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Coronavirus live blog, Sept. 1, 2020: 3 more states added to Chicago’s quarantine travel list as Illinois sees another 39 COVID deaths

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

The Chicago Department of Public Health added three more states to its 14-day quarantine list — and hinted that Illinois’ neighbor to the east could soon be added too.

Here’s what happened in Chicago and around the state in coronavirus-related news.


News

8:55 p.m. 3 more states added to Chicago’s quarantine travel list as Illinois sees another 39 COVID deaths

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 12: Nurses speak to people being tested for Covid-19 at the Northcote Covid-19 testing facility on August 12, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. COVID-19 restrictions have been reintroduced across New Zealand after four new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in Auckland. Auckland will be placed in full lockdown for three days from midday on Wednesday, with all residents to work from home unless they are essential workers and all schools and childcare centres to close. The rest of New Zealand will be subject to Level 2 restrictions. The new cases are all in the same family, with health authorities working to trace back the source of the infection. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775544983
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 12: Nurses speak to people being tested for Covid-19 at the Northcote Covid-19 testing facility on August 12, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. COVID-19 restrictions have been reintroduced across New Zealand after four new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in Auckland. Auckland will be placed in full lockdown for three days from midday on Wednesday, with all residents to work from home unless they are essential workers and all schools and childcare centres to close. The rest of New Zealand will be subject to Level 2 restrictions. The new cases are all in the same family, with health authorities working to trace back the source of the infection. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775544983
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The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday announced that another 1,492 state residents have tested positive for COVID-19, with another 39 dying of the virus in the last day.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Department of Public Health added three more states to its 14-day quarantine list — and hinted that Illinois’ neighbor to the east could soon be added too.

Of the 39 new deaths in Illinois, eight were Cook County residents: all but one were in their 70s or 80s; the eighth Cook County victim was a woman in her 30s, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Since the pandemic first took hold, 8,064 Illinoisans have died of the virus. The state has seen more than 236,000 positive cases.

As of Tuesday, the state’s test positivity rate is 4.3%, according to IDPH. At last count, more than 1,500 people in Illinois are hospitalized for the coronavirus. Of those, 362 patients are in an intensive care unit, and 146 on ventilators.

Still, the recovery rate for Illinois coronavirus patients is 95%. Most people who contract it show mild symptoms or none at all.

Reporter Sam Charles has the full story.


8:39 p.m. Apple, Google team up to alert you — via cell phone — if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

Apple and Google teamed up to develop push notifications that let iOS and Android users know if they might have been exposed to COVID-19.

The companies announced the news on Tuesday and the effort is called Exposure Notifications Express. It’s an opt-in based system that lets your local public health agency alert you to potential coronavirus exposure via a notice on your smartphone. It’ll also allow the agency to guide residents on actions to take if they’ve been exposed, according to Apple and Google.

The development picks up where the company’s other collaborative effort left off. They previously worked together to create Bluetooth technology that helped health agencies develop mobile apps that can identify people who’ve been near with someone infected with the coronavirus.

Constant digital surveillance raises a number of questions regarding privacy: Will your location data be sold? How will it be used, and who has access to it?

Read the full report here.

7:18 p.m. Chicago area venues to go red for entertainment gig workers

Chicago area venue employees, gig workers, and union and congressional leaders are joining concerned citizens in over 60 North American cities to illuminate a select group of venues in red to raise awareness on how the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the livelihoods of America’s entertainment workers.

A 9 p.m. Tuesday event at the Allstate Arena is a part of #WeMakeEvents’ Red Alert campaign, a nationwide effort to motivate Congress to pass the Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards A Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act, a bill that guarantees loans to small businesses hit hard by COVID-19.

The bill aims to provide assistance, which can be utilized for payroll, rent, bills, and personal protective equipment to would-be recipients that have less than 500 full-time employees and endured a revenue decline of at least 25%.

Speakers are scheduled to include entertainment industry gig workers, labor leaders, community leaders and elected officials including Chicago Federation of Labor president Bob Reiter, Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens, and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Matteson), among others.

Reporter Evan F. Moore has the full story.

5:58 p.m. ‘A story of two states,’ Birx says of coronavirus in Chicago area vs. rest of Illinois

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, contrasted the Chicago area with other parts of Illinois while in town Wednesday to discuss the virus with local leaders.

“It’s like a story of two states right now,” she said. “We see a constant, low-grade community infection rate in Chicago and the metropolitan area.”

