COVID-19 Updates in Illinois: Here’s What’s Happening Monday

The death toll from COVID-19 in the US reached 500,000 on Monday, an unimaginably tragic number. That total represents more than the populations of Aurora, Naperville and Joliet combined.

There have been more than 22,000 deaths from COVID-19 in Illinois, the seventh highest of any state. California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey have more. Illinois has a higher per capita rate than those states with the exception of New York and New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Illinois administered 59,748 doses of coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, reaching a total of 2,211,700, health officials reported Monday. Over the past seven days, the state averaged 55,499 vaccinations administered daily, compared to 66,320 a week ago.

Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago and Illinois area:

5:55 pm: Understanding of 500,000 deaths from coronavirus. The number of victims of the pandemic, in charts.

In Illinois, that total represents more than the populations of Aurora, Naperville and Joliet combined, the three largest cities in the state after Chicago. If 500,000 people lined up 6 feet apart, the line would stretch from Chicago to Atlanta.

There have been more than 22,000 coronavirus deaths in Illinois, the seventh highest of any state. California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey have more. Illinois has a higher per capita rate than those states with the exception of New York and New Jersey.

3:47 pm: The death toll in the US from COVID-19 exceeds 500,000 lives, a milestone that does not come close to capturing the anguish

The death toll from COVID-19 in the United States surpassed 500,000 on Monday, nearly matching the number of Americans killed in World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined.

The lives lost, as recorded by Johns Hopkins University, are roughly equal to the population of Kansas City, Missouri, and greater than that of Miami; Raleigh, North Carolina; or Omaha, Nebraska.

And despite the vaccine launch since mid-December, a closely followed University of Washington model projects more than 589,000 deaths by June 1.

The death toll in the U.S. is by far the highest reported in the world, and the actual numbers are believed to be significantly higher, in part due to the many cases that were overlooked, especially early in the year. outbreak.

3:15 pm: Where are those promised federal aid funds, theater and music venue operators wonder?

When the Shuttered Venue Operators relief package was signed into law in late 2020, art industry business owners saw it as a long-overdue means of survival: $ 15 billion in designated grants for music venues, cinemas and live theaters and museums and zoos that had closed or running at limited capacity since the pandemic began.

But now it is the end of February and organizations, many of which are out of stock and the kindness of their owners, are worrying that they cannot apply for the grants yet.

“I still cannot apply for the Closed Venue Operators Scholarship,” Donnie Biggins, owner of the Lincoln Park music venue Tonic Room, wrote in a Twitter thread Sunday. “Continuing to wait for the opportunity to apply to SVOG is crushing the live music industry even worse.”

2 pm: Congress prepares for its first votes on the $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

Democratic leaders have a powerful dynamic on their side as Congress prepares for its first votes on the party’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill: Would any Democrat dare to cast the vote that frustrates the initial initiative of the new president Joe Biden?

Democrats ‘slim 10-vote majority in the House leaves little room for defections in the face of sturdy Republican opposition, and they have none in a 50-50 Senate they control with just Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaker vote. Internal Democratic disputes continue over issues such as raising the minimum wage, how much aid will be channeled to struggling state and local governments and whether to extend emergency unemployment benefits for another month.

Yet with the House Budget Committee planning to approve the 591-page package on Monday, Democrats across the party spectrum show little indication that they are willing to embarrass Biden with a high-profile defeat an month after his presidency.

1:09 pm: Illinois Surpasses 2.2 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Given, But 7-Day Average Still Low

The difficulty in securing vaccination appointments continues, compounded by last week’s delay in federal vaccine shipments caused by extreme cold and wintry weather.

12:07 pm: 1,246 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 34 additional deaths reported

Authorities also reported 37,361 new tests in the last 24 hours. The statewide seven-day continuous positivity rate for cases as part of total testing was 2.8% for the period ending Sunday.

9:47 am: A tight job market is forcing some Chicagoans to change careers and go back to school in hopes of getting a job.

A former Gap manager loses his job of nearly 20 years and becomes a welder.

A restaurant waiter loses his and starts working at a cannabis dispensary.

A personal trainer, who once worked in finance, begins looking for a position in supply chain management.

Across Chicago, the job market is tight as the ongoing healthcare crisis continues to hit parts of the US economy, forcing workers in some of the hardest hit industries to change careers. Some are learning new skills through certificate programs at local universities, while others are turning to workforce development programs in hopes of landing a job.

7:10 am: Preckwinkle, the Mayor of Evanston will tour the pop-up vaccination clinic in the senior apartment building

Cook County Board Chairman Toni Preckwinkle and Evanston Mayor Hagerty were scheduled to visit an emerging coronavirus vaccination clinic at an Evanston senior housing complex, according to officials.

The Victor Walchirk Apartments clinic is part of the county’s effort to vaccinate people in phase 1b vaccination, including those 65 and older.

Preckwinkle and Hagerty were scheduled to tour the clinic and meet the residents of the complex who are receiving the shots.

Please check back for updates. –Chicago Tribune Staff

6 am: With meager doses, thousands of frustrated COVID-19 vaccine seekers turn to social media for help and get it

In search of a COVID-19 vaccine for her father, Amber Dow was hitting one dead end after another.

Then she got a private Facebook message from a stranger: Go to the Jewel-Osco website right now. Enter your zip code. It’s in Palatine.

Amber Dow with her father, retired sportscaster Duane Dow, 80, at their West Lakeview home in Chicago on February 19, 2021. (José M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

He immediately followed directions and hooked himself into one of the last open spots in the store that day. His father, Duane Dow, 80, got his first break on Wednesday.

The suggestion came from the Facebook site Chicago Vaccine Hunters, a group of more than 11,000 members who collect and share information on where to get vaccinated in real time, as new locations and time slots emerge.

With the COVID-19 vaccine in short supply, more locals are turning to social media for help as they search the internet for available vaccines.

Spunky Dunkers workers from left: Maggie O'Brien, Michelle Hanrahan, Brenday Rolloff, and Ilianna Giannakouras rush to fill donut orders at Spunky Dunkers on February 21, 2021 in Palatine.

Spunky Dunkers workers from left: Maggie O’Brien, Michelle Hanrahan, Brenday Rolloff, and Ilianna Giannakouras rush to fill donut orders at Spunky Dunkers on February 21, 2021 in Palatine. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

6 am: 3 days, 10,000 donuts. Community rallies around the Palatina bakery that asked for help online

Mardi Gras came, left and left a palatial bakery with a problem: too many ingredients for the paczki, the traditional Polish donuts that Americans eat on Fat Tuesday, and there are not enough customers.

Paczki Day typically helps sales at Spunky Dunkers Donuts for a full month or two, and customers often buy dozens of paczki to take to the office. But during a pandemic, when many work from home and after consecutive snowstorms, “it seemed a little scary,” said owner Jan Daczewitz.

Daczewitz, who said she wasn’t the most tech savvy, asked some employees to make a call on Facebook Thursday afternoon.

“So, really talk. We need your help, ”began the bakery’s post, which was shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook and liked more than 6,000 times on Instagram. The effect was almost immediate.

Lines formed around the store. The bakery doubled its baking shifts from two to four, Daczewitz said. He called as many employees as he could, including former workers, an estimated six to ten of whom came to help. Some employees stayed to work overtime.

Since Thursday, the store went through as many as 10,000 baked goods in three days, he estimated, until it ran out of basic supplies of donuts.

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