Chicago Teachers Union rank-and-file members will now vote on a proposal to resume in-person learning at Chicago Public Schools, taking another step toward a resolution to weekslong negotiations over safely reopening schools.

Meanwhile, a northwest Indiana couple is speaking out after their 5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with the rare inflammatory condition that has been linked to COVID-19 cases in children.

Here are the latest COVID-19 headlines from around the state:

CTU Members to Vote on In-Person Learning Proposal

The Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates has voted to send a proposal on resuming in-person learning at Chicago Public Schools to its rank-and-file membership for a vote, taking another step toward breaking a negotiating impasse that has gone on for several weeks.

The vote comes after CPS officials said that the two sides had reached a tentative agreement on a return to in-person learning over the weekend.

The CTU, who has said that there is no “tentative agreement” with CPS since membership has yet to vote on the issue, emphasized that again Monday evening, confirming that the House of Delegates had indeed voted to send the measure to rank-and-file members, but not that the HOD had “tentatively accepted” the proposal.

The union also announced the results of a “no-confidence” vote in the leadership of Lightfoot and CPS, with 90% of delegates voicing their opposition to the mayor’s leadership:

The deal, if approved by the more than 25,000 members of the CTU, would have kids in pre-K and cluster learning classes back in classrooms by Thursday. Children in kindergarten through fifth grade would return March 1, while children in sixth through eighth grade would return on March 8 as part of a staggered return schedule.

Teachers and staff would be eligible to receive additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine earmarked for the union through the new proposal. New procedures for shutting down classrooms, or even the entire CPS, to in-person learning are also part of the proposal, along with enhanced contact tracing and other safety measures.

Read more here.

Chicago May Increase Indoor Dining Capacity in Time for Valentine’s Day Weekend

Calling Valentine’s Day weekend “one of the few bright spots for the restaurant industry,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot revealed Monday the city is considering expanding indoor dining capacity with the holiday weekend around the corner.

The city entered Phase 4 of Illinois’ coronavirus mitigations on Sunday, Jan. 31, which according to state guidelines, permitted indoor dining capacity to increase. Even as restrictions were relaxed overall, Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health decided not to increase the capacity limit, which remains the lesser of 25% or 25 persons per room.

Explaining their decision, health officials said it is “standard public health practice” to monitor the impact of any significant mitigation change for a minimum of two weeks.

Sunday, Feb. 14 marks two weeks since Chicago entered Phase 4 mitigations. Partial indoor dining resumed in the city on Jan. 23, when the city reached the threshold to move under Tier 1 restrictions.

Read more here.

Family of 5-Year-Old Indiana Girl Issues Warning After Hospitalization for Inflammatory Syndrome Linked to COVID-19

A northwest Indiana couple is speaking out after their 5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with the rare inflammatory condition that has been linked to COVID-19 cases in children.

Over the course of five days, Advocate Health Care said Oshunda and Johnathan Johnson of Portage, Indiana, watched as their daughter Janiya, who is normally extroverted and silly, got “sicker and sicker.”

“She’s pretty much the life of the family,” Johnathan Johnson said. “She’s the party folk.”

The parents said Janiya was vomiting, feverish and exhausted as she experienced stomach pain and refused to eat.

A northwest Indiana couple is speaking out after their 5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with the rare inflammatory condition that has been linked to COVID-19 cases in children. NBC 5’s Christian Farr reports.

Advocate Health said the couple took Janiya to the doctor and urgent care multiple times but it wasn’t until St. Mary’s Hospital in Hobart did blood work that they realized her kidneys and liver were failing.

Janiya was then admitted in critical condition to Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, where she was diagnosed with pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, also known as MIS-C.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says MIS-C is condition related to COVID-19 where children’s organs or body parts can become inflamed, like the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

Read more here.

Illinois Reports 1,747 New Coronavirus Cases, 35 Deaths, 16K Vaccinations Monday

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported just over 1,700 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus on Monday, with 35 additional deaths attributed to the virus.

According to the latest IDPH data, 1,747 cases have been reported over the last 24 hours. Those new cases bring the statewide total to 1,148,088 since the pandemic began.

The 35 additional deaths bring the state to 19,668 deaths during the pandemic.

The state’s seven-day rolling positivity rate for all COVID tests dropped to 3.3%, while the positivity rate on individuals tested held steady at 4.1% over the last seven days.

As of Monday, 1,358,967 have been administered statewide during the pandemic. On Sunday alone, 16,110 doses were administered.

Read more here.

Lake County Reports First Case of COVID-19 Variant

The first case of the COVID-19 variant was identified in Lake County, health officials announced Saturday.

The Lake County Health Department reported the first case of the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, which is the strain more commonly circulating the U.K. in recent months.

The individual infected with the variant had traveled internationally and was in contact with a sick person before leaving to return back to the U.S. in late December, health officials said.

According to the department, the individual did not experience any symptoms of the coronavirus.

“We expect to see more cases of these new variants in Lake County as they seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants,” Dr. Sana Ahmed, Medical Epidemiologist for LCHD, said. “It is extremely important that you follow quarantine recommendations and get tested if you have traveled or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.”

Health officials reminded that studies suggest the currently available COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the new strains.

For more on the new coronavirus strain, click here.

Kroger to Pay Workers $100 to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine

Kroger is offering a $100 incentive for employees who receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to encourage associates to become vaccinated, the Cincinnati-based grocery retailer announced Friday.

The vaccine payment will be offered to all associates who present proof of vaccination to their human resources representative, according to a news release from the company.

Employees who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons will have the option of completing an educational health and safety course to receive the payment.

The company also announced an additional $50 million investment to thank and reward employees, including a $100 store credit and 1,000 fuel points for hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates. 

Chicago-area grocer Mariano’s is a subsidiary of Kroger.

For a complete look at ways you can make an appointment or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.





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