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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: New restrictions being imposed on counties near St. Louis as more people testing positive

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 8/17/2020 By Chicago Tribune staff, Chicago Tribune
a group of people standing in a parking lot: Patrons get their temperatures checked before entering Moe's Cantina on Clark Street in Wrigleyville during the Cubs season opener. © Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS Patrons get their temperatures checked before entering Moe's Cantina on Clark Street in Wrigleyville during the Cubs season opener.

As Illinois reported more than 1,500 new cases of the coronavirus Sunday, the governor's office announced that new restrictions will be imposed on several counties near St. Louis because the percentage of people testing positive there has been rising.

The restrictions are to go into effect Tuesday for Region 4, which includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties. The “mitigation efforts” are being taken after three consecutive days of a positivity rate 8 percent or higher, according to the governor’s office.

A COVID-19 tester retrieves mouth swab samples from people at a free testing event at Harrison Park in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, July 24, 2020. © Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS A COVID-19 tester retrieves mouth swab samples from people at a free testing event at Harrison Park in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, July 24, 2020.

That means bars, restaurants and casinos must close by 11 p.m. nightly, gathering sizes will be reduced to 25 people or 25 percent room capacity, and party buses will be banned. If the numbers do not improve after 14 days, tighter restrictions such as the closing of bars and restaurants may be announced.

On Sunday, Illinois public health officials announced 1,562 new known cases of COVID-19 and 18 additional confirmed deaths. The state has now logged 206,081 cases overall, and has reported 7,744 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

a group of people in a room: Prism Heath Lab employees work inside of a tent as they conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Aug. 6, 2020. © Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS Prism Heath Lab employees work inside of a tent as they conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Aug. 6, 2020.

COVID-19 in Illinois by the numbers: Here’s a daily update on key metrics in your area

COVID-19 cases in Illinois by ZIP code: Search for your neighborhood

Illinois’ new COVID-19 plan: How the state will manage any outbreaks, in 3 charts

Illinois coronavirus graphs: The latest data on deaths, confirmed cases, tests and more

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

6:40 a.m.: For Illinois delegates, a ‘totally bizarre’ Democratic convention from the couch

a close up of a person: A woman has a nasal swab test at Prism Heath Lab on Aug. 6, 2020. © Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS A woman has a nasal swab test at Prism Heath Lab on Aug. 6, 2020.

When the 2020 Democratic National Convention gets underway Monday, no delegates will be traveling to Milwaukee Wisconsin for it, with the coronavirus pandemic still coursing through the country. Neither will any of the speakers. Not even Joe Biden will accept the party’s nomination in the key swing state’s largest city.

a woman sitting at a table with a blue umbrella: Wearing a protective mask hostess Kelsey Roden walks by patron Mike Flaherty while he sits on the the Lakefront Restaurant patio at Theater on the Lake on Aug. 6, 2020 in Chicago. The restaurant was hosting a soft launch and is expected to open Friday. © Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS Wearing a protective mask hostess Kelsey Roden walks by patron Mike Flaherty while he sits on the the Lakefront Restaurant patio at Theater on the Lake on Aug. 6, 2020 in Chicago. The restaurant was hosting a soft launch and is expected to open Friday.

Instead, virtually all of the convention will be held remotely — four nights of solely -for-TV festivities, capped by Biden’s speech on Thursday night.

For the 182 Illinois delegates and 13 alternates, the social event will be attempted virtually by the state party on a nightly basis before the two-hour national prime-time festivities. There will be no raucous nightly parties, no lunches paid for by special interest groups and no morning breakfast rallies where guest speakers and surrogates from the national campaign aim to put the state’s delegates in a rallying mood. Read more here. —Bill Ruthhart, Rick Pearson

a group of people standing on top of a suitcase: Musicians play and people gather to enjoy the show on Aug. 9, 2020, during a weekly event organized by El Corrillo de Humboldt Park. © Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS Musicians play and people gather to enjoy the show on Aug. 9, 2020, during a weekly event organized by El Corrillo de Humboldt Park.

Video: COVID-19: Parts of Illinois could see restrictions reimposed as coronavirus cases surge (ABC 7 Chicago)

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6:30 a.m.: Coronavirus brings unlikely classroom: A 56-story apartment tower in Streeterville

A 56-story apartment tower in the Streeterville neighborhood plans to convert some of its office space to small classrooms, betting that frazzled families will seek space outside the home to conduct remote learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 490-unit Optima Signature, a skyscraper at 220 E. Illinois St. known for its bright red lower levels, is no ordinary schoolhouse.

a group of people standing on top of a grass covered field: People dance while musicians play on Aug. 9, 2020, during a weekly event organized by El Corrillo de Humboldt Park. Bystanders picnic in the grass and enjoy the show each Saturday and Sunday during the free gathering. © Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS People dance while musicians play on Aug. 9, 2020, during a weekly event organized by El Corrillo de Humboldt Park. Bystanders picnic in the grass and enjoy the show each Saturday and Sunday during the free gathering.

Yet with many parents working from home since March amid COVID-19, and with many schools planning to conduct classes virtually this fall, the building’s owner believes there will be a demand for learning pods. So-called “pandemic pods” and “micro-schools” allow small groups of kids from close-knit families to study together in person with a teacher, tutor or parent.

a man in a baseball game: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito waves to virtual fans while heading to the bullpen to warm up before facing the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field, July 24, 2020. © John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito waves to virtual fans while heading to the bullpen to warm up before facing the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field, July 24, 2020.

Widespread closures of schools and day cares has left Chicago-area workers and employers scrambling for solutions.

Glencoe-based architecture and development firm Optima, which completed the Streeterville high-rise in 2017, last week began marketing four of its 25 office suites for educational purposes. Read more here. —Ryan Ori

6:15 a.m.: Can little kids really social distance? Lessons from child care centers that have stayed open during the pandemic, and why it might not work in schools

Earlier this summer, when Chicago Public Schools still planned to reopen in September, Chicago’s top public health official said even elementary-age children are capable of following measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing and wearing face masks.

“I have nieces and nephews this age, and when you model this behavior for children and set it as an expectation, they actually do very well with it in my experience,” Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the city’s Public Health Department, said at a July news conference.

Some parents and teachers — otherwise the biggest believers in their kids and students — were less optimistic. They said social distancing goes against the very nature of very young children.

Although CPS has since reverted to all remote learning at least until November, the decision will undoubtedly send more Chicago children into day care or other group settings, and many private and suburban schools still intend to open their doors. CPS leaders have also said it’s likely schools will reopen before a vaccine is developed and completely rolled out.

So the question still remains: Even if kids sometimes slip up in following public health guidelines, how can we keep them safe? Read more here. —Claire Hao

Here are three stories from the weekend about COVID-19.

Facing a no-visitor hospital policy due to coronavirus, a Lakeview woman begs to see her terminally ill husband.

House Democrats summoned USPS leaders to testify this month about mail delays across the country.

Illinois puts 14 counties on COVID-19 warning list, blames local officials for failing to enforce social distancing and isolation orders.

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©2020 the Chicago Tribune

Dr. M.S. Kapadia, from Prism Heath Lab in Chicago, talks to a client at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Aug. 6, 2020. © Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS Dr. M.S. Kapadia, from Prism Heath Lab in Chicago, talks to a client at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Aug. 6, 2020.

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