Note: Any news conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot or other officials will be streamed in the video player above.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is upon the state as metrics continue to rise in “the wrong direction,” announcing he will once again begin to deliver daily updates.

His warning came hours after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is officially in its “second surge” of the pandemic as numbers continue to rise to “concerning” levels.

Here are the latest updates from across Illinois on the coronavirus pandemic today (Oct. 20):

DuPage County Officials Recommend Remote Learning for Schools as COVID-19 Cases Rise

The DuPage County Health Department is recommending that schools stick to remote learning as coronavirus cases and positivity rates surge forward in the area, but some schools are moving ahead with plans to hold at least some in-person learning in their districts.

Students in Glenbard North’s District 87 returned to their classrooms on Monday, while in Downers Grove District 58, students will start a hybrid learning plan on Tuesday.

“I think they need school, but at the same time I want it to be done safely,” Downers Grove parent Theresa Arnold said.

The decision to move back to a hybrid or in-person model for learning comes on the heels of a DCHD announcement recommending schools implement remote learning for most students.  

Community transmission of the coronavirus is becoming more widespread, with DuPage County potentially facing new mitigation restrictions as a result of an elevated positivity rate in the region. According to metrics available from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Region 8, comprised of Kane and DuPage counties, has exceeded the 8% positivity rate threshold to trigger new coronavirus mitigation restrictions, and if the number doesn’t come down in coming days, then indoor service at restaurants and bars will be stopped, among other rule changes.

“We’re looking to inform decisions by districts,” DuPage County Health Department official Chris Hoff, director of community health resources, said. “We want to really help them to understand community transmission and outbreaks that are occurring so they can make informed decisions.”

The DuPage County Health Department is recommending that schools stick to remote learning as coronavirus cases and positivity rates surge forward in the area, but some schools are moving ahead with plans to hold at least some in-person learning in their districts. NBC 5’s Trina Orlando has more.

Not all schools are moving forward with in-person or hybrid learning. Naperville Unit District 203, which had planned to move into a new phase of its reopening plan this week, will instead continue online learning programs for most students in the district.

According to a letter to parents, only K-12 specialized programs will be allowed to continue with in-person learning, Supt. Dan Bridges said.

Early childhood and elementary students will remain on their normal schedules. Junior high students and high school students will stick with their “10% model” of in-person instruction for targeted students, according to the letter.

“I want to thank the community for your patience as this situation continues to evolve and as we adapt to changing circumstances,” Bridges said. “Please unit with me to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, social distancing and engaging in healthy hygiene practices.”

In Elmhurst District 205, all students will be moved to remote learning beginning on Wednesday and running through at least Nov. 4, according to a press release.

“This decision is not an easy one in a community that so highly values education and in-person learning,” Dr. David Moyer, Superintendent of Schools, said. “The District 205 Leadership team, our teachers and staff have worked hard to keep our schools physically open and we look forward to our students’ return to the classroom as soon as possible.”

According to the DCHD, the weekly case count in DuPage County has risen to 119 cases per 100,000 residents in the county, a 34% increase over last week.

School districts moving to hybrid learning models say they will keep a close eye on health metrics, and will not hesitate to move back to remote learning if required to do so.

“If we see multiple consecutive weeks of the metrics not improving, we may need to move back to a fully remote learning environment,” Downers Grove Supt. Dr. Kevin Russell said.

‘A New Wave Could Be Upon Us,’ Pritzker Warns as All Regions See COVID-19 Uptick

Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned Monday that Illinois could be in the predicted second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as cases surge in all regions across the state.

“Experts have predicted for months that the country could see a resurgence of the virus as temperatures get colder and more people spend more time inside,” Pritzker said. “Here in Illinois, it looks like a new wave could be upon us.”

Pritzker said every region of the state has started to move “in the wrong direction,” as cases, positvity rates, hospitalizations and deaths increase throughout Illinois.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker addresses media during his daily press conference Monday.

Most People Who Contract the Coronavirus Know Who Gave It to Them, Data Shows

Most people who contract the coronavirus know the person who gave it to them, Chicago officials reported from new data Monday.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that through case investigations and contact tracing, data shows that every two out of three people who have COVID-19 contracted the virus from someone they know.

“What this means is it probably came from your friends, your family or coworkers,” Lightfoot said. “That means if you spread it, chances are you’ll be spreading it to someone you know.”

Officials Urge Illinois Residents to Fight Back Against COVID-19 Fatigue

With coronavirus cases and positivity rates surging in the state of Illinois, officials are urging residents not to allow themselves to let their guard down in the fight to curb the spread of the virus.

Speaking during a press conference Monday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged residents to “pick their guard” back up, saying that individual action will be critical to helping push back against the spread of the virus in recent weeks.

“If you’re getting tired and you’ve let your guard down, now is the time to pick it back up,” Pritzker said during a press conference Monday. “Things are now getting worse. Now is the time to wear a mask wherever you go, get your flu shot, forego unnecessary trips or gatherings, and take extra care to stay six feet away from others, especially in public.”

