Illinois on track to breach over 12,000 deaths and 700,000 coronavirus cases (LIVE UPDATES)

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Here’s the latest news on how COVID-19 is impacting Chicago and Illinois. Latest
Health officials report 12,022 new coronavirus cases, 131 more deaths

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times
Rush University Medical Center staff collect nasopharyngeal swab samples to test people for the coronavirus at the hospital’s drive-thru testing site, Thursday afternoon, Nov. 19, 2020.

Illinois health officials reported 12,022 new coronavirus cases and 131 more deaths on Thanksgiving Day amid worries that family gatherings over the holiday might spark another surge in cases.
Currently at 11,963 total deaths and 697,489 total cases, Illinois is on track to breach over 12,000 deaths and 700,000 cases by Friday, and it could get worse if people disregard the warnings of medical experts for their Thanksgiving celebrations.
The average statewide positivity rate has already climbed slightly to 12%, up from 10.6% on Wednesday, as over 107,000 people were tested in Illinois over the past 24 hours, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Chicago’s positivity rate stands at 12.4%. Since March 1, the city has 3,355 coronavirus deaths out of 152,908 total cases.
Officials nationwide have raised concerns about the spread of COVID-19 at family gatherings for Thanksgiving, and have pleaded with the public to forego travel or large dinners this year.
Read the full story here.

10:41 a.m. Bears activate Eddie Jackson, who will play Sunday
The Bears activated Eddie Jackson from the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, setting up the two-time Pro Bowl safety to play in Sunday night’s game against the Packers.
Jackson did not test positive for the coronavirus but was a close contact of someone outside Halas Hall that did. By NFL rule, he had to quarantine for five days — dating to his last contact with the infected person — before returning to the team. The Bears put him on the list Monday.
Because the Bears — and all NFL teams — are conducting all their meetings via Zoom, Jackson was able to participate, even if he didn’t practice on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Read the full story here.
9:36 a.m. Supreme Court blocks NY coronavirus restrictions on houses of worship
WASHINGTON — As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.
The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.
The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada.
The court’s action Wednesday could push New York to reevaluate its restrictions on houses of worship in areas designated virus hot spots. But the impact of the court’s action is also muted because the Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups that sued to challenge the restrictions are no longer subject to them.
The Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America have churches and synagogues in areas of Brooklyn and Queens previously designated red and orange zones. In those red and orange zones, the state had capped attendance at houses of worship at 10 and 25 people, respectively. But the those particular areas are now designated as yellow zones with less restrictive rules neither group challenged.
Read the full story here.

New cases

State health officials reported 12,022 new coronavirus cases and 131 more deaths on Thanksgiving Day.

Chicago R&B artist Jeremih was reportedly transferred to a regular hospital room Saturday after spending at least a week in intensive care undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization has recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus among staff based at its headquarters, including five people who worked on the premises and were in contact with one another.

Analysis & Commentary
9:14 a.m. COVID-19 forces the question: How can we keep from warehousing the elderly?
Every once in a while, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, says something I absolutely agree with.
At the beginning of the pandemic, he went on and on about how every human life matters. I prayed: If he means this, maybe we can see that reflected in our politics. As it happens, with all the death this year, my friends in the religious order Sisters of Life tell me that some pregnant women are rejecting abortion because the last thing we need is more death.
Wouldn’t a newfound commitment to protecting human life be something healthy to come from the COVID-19 ordeal?
But we seem to be heading in the wrong direction.
The Associated Press recently reported on the staggering number of Americans dying in nursing homes during the pandemic, not just from the coronavirus, but from neglect.
“As more than 90,000 of the nation’s long-term care residents have died in a pandemic that has pushed staffs to the limit,” the AP reports, “advocates for the elderly say a tandem wave of death separate from the virus has quietly claimed tens of thousands more, often because overburdened workers haven’t been able to give them the care they need.”
Read the full column here.

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