Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Chicago on Tuesday added neighboring Indiana to its emergency travel order that requires travelers returning to the city from there to stay inside for two weeks because of high COVID-19 case counts. The Hoosier state’s inclusion on Chicago’s self-quarantine list was expected.



a man standing in front of a pool: Shelley Gavin, 55, gets a free COVID-19 test provided by Community Organized Relief Effort at I Grow Chicago in West Englewood on Aug. 31, 2020.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Shelley Gavin, 55, gets a free COVID-19 test provided by Community Organized Relief Effort at I Grow Chicago in West Englewood on Aug. 31, 2020.

Starting Friday, people traveling into Chicago from Indiana, including Chicagoans who have traveled to Illinois’ eastern neighbor, to will be expected to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Violators can face a fine, though the city has taken few steps to enforce the rules and there are exceptions for essential workers.



a close up of a toy: A worker packages a COVID-19 test swab from a client at Prism Heath Lab, 2322 W. Peterson Ave., in Chicago, on Aug. 6, 2020.


© Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
A worker packages a COVID-19 test swab from a client at Prism Heath Lab, 2322 W. Peterson Ave., in Chicago, on Aug. 6, 2020.

The move came as Illinois health officials announced 2,851 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29 additional deaths, pushing the state’s death toll past 9,000.



a person sitting in a car: Workers conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Oct. 13, 2020, in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.


© Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Workers conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Oct. 13, 2020, in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.

It was the seventh day in a row with more than 2,600 cases. That brings the state total to 324,743 confirmed cases and 9,026 deaths. The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 4.5% for the week ending Oct. 12.

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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

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

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

6:55 a.m.: Challenges to Pritzker’s COVID-19 restrictions back in court

After months of maneuvering, attorneys will be in court in Sangamon County Wednesday arguing over Gov. JB Pritzker’s powers to impose controls to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

The hearing involves multiple cases filed by attorney Thomas DeVore on behalf of clients in six counties who contend that the coronavirus pandemic is not a public health emergency under the definition of Illinois law.



a person wearing a costume: Workers prepare for a drive-thru COVID-19 testing participant at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Oct. 13, 2020, in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.


© Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Workers prepare for a drive-thru COVID-19 testing participant at Swedish Covenant Hospital on Oct. 13, 2020, in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.

Because of that, the lawsuits argue that Pritzker doesn’t have the authority impose restrictions like limit on businesses in order to control the spread of COVID-19.

The essentially identical lawsuits were originally filed in Edgar, Bond, Richland, Clinton, and Sangamon counties. In each case, plaintiffs want the court to declare a public health emergency does not exist and that Pritzker be barred from exercising powers under the Emergency Management Act in those counties.



a person sitting in a parking lot: A warning sign alerts passersby as vehicles are lined up at a COVID-19 testing site at Saucedo Scholastic Academy on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.


© John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
A warning sign alerts passersby as vehicles are lined up at a COVID-19 testing site at Saucedo Scholastic Academy on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.

The Illinois Supreme Court ordered that all of the cases be combined and heard in Sangamon County. Read the full story here. — Doug Finke, State Journal-Register via Tribune Content Agency

6:30 a.m.: 5 hot tips for the Chicago International Film Festival, starting Wednesday

Here we are. Another October, not like all the others, and another Chicago International Film Festival, also not like the others — yet fully in sync with the virtual/in-person hyrbid model followed by so many festivals around the world, in the COVID-19 pandemic’s introductory year.



text: A man holds a sealed COVID-19 test kit before having it administered at Saucedo Scholastic Academy, 2850 W. 24th Blvd., on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.


© John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
A man holds a sealed COVID-19 test kit before having it administered at Saucedo Scholastic Academy, 2850 W. 24th Blvd., on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.

The 56th edition of CIFF is smaller than usual, but small being relative, it’s a big sort of smaller, with 58 feature-length narrative and documentary offerings, various shorts programs and “Industry Days” events via Zoom.



a group of people standing on a sidewalk: People wait to take walk-up COVID-19 tests at Saucedo Scholastic Academy on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.


© John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
People wait to take walk-up COVID-19 tests at Saucedo Scholastic Academy on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.

How might this year’s festival resemble previous years’ versions? Digital attendance for the beloved general public is not unlimited. Rather, it’s capped at whatever a film’s distributor or rights-holder determines — 300, 500, whatever. Read the full story. —Michael Phillips



Erika Cardoza, 22 , Gustavo Martinez, 22, and their son Eli, 3, get free COVID-19 tests provided by Community Organized Relief Effort at I Grow Chicago in West Englewood, Aug. 31, 2020.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Erika Cardoza, 22 , Gustavo Martinez, 22, and their son Eli, 3, get free COVID-19 tests provided by Community Organized Relief Effort at I Grow Chicago in West Englewood, Aug. 31, 2020.

6 a.m.: CPS students petition to shorten the class day — and end homework — during remote learning, citing headaches, stress and too much screen time



a man riding on the back of a car: A worker transports a self-administered COVID-19 test to a storage container at Saucedo Scholastic Academy on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.


© John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
A worker transports a self-administered COVID-19 test to a storage container at Saucedo Scholastic Academy on Oct. 13, 2020, in Chicago.

After a month of remote learning, Idalia Rizvic was getting headaches, feeling stressed and struggling to finish her schoolwork early enough to hang out with her family before bedtime.

So last week, the eighth grader at Boone Elementary in West Rogers Park started an online petition to shorten the virtual school day.

“Covid has been a stressful time for all, and online school adds onto that,” Idalia wrote. “We still get the same amount of work, and ‘homework’ has lost its purpose.”

After spring’s abrupt transition to remote learning, many students indicated they wanted more live instruction and engagement. But for some, stricter schedules this year have been too much. As families and educators wait for Chicago Public Schools to say whether the second quarter will bring students back to classrooms, many feel that either way, something needs to change.

Idalia’s mother, Senada Rizvic, said the past month has been “too much screen time, less sleep, more headache.”

A petition started by a Senn High School student seeking a half-day class schedule cited research on the effects of too much screen time. If students must have seven-hour remote learning days, the petition states, they shouldn’t be assigned homework.

Another, anonymous petition to shorten the day states, “With COVID-19 cases still rising it’s clear that it’s much safer to stay home, but 8 hours of staring at the screen is not mentally and physically healthy for students.”

But not all families are on the same page in that regard. Another anonymous group, “Parents for In-Person Learning,” is petitioning CPS and city officials to reopen schools entirely.

Read more here. —Hannah Leone

In case you missed it

Here are five stories from Tuesday related to COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

Chicago Public Schools said it will announce “very soon” if in-person classes will resume next quarter.

Abbott received emergency FDA approval for antibody test that detects recent COVID-19 infections.

New Trier High School halted in-person instruction due to spike in regional COVID-19 cases.

Wisconsin hit a pair of grim COVID-19 milestones, with record highs for positive cases and deaths.

District 214 is shifting from remote to hybrid learning, calling on families to help mitigate COVID-19