COVID-19 in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Friday

The county warning list, which the state Department of Public Health issues weekly, includes Kane, McHenry and Will counties, which all came under stricter state regulations Friday aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Officials also reported 82,256 new tests in the last 24 hours. The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 5.6%.

That case count of 4,942 tops the previous record of 4,554 new cases set just six days earlier and came as new restrictions, including a renewed prohibition on indoor dining and bar service, took effect in southern Illinois and a wide swath of suburban Chicago.

In addition, the city will again prohibit indoor service at traditional taverns and brewery taprooms that don’t have food licenses, and asked residents to cap any social gatherings at six people starting Friday.

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

8:25 p.m.: Illinois hits another sad COVID-19 milestone — 5,000 deaths in long-term care — as cases rise

Illinois long-term care facilities are experiencing their biggest jump in COVID-19 cases in months, as the state passed a tragic milestone: 5,000 deaths among residents.

In the past week, Illinois recorded more than 1,400 new COVID-19 infections among residents in nursing homes, assisted living centers and other large, congregate-care facilities, according to the weekly data released by the state.

That’s the highest one-week tally since early June. The weekly tally was also notably larger than the roughly 1,100 new cases seen the week prior, and the nearly 650 cases in the week before that.

Deaths of residents climbed too: another 131 in the past week. That followed tallies the past two weeks of 96 and 95 deaths, respectively, which already was much higher than the 55 deaths seen three weeks ago.

The latest spike put the death toll in long-term care facilities at 5,019, accounting for more than half of the total statewide toll of 9,418 COVID-19 fatalities, as of Friday.

7:10 p.m.: CPS, teachers union both say other side won’t engage on school reopening plans

The Chicago Teachers Union, which has raised serious concerns about plans to resume in-person classes next quarter, has filed a new unfair labor practice charge, accusing Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot of illegally refusing to bargain over reopening and safety protocols.

“Our youngest and most medically vulnerable students deserve safety, yet that is exactly what CPS refuses to take steps to document or guarantee,” said CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates on Friday.

District spokeswoman Emily Bolton, however, said CPS is working with the union and will continue to do so “in the hopes they engage as productive partners and help us lift up the students and families who need our collective support.”

“We are disheartened that CTU continues to obstruct and mislead the public about the necessary planning measures needed to prepare for a potential return to safe in-person learning,” Bolton said.

As tension builds over the murky plan for next quarter, the union and the district still seem

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Coronavirus outbreaks connected to hockey are happening in New England states

Multiple New England states are experiencing issues with the coronavirus for hockey players, prompting suspensions in play.

Some states, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire, have paused ice skating and hockey activities for two weeks as facilities find ways to better prevent COVID-19 among people visiting and using the rinks.

Above video: Hockey parents speak out prior to mandatory COVID-19 testing announcement in New Hampshire

A rink is Vermont was linked to dozens of cases, and earlier this month, New Hampshire’s governor said over 150 cases in recent months were linked to hockey.


Hockey organizers and health experts in states have detailed ways to reduce risks in spreading the virus, stressing physical distancing and other measures. Materials typically cite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Health officials have also noted an adult recreational game being connected with the virus, saying it happened in Florida and led to around a dozen positive cases.

“The ice rink provides a venue that is likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs, and persons are in close proximity to one another,” a Florida health official said.

NH introduces testing requirement for players

A new requirement says rink staff, players and coaches must undergo a COVID-19 test before Nov. 6.

It comes as New Hampshire is “pausing” all hockey activities in indoor rinks for two weeks following positive COVID-19 tests for 158 people associated with the sport over the last two months, Gov. Chris Sununu and health officials said Oct. 15.

The suspension, which also affects ice skating in general, is in effect until Oct. 29. Play can resume Oct. 30, and the state’s reopening task force has provided guidance, which includes wearing face coverings when people are not playing.

Dr. Ben Chan, state epidemiologist, previously said the cases are from 23 different hockey-related New Hampshire organizations and teams, “and there are additional connections with out-of-state ice hockey organizations.”

Chan said people who have acquired the virus through hockey have been associated with, and potentially exposed others, in at least 24 different K-12 schools throughout the state.

“This type of spread and exposure to other facilities and organizations within the community increases the risk of introduction and spread of COVID-19 in other settings outside of hockey,” Chan said.

Rinks will be cleaned and sanitized and guidance on the sport will be revised and more testing will be conducted.

College team activity is on hold, in addition to youth and amateur organization activities.

“We don’t know exactly where the pinpoints are here, whether it’s something on the ice or something in the locker rooms,” Sununu said.

Indoor hockey, skating suspended for 2 weeks in Mass.

Suspended play comes as outbreaks have been linked to 108 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, according to the Massachusetts health department.

Indoor ice hockey and skating have been suspended as of 5 p.m. Oct. 23, to at least Nov. 7 for youth hockey and adult leagues at both public and private facilities.

“This order is

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