“We’ve seen a growing increase over the last four weeks in the number of counties that are above 5% and now above 10%, particularly in the southern area in Illinois.”

Illinois has 61 counties with a positivity rate of more than 5%, including 13 counties with a positivity rate of more than 10%, Birx pointed out during a news conference outside Rush University Medical Center after a closed-door meeting with health officials.

“We wanted to really understand what the state was doing to mitigate in those areas,” she said.

Reporter Mitch Dudek has the full story.

5:06 p.m. COVID-19 victims honored in public park transformed into memorial garden

A procession of vehicles drive past photos of Detroit victims of COVID-19, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 on Belle Isle in Detroit. Families have a chance to take one last public look at their lost loved ones in the nation’s first citywide memorial to honor victims of the pandemic. Mourners will join 14 consecutive funeral processions to drive past nearly 900 large poster-sized photos of their loved ones staked around the island.
AP

An island park in Detroit has become an extraordinary memorial garden, with cars packed with families slowly passing hundreds of photos of city residents who have died from COVID-19.

Mayor Mike Duggan declared Monday Detroit Memorial Day to honor the 1,500-plus city victims of the pandemic. Hearses escorted by police led solemn all-day processions around Belle Isle Park in the Detroit River after bells rang across the region at 8:45 a.m.

“It is our hope that seeing these beautiful faces on the island today ... will wake people up to the devastating effect of the pandemic,” said Rochelle Riley, Detroit’s director of arts and culture.

The “memorial was designed to bring some peace to families whose loved ones didn’t have the funerals they deserved,” Riley said. “But it may also force us to work harder to limit the number of COVID-19 deaths we’ll endure in the coming months.”

Read the full report here.


9:13 a.m. Pandemic threatens food security for millions

The coronavirus pandemic has brought hard times for many farmers and has imperiled food security for many millions both in the cities and the countryside.

United Nations experts are holding an online conference beginning Tuesday to brainstorm ways to help alleviate hunger and prevent the problems from worsening in the Asia-Pacific region — a challenge made doubly difficult by the loss of many millions of jobs due to the crisis.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization forecasts that the number of undernourished people will increase by up to 132 million in this year, while the number of acutely malnourished children will rise by 6.7 million worldwide due to the pandemic.

“We must come to terms with what is before us and recognize that the world and our region has changed,” said Jong-Jin Kim, the FAO’s assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific.

“We must find new ways to move forward and ensure sustainable food security in the face of these twin pandemics, as well as prepare for threats that can and will evolve in the future,” Kim said.

Read the full story here.

8:09 a.m. Mask ask: Cook County urges residents to cover their faces — or face consequences of COVID-19’s ‘second surge’

The month of August averaged 1,812 coronavirus cases per day, not quite back to where Illinois was at during the peak month of May, when the state averaged more than 2,100 cases per day — but definitely backing up officials’ concerns that the state is trending in the wrong direction.

On Monday, the last day of August, state health officials reported 1,668 new COVID-19 cases and seven additional deaths.

That ends the month with a caseload shy of May’s alarming average, but more than twice the daily case average of 764 in June, and up sharply from the 1,150-daily average in July.

Thankfully, deaths are not again on the rise — as cases in recent weeks have been traced to younger and more resilient age groups. But public health officials have been predicting a spike in fatalities is looming.

The daily death count during the peak month of May was 98. June saw 51 deaths a day. There were 19 per day in July. And in August, there were 17 deaths per day.

Reporter Mitch Dudek has the full story.


New Cases


Analysis & Commentary

8:15 a.m. COVID-19 and crime team up against Chicago’s reputation

Managers of downtown office buildings say their properties have about 5% to 10% of their population on a typical workday. They expect a little more activity after Labor Day, but how much could depend on school situations.

With remote learning mostly the norm in the city and suburbs, working parents need to supervise their children. Biggies such as Google and Facebook have extended voluntary work-from-home policies through July 2021, and other employers have gone at least to next January.

“There are days I see more boat traffic on the river than cars on the streets,” said Lance Knez, vice president of Hines Interests and president of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago, which has worked closely with the city to make sure health guidelines are followed and properties are ready for more people.

For Knez, the bottom line is this, “For people to come back to work, employers and employees must first feel safe.” That applies both to office cleaning regimens and to what’s going on outside.

Read the full Chicago Enterprise column from David Roeder here.