Tents, domes and heaters feature in plans for wintertime outdoor dining (LIVE UPDATES)

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Tents, domes and heaters feature in plans for wintertime outdoor dining

A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a “Plex’eat” plastic shield in a Paris restaurant.

A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a plastic shield Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in a Paris restaurant.


Bar and restaurant owners must wait until next week to see the winners of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Winter Design Challenge — a contest seeking innovative ways to host diners outside this winter.

But in the meantime the city has issued new guidelines for businesses that want to get a jump on setting up their own pandemic-friendly spaces.

Here are several key takeaways from the guidelines:

• Temporary outdoor structures that hold multiple parties must have at least 50% of the sides open to allow air flow.

• Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, may be used for individual parties and must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation.

Read the full story from Mitch Dudek here.


2:27 p.m. Notre Dame-Wake Forest game postponed after players test positive for COVID-19

Notre Dame’s game at Wake Forest on Saturday has been postponed after positive COVID-19 tests landed 13 Fighting Irish players in isolation and another 10 in quarantine.

The seventh-ranked Fighting Irish said Tuesday the process of rescheduling the game is underway. Both teams are off Oct. 3.

Notre Dame said 94 football players were tested for COVID-19 on Monday and of those seven were positive. Those players were in isolation along with others who tested positive last week.

Read the full story here.

10:21 a.m. Wisconsin to re-join Chicago’s 14-day travel advisory

You might want to cancel that Sunday drive to Wisconsin to see the fall colors.

For the second time in less than two months, Wisconsin is slated to go back on Chicago’s 14-day quarantine list, the Sun-Times has learned.

Wisconsin’s second appearance on Chicago’s travel advisory list comes one week after Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady warned the state it had one week to get its act together.

It apparently didn’t happen. That means Wisconsin is rejoining a list that is triggered by averaging more than 15 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period.

“We are watching Wisconsin with huge concern. They had their highest-ever number of cases of COVID reported last Thursday. They’ve had percent positivities in the 13-to-17% range,” Arwady said last week.

In states that are “directly bordering,” the city has taken pains to give Chicagoans who travel there “pre-warning.” Such states have been put on notice for a week and added to the list the following week if they can’t turn things around.

“Indiana was able to make those improvements. Did not need to be added. We can hope Wisconsin turns it around, but” it doesn’t look good, Arwady said last week.

Read the story from Fran Spielman here.

8:44 a.m. Some special ed students could return to schools for in-person services under CPS proposal

Chicago Public Schools officials are looking to offer in-person therapy to special education students who might otherwise find difficulty receiving those needed services at home.

While the details are still being worked out, the district says its proposal would bring students into schools for hearing and vision screenings, special education evaluations and occupational and physical therapy.

CPS “strongly believes that specific types of student services ... can be delivered in-person safely and must be delivered in-person for our most vulnerable students to benefit,” CPS spokeswoman Emily Bolton said in a statement.

Currently, all students are attending classes remotely and not reporting to buildings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan has faced some criticism from the Chicago Teachers Union, which first revealed its discussions with CPS officials in a conference call with reporters Monday. Union President Jesse Sharkey, who said the offerings aren’t imminent because key details are still being negotiated, said he has health concerns around bringing kids to schools, though he acknowledged virtual therapy is extremely difficult.

Read the full report from Nader Issa here.

New Cases

On Monday, the state health department reported seven additional coronavirus deaths, as well as 1,477 new confirmed coronavirus cases.

Analysis & Commentary

7:51 a.m. As a parent of a Big Ten college student, I’ll blame the Big Ten if my child gets COVID-19

My child attends a Big Ten school, and I was severely disappointed to see that the conference caved to the demands of those who value football over the health and safety of their children, other students and the community.

My child’s life and future are just as important as the lives and future of collegiate football players. But my child does not play a sport, so I guess my child doesn’t count as much to the Big Ten, because neither of us had a voice in this decision.

Football players attend class. Football players attend parties. Football players go to bars. The decision to play football inherently increases the risk to all students, not just the players.

Read this and more letters to the Sun-Times editors here.

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