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Coronavirus live blog, Nov. 6, 2020: Illinois sets dismal new record for daily COVID-19 cases

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

For the second day in a row, Illinois broke its own record of coronavirus cases reported in a single day — not exactly something to be proud of.

Here’s what else happened in coronavirus-related news.


News

8:59 p.m. Illinois sets dismal new record for daily COVID-19 cases

Workers with the CORE disaster relief organization started by actor and activist Sean Penn teach people how to collect their own nasopharyngeal swab samples to test for the coronavirus at a new drive-thru testing site at Dr. Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy, 2231 N. Central Ave. on the Northwest Side, Monday morning, May 18, 2020. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times
Workers with the CORE disaster relief organization started by actor and activist Sean Penn teach people how to collect their own nasopharyngeal swab samples to test for the coronavirus at a new drive-thru testing site at Dr. Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy, 2231 N. Central Ave. on the Northwest Side, Monday morning, May 18, 2020. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

For the second consecutive day, state health officials on Friday announced a new record high single-day tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases with 10,376.

The previous record, set Thursday, was 9,935.

Friday’s announcement comes as the virus is spreading out of control in Illinois amid a second wave of infections and as Gov. J.B. Pritzker considers putting in place further, unspecified statewide restrictions to counter the surge.

An additional 49 deaths were also reported Friday, bringing the state’s total to 10,079, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The state’s total case count was 465,540.

Read the full report here.


6:44 p.m. Pritzker isolating after possible COVID-19 exposure

Governor J.B. Pritzker is self-isolating after possibly being exposed to COVID-19, his office announced Friday.

The possible exposure stems from a Monday meeting that took place in a large conference room in the governor’s office, according to a statement from the governor’s office. The person he met with, who does not work in the governor’s office, later tested positive for COVID-19, according to spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh.

Reporter Sam Kelly has the full story.

4:20 p.m. Bears C Cody Whitehair has coronavirus; no other Bears positive tests

The Bears will put center Cody Whitehair on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list Friday after his initial positive coronavirus test was confirmed overnight. The team had no new positive tests and discovered no close contacts for Whitehair, coach Matt Nagy said.

Whitehair tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday but the Bears sent another sample to the NFL’s laboratory overnight looking for confirmation. Whitehair, who is nursing a calf injury, did not practice with the Bears on Wednesday but was in attendance, talking to teammates.

Friday, safety Tashaun Gipson said Whitehair wearing a mask earlier in the week, when he was sick but didn’t know it, probably prevented an outbreak.

Reporter Patrick Finley has the full story.

1:59 p.m. No one is immune as COVID-19 spreads across Illinois

My friend’s voice was low, a whisper on the phone, as she called from another state.

The Chicagoan and her husband had gone to pick up her mother from a nursing home to protect her from a COVID-19 outbreak, the facility saying it was discharging all its elderly residents who tested negative.

They got her mother settled in in her own home and were arranging in-home care, etc., when the call came from the nursing home that it had made a mistake. Her mother’s secondary test was actually positive. Within days, the husband fell sick, then my friend.

The mother was last to show symptoms, rushed by ambulance to the hospital as breathing became difficult. She remains hospitalized.

Reporter Maudlyne Ihejirika has the full story.

12:49 p.m. What would you put into a pandemic time capsule to give next generations an idea of what this has been like?

We asked Chicagoans: What would you put into your pandemic time capsule to give your future kids or grandkids an idea of what this has been like? Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

“Toilet paper, mask and many bottles of bourbon.” — Pete Herrnreiter

“My grungy gray sweatpants with Cheetos stains, an empty bag of Cheetos, the bill to my Netflix account, all the discarded empty boxes of disposable face masks, empty pizza boxes that were delivered, empty bottles of hand sanitizer and my work calendar lit up with Zoom meeting notifications.” — Tony De Castro

“A mask and unused play tickets. I have no keepsakes from my COVID hospital stay because I was not allowed to bring anything home.” — Zeta Street

Read Alice Bazerghi’s full story here.

9:33 a.m. Chicago’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony will be virtual affair this year

Chicago will have an official Christmas tree this year for fans to enjoy, but the annual lighting ceremony will be off-limits to the public.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on mass gatherings, the lighting ceremony will for the first time be a virtual event, according to plans announced Friday by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). “Visitors” can “attend” the virtual event via a 30-minute “Millennium Park at Home: Chicago Holidays” program starting at 6:30 p.m. Nov 19 on the DCASE YouTube channel.

Starting Nov 20, groups of 10 persons or fewer who practice social distancing and wear masks can visit the tree, located near the intersection of Michigan and Washington, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Jan. 7, 2021. This year’s tree is a 45-foot blue spruce donated by the family of Catherine Townsend of Morgan Park. There will be a specific entrance/exit to the park; details can be found at MillenniumPark.org.

Read the full story here for more information.

7:43 a.m. p.m. Illinois hits ‘terrible milestone’ of 10,000 deaths

The Illinois COVID-19 death toll for the year crept past 10,000 on Thursday — a “terrible milestone” that Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned could lead to further statewide restrictions to stem the spread of the surging virus.

“Each day we are losing more and more of our neighbors to this virus. That’s not a trend that’s going to turn around,” Pritzker said. “It’s up to us — all of us — to do something to save the next family from tragedy. Because unfortunately, it could easily be yours.”

Pritzker then led a moment of silence for those who have died of the disease. That includes the 97 people whose deaths were announced Thursday – 31 of them in Cook County alone.

The statewide daily total is the highest since the state reported 115 deaths on June 4.

State health officials also reported 9,935 new COVID-19 cases, dwarfing the previous single-day high of 7,899 reported Saturday and more than double the previous longstanding high of 4,015 reached during the spring peak month of May.

Reporters Mitch Dudek, Fran Spielman, and Tom Schuba have the full story.


New Cases

  • The Illinois COVID-19 death toll for the year surpassed 10,000 on Thursday. That includes the 97 people whose deaths were announced Thursday – 31 of them in Cook County alone.
  • State health officials reported 9,935 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, dwarfing the previous single-day high of 7,899 reported Saturday and more than double the previous longstanding high of 4,015 reached during the spring peak month of May.

Analysis & Commentary

7:53 a.m. Kids belong in school — the real thing — and Chicago can make it work

Educators across the country are warning about a ‘lost year’ for public school education because of the coronavirus pandemic, and let’s consider for a minute what a disaster that would be.

A lost year, with children in Chicago and elsewhere staring at electronic screens for hours — if they engage in school work at all — instead of learning in person with their classmates and teachers.

A lost year, without the presence of counselors and social workers, who traditionally are among the first caring adults to detect and flag signs of child abuse or other trauma. Calls to local child abuse hotlines have plummeted during the pandemic.

A lost year without the therapeutic services that children with special needs cannot get online.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and it should not.

Read the full Sun-Times editorial here.