported in the Chicago area.

The new cases, which brings the state’s pandemic total to 787,573, were found among the latest batch of 79,538 tests. The state’s seven-day positivity rate fell 2 percentage points from Saturday to 10.1%, continuing a steady improvement from 12.8%, the highest that figure had been since May.

Read the full story here.


News

3 p.m. Bulls get dose of reality as guard Garrett Temple tests positive for COVID-19

Well, that didn’t take very long.

Less than a week into Bulls training camp, the team revealed on Sunday that veteran free-agent guard Garrett Temple has been in isolation since Nov. 28, after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The good news? It seems to be contained, with Temple the only key member of the organization currently under the protocol.

“I tested positive for the coronavirus last Saturday [Nov.28], so about nine days ago,’’ Temple said in a Zoom call. “Since then, I’ve been quarantined here in the hotel. I am in Chicago. I’ve done the contact tracing. I’m pretty sure I know I got it from a family member. I was in Louisiana during Thanksgiving. My family got together, and I believe I got it from a family member. Most of my family did not get it, which was good. My dad, my mom, nobody over 60, nobody with underlying conditions has it, which is great. My wife and my son are both negative, which is great. That’s where we are today.’’

Where Temple will be in a few days?

That remains to be seen.

Read the full story here.

1:57 p.m. U.S. health officials warn Americans not to let their guard down ahead of vaccine

With a COVID-19 vaccine perhaps just days away in the U.S., most of California headed into another lockdown Sunday because of the surging outbreak and top health officials warned Americans that this is no time to let their guard down.

“The vaccine’s critical,” Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But it’s not going to save us from this current surge. Only we can save us from this current surge.”

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is scheduled to take up a request Thursday to authorize emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine. Vaccinations could begin just days later, though initial supplies will be rationed, and shots are not expected to become widely available until the spring.

With the U.S. facing what could be a catastrophic winter, top government officials warned Americans anew to wear masks, practice social distancing and follow other basic measures — precautions that President Donald Trump and other members of the administration have often disdained.

Read the full story here.

10 a.m. Rapper Jeremih leaves Chicago hospital after COVID-19 bout

Chicago R&B artist Jeremih is on the mend at home after a near-death scare with the coronavirus.

Jeremih left Northwestern Memorial Hospital this week after a three-week battle with COVID-19, TMZ reported Saturday.

Last month, Jeremih’s condition appeared dire when reports surfaced that he was in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator after experiencing complications from symptoms of COVID-19. That news prompted several celebrities, including Chance the Rapper and 50 Cent, to rally around the 33-year-old singer.

Jeremih’s health took a turn for the better two weeks ago and he was moved to a regular hospital room.

Since returning home, Jeremih told TMZ he’s “getting stronger” and looking forward to hanging out with his sons. He also thanked his family and friends who supported him and expressed appreciation for his fans who prayed for him.

Read the full story here.

8 a.m. 208 more Illinois coronavirus deaths Saturday, 2nd-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.


Analysis & Commentary

12 p.m. LETTERS: State prisoners should be among those who get pandemic vaccine quickly

Letter submitted by Ted Pearson, Co-Chairperson, Emeritus - Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

I agree that hospital and other health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should get priority for receiving the new COVID-19 vaccine. But let us not forget the 40,000 people crammed into Illinois prisons and the prison staff, plus the thousands more in county jails all over the state.

Illinois has abolished the death penalty but these men and women are facing death from this pandemic; it is raging through facilities where social distancing is not a choice they can make, and where testing, masking, and cleaning supplies are not readily available.

This is not only a moral and human rights crisis. It’s a public health crisis. Prison staff go home every day carrying whatever they have contracted inside. Prisoners are released at the end of their sentences every day and are cast out into a world that is hostile to them, often with little or no available health care or social services. Employment, housing and medical care are not assured and some become homeless.

From both a public health and a humanitarian perspective, prisons and prisoners should be near the top of the list of those to receive the new vaccines.

Read the full edition of Letters to the Editor here.

9:11 a.m. Fact-check: Yes, conservatives did share false post about Pritzker’s daughter

While explaining why his family would not celebrate Thanksgiving together this year, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker blasted online accusations that his daughter broke COVID-19 protocols at a restaurant.

“A parody Twitter account posted a picture of a group of individuals eating outside a Chicago restaurant, supposedly breaking the COVID rules the city put in place,” Pritzker said at a Nov. 17 press conference. “And the person posting the photo claimed one of the people in it was my daughter.”

“My office put out a statement making clear this wasn’t my daughter,” Pritzker said. “But that didn’t stop Republican elected officials, a network of propaganda publications in the state and some radio shock jocks from telling people that the picture was of my daughter, despite knowing that this was a lie.”

Pritzker said his teenage daughter, Teddi, was in Florida with his wife, and would “remain there indefinitely” because she had started receiving “hateful and threatening messages.”

Teddi is not identifiable among the group of 14 diners in the photo. We decided to find out where the misinformation came from and who shared it.

Read the full fact-checking analysis from the Better Government Association.

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