As the United States surpassed eight million cases of COVID-19, a third peak in the number of COVID-19 cases is forming on the national graph with Illinois as a contributor to the ominous equation.
"All 11 regions have seen an increase in positivity compared to where we were at last week’s update," Gov. JB Pritzker said Wednesday during his weekly COVID-19 update. "Statewide, our positivity rate has grown by more than one full percentage point in the last week alone, and in most regions, COVID-like hospital admissions have also increased."
Illinois logged its 9,000th Covid-19 death on Tuesday, and last week’s statewide seven-day average of 2,862 new cases was the highest since early May. Twice last week Illinois reported over 3,000 new cases in a single day, record numbers for the state. And it’s not just Chicago driving the surge — positivity rates in southern Illinois surged to 8% last week.
In Peoria County, where the seven-day rolling average positivity rate is at 4.8%, health officials issued an advisory Wednesday for people who attended services at Cedar Hills Baptist Church in Dunlap on Oct. 4. They may have been exposed to COVID 19, and should quarantine and get tested.
On Thursday PCCHD issued a second advisory related to the church, asking that children who attended daycare, preschool or after school programs at the church be quarantined for 14 days.
Beware of Thanksgiving?
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, officials are warning that small gatherings are fueling the recent rise in cases of COVID-19.
"What we're seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings. And particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it's really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting," said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a conference call Tuesday with the nation’s governors, according to CNN.
Mitigation efforts like masks and social distancing often get put aside when smaller groups of friends and family members gather in private homes, creating a situation where people without symptoms can unwittingly transmit the virus.
A lawsuit may soon be decided
Attorneys will be in a Sangamon County Wednesday arguing over Pritzker’s powers to impose controls to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, according to the State Journal Register.
The hearing involves multiple cases filed on behalf of clients in six counties who contend that the coronavirus pandemic is not a public health emergency under the definition of Illinois law, and, because of that, Pritzker doesn’t have the authority to impose restrictions limiting businesses in order to control the spread of COVID-19.
Barron Trump also had COVID-19
President Donald Trump's youngest son, Barron, 14, contracted the coronavirus this month at the same time both of his parents were ill, first lady Melania Trump wrote in a statement Wednesday, according to NBC.
After the president was diagnosed his physician released a statement saying his children had tested negative, but Melania Trump later said her son tested positive a day after testing negative.
The teenager experienced no symptoms and has since tested negative, Melania Trump said.
Outbreak at a Monmouth pork plant was much worse than reported
Only three COVID-19 cases at Monmouth’s Smithfield Foods pork processing plant were made public when there were in fact 188 cases at the facility, according to data obtained by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
There were 188 cases from April through Sept. 30, along with seven probable cases. It’s not known if there are currently any cases at the plant.
According to the data, Monmouth’s Smithfield plant had the second-largest outbreak at an Illinois meatpacking facility. The largest outbreak in the state was at the Tyson Foods plant in Joslin, which made its 202 cases public.
Information from NBC, State Journal Register, CNN, and Capitol News Illinois was used to compile this report.
Leslie Renken can be reached at 270-8503 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter.com/LeslieRenken, and subscribe to her on Facebook.com/leslie.renken.