Illinois logs most COVID-19 cases in weeks as state prepares for post-holiday spike (LIVE UPDATES)

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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125 more Illinois coronavirus deaths, 12,542 new cases as state braces for post-Thanksgiving spike

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times
Gov. J.B. Pritzker answers questions from the media on the latest COVID-19 numbers and off topic questions during his daily COVID-19 update at the James R. Thompson Center in the Loop, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020.

With a potential post-holiday spike still looming, Illinois’ coronavirus metrics took a slight turn for the worse Tuesday as public health officials announced COVID-19 has spread to 12,542 more people and claimed another 125 lives.
While it’s the most new daily cases logged by the state in almost two weeks, they were detected among 116,081 tests, as the state rebounded from a dip in testing over Thanksgiving weekend. That still raises the state’s average positivity rate over the last week from 10.1% to 10.4%.
The 125 latest deaths attributed to the virus are higher than the state’s average of about 110 deaths per day over the last two weeks. That rate was just 42 deaths per day at the start of November.
Twenty of the latest victims came from Cook County, with 24 more lives lost in other Chicago-area counties.
Read the full story here.

12:46 p.m. City shuts down 300-person party in Wicker Park, other businesses for ‘egregiously’ violating COVID-19 restrictions

Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
A party was shut down Nov. 29 at The Vault, which allegedly had 300 people inside not wearing masks or social distancing.

City officials shut down a party with about 300 attendees in a basement venue in the Wicker Park neighborhood over the weekend, officials said Monday.
The venue was one of more than 300 businesses — including one that allegedly held a party with 600 people — cited for violations one month into citywide orders against indoor gatherings, dining and drinking.
Police were called to the illegal party early Sunday at The Vault in the 1600 block of West Division Street, according to a statement from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
No one was following social distancing protocols or was wearing face coverings, the agency said. Multiple citations were issued, including cease and desist orders and closure orders to the business “for throwing a dangerous and unlicensed commercial party.”
Read the full story here.
9:08 a.m. Fauci warns Pritzker of ‘post-Thanksgiving surge’ — says it’s ‘no time to pull back’ from COVID-19 restrictions
Just hours after he spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci and other infectious disease experts, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday none of the state’s 11 regions will get any break from Tier 3 coronavirus mitigations “for the next few weeks.”
The governor opened his daily COVID-19 briefing with the sobering news, citing advice from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Fauci — director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — and other infectious disease experts.
“We are still very much in a precarious place, and we have got to take the time to evaluate any Thanksgiving effects before we make any premature adjustments,” Pritzker said during his Monday briefing on the virus.
“I spoke with Dr. Fauci this morning to get his input about Illinois’ situation. He said the massive number of indoor gatherings by people visiting family and friends across the nation will very likely bring a post-Thanksgiving surge, and he believes this is no time to pull back on mitigations.”
Read the full story here.

New Cases

Weekend drop in COVID-19 cases attributed to low number of tests reported over the holiday weekend.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart tests positive for coronavirus.

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
9:19 a.m. Making the case for standardized school tests, even during a pandemic
To test or not to test during a pandemic?
School districts in Illinois and across the country are waiting to learn whether states will be allowed to request waivers from federally mandated standardized tests next spring because of COVID-19.
Waivers, to our thinking, would be the wrong move. The next U.S. secretary of education, in the incoming Biden administration, should say no to the idea, something a handful of states already have done.
Read the full column from the CST Editorial Board here.

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