Lightfoot Reportedly Considering Property Tax Increase as Part of Plan to Address Chicago’s $1.2B Budget Shortfall

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is reportedly considering a property tax increase as part of her plan to address the city’s estimated $1.2 billion budget shortfall.

The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday that sources told the paper that Lightfoot was considering a $94 million property tax increase as well as layoffs for more than 300 city employees and an increase in the gas tax.

When asked Monday about the report, specifically the property tax increase, Lightfoot demurred.

“What I will say is this: on Wednesday, we have a lot to say about the specific ways in which we propose to close the $1.2 billion gap,” Lightfoot said. She is scheduled to deliver her annual budget address Wednesday morning, submitting her plan, after releasing in late August a forecast projecting a $1.2 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2021.

That shortfall, Lightfoot said in announcing the projection, was deepened by roughly $799 million due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has cratered revenues like sales tax and more as shutdowns to prevent the spread of the deadly virus have caused widespread economic devastation.

“I’ve been very clear since my forecast speech on Aug. 31 that we are looking at a range of different tools, because the enormity of this budget gap requires us to look at a number of different options,” Lightfoot said Monday.

“We always look internally first; we can’t go to taxpayers and ask them for more and we pretend that the status quo turning the size of the budget, the way in which we deliver services, that that’s all fine and can’t be touched,” she continued. “We’ve got to look internally first, to earn the trust of the taxpayers and demonstrate to them that we are being the fiduciaries that we are obligated to be for their precious hard earned tax dollars.”

Lightfoot had previously said in an interview that she couldn’t rule out layoffs for city workers due to the shortfall, looking to the federal government for assistance.

“I can’t take it off the table, because we’re still working on solutions for the 2020 budget,” she said in an interview on Aug. 18. “We’re still looking to Washington, but we’re gonna have to formulate some alternative plans if we don’t see that there’s any glimmer of hope of getting more support from Washington DC.”

New Coronavirus Restrictions Go Into Effect Thursday in Illinois’ Region 5, Pritzker Says

As coronavirus cases continue to surge around the state of Illinois, three different healthcare regions could be on the verge of having enhanced mitigation strategies put into place as a result of increasing positivity rates.

According to data available through the Illinois Department of Public Health, Region 5, located in southeastern Illinois, has exceeded the 8% threshold for its seven-day positivity rate for three consecutive days.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that the region will see new coronavirus mitigation standards put into place on Thursday, including a prohibition on indoor dining and bar service.

There will also be outdoor seating and cut-off times of 11 p.m. on a daily basis for those eateries and taverns.

Gatherings of more than 25 people are also dramatically restricted under the proposed mitigation strategies, and party buses are also banned under the rules.

The news is also bad in Region 7, comprised of Will and Kankakee counties. That region, which had already previously had the enhanced mitigation strategies in place earlier this year, has now exceeded the 8% positivity rate threshold for two consecutive days. That number stands at 8.3% as of Monday, and could trigger additional restrictions this week.

Region 8, comprised of Kane and DuPage counties, is also now over that 8% mark, standing at 8.5% according to the latest IDPH data. Restrictions on that region could also come down in coming days.

Region 1, located in northwestern Illinois, is already under enhanced mitigation rules, but has seen its positivity rate climb to an alarming 11.1% in recent days.

Several other regions are also nearing potentially bad territory when it comes to positivity rates, with Regions 3, 4 and 9 all currently over 7% positivity. Cook County and Chicago are both over 6% in positivity rates, as is Region 2, which stands at 6.9% as of Monday.

Gov. Pritzker to Resume Daily Coronavirus Updates as ‘Things Have Changed’

Gov. J.B. Pritzker will once again deliver daily coronavirus briefings alongside the Illinois’ top public health official as coronavirus cases rise statewide during the pandemic, sparking concerns over a “second wave” of the virus.

“While we continue to see a safer pandemic landscape than back in the spring – in terms of positivity, hospital capacity, and community spread – and safer than much of the Midwest, things have changed,” Pritzker announced on Oct. 19. “Every region of the state has started to move in the wrong direction. Cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths are rising statewide. So to ensure you have utmost transparency on where the state is headed, Dr. Ezike and I will resume these COVID-19 briefings on a daily basis until Illinois returns to a better standing in our handling of this pandemic.”

Pritzker had delivered daily updates early on in the pandemic, but those updates were reduced to weekly briefings over the summer “as Illinois began to see relative success in keeping this virus at bay.”

Watch the daily updates live here.

‘Do Not Invite Anyone Over’ to Your Home, Chicago’s Top Doctor Urges

Chicago’s top doctor urged residents to not invite anyone into their homes or apartments as the city experiences multiple coronavirus “warning signs” and enters what officials are calling a “second surge” in the pandemic.

“Please do not invite anyone over to your house or apartment,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Monday. “This is not the time for non-essential gatherings, period.”

Arwady’s comments come as city officials held a press conference to “sound the alarm” on rising metrics across Chicago.

Currently, Chicago is reporting an average of more than 500 new coronavirus cases daily, the “highest daily rate since the tail end of the first surge at the end of May,” officials said.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady issues a message to residents as the city sees multiple coronavirus “warning signs.”

As of Monday, Chicago was seeing a 7-day rolling average of 508 new cases per day, according to the city’s coronavirus data dashboard. That marks a significant increase from the roughly 300 new cases per day rolling average the city was seeing just three weeks earlier when restrictions were eased.

The numbers also coincide with a 25% increase in non-ICU COVID-19 hospitalizations since Sept. 22, according to city data.

“This is the second surge that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Arwady have been warning about since March,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “And we are now in it.”

Health officials said numbers in Chicago show that a majority of coronavirus patients know the person who gave it to them. According to data, two out of every three Chicagoans diagnosed knew the person who became the source of their infection. A majority of those infections came from interactions within a home, Arwady added.

“The virus is just looking for opportunities to spread,” Arwady said.

Arwady pleaded with residents to wear masks, even while inside homes and to not invite people into homes who don’t already live there, unless they must come for essential reasons.

“We are in the beginning of a second surge here and now is the time to do the things we have in our arsenal,” Arwady said.

Illinois Reports 3,113 New Coronavirus Cases, 22 Additional Deaths

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,113 new cases of coronavirus Monday, along with 22 additional deaths.

In all, 347,161 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the state during the pandemic.

Monday’s additional deaths bring the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities to 9,236.

In the last 24 hours, 48,684 tests were returned to state laboratories, meaning that the state has performed 6,824,237 total tests during the pandemic.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate increased once again, going up to 5.4%. That number is the highest the state has reported since early June, and comes as the state has reported nearly 25,000 cases last week, the highest seven-day total since the pandemic began.

According to new data, 2,096 Illinois residents remain hospitalized as a result of the virus, with 485 requiring intensive care unit beds, according to IDPH data. As of Monday, 179 patients were on ventilators.

Officials Warn Chicago Could Bring Back Restrictions if Coronavirus Numbers Don’t Slow

Chicago could see the return of some restrictions in the coming days if the city’s coronavirus metrics continue rising in the midst of what officials said is now a “second surge” of the virus.

“To further fight the spread of COVID-19, the city is considering additional measures in the coming days, including bringing back restrictions on businesses,” a release from the mayor’s office read Monday.

In a press conference to “sound the alarm,” Chicago’s top doctor said the city won’t wait until the state-mandated 8% positivity threshold to increase restrictions.

“We continue to follow the same framework that we set out way back in June,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Monday. “We will follow all of those metrics. We will be looking to make decisions about what needs to happen.”

Lightfoot warned that if the numbers continue rising, the city could see returns to phase three restrictions.

“We will not hesitate to take the steps to save our city and save our residents,” she said.

Currently, Chicago is reporting an average of more than 500 new coronavirus cases daily, the “highest daily rate since the tail end of the first surge at the end of May,” officials said.

As of Monday, Chicago was seeing a 7-day rolling average of 508 new cases per day, according to the city’s coronavirus data dashboard. That marks a significant increase from the roughly 300 new cases per day rolling average the city was seeing just three weeks earlier when restrictions were eased.

The numbers also coincide with a 25% increase in non-ICU COVID-19 hospitalizations since Sept. 22, according to city data.

“This is the second surge that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Arwady have been warning about since March,” Lightfoot said. “And we are now in it.”

‘Make No Mistake – We Are in the 2nd Surge,’ Chicago’s Mayor Warns as Coronavirus Cases Rise

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is in the midst of a second coronavirus surge as cases continue to rise at “concerning” levels, sparking warnings that some restrictions could soon return.

“This is the second surge that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Arwady have been warning about since March,” Lightfoot said. “And we are now in it.”

She said while the surge is not surprising, she attributed it largely to the fact that “COVID thrives in enclosed spaces.”

“We’ve been talking about these kinds of risks now from the very beginning,” she said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned Monday that Chicago is in the “second surge” of the coronavirus pandemic as the city sees cases spike at “concerning” levels.

Currently, Chicago is reporting an average of more than 500 new coronavirus cases daily, the “highest daily rate since the tail end of the first surge at the end of May,” officials said.

As of Monday, Chicago was seeing a 7-day rolling average of 508 new cases per day, according to the city’s coronavirus data dashboard. That marks a significant increase from the roughly 300 new cases per day rolling average the city was seeing just three weeks earlier when restrictions were eased.

Lightfoot warned that if the numbers continue rising, the city could see returns to phase three restrictions.

“We will not hesitate to take the steps to save our city and save our residents,” she said.

Midwestern Coronavirus Positivity Rates Over the Past 2 Weeks

How States Compare on Where Coronavirus Is Most Easily Spread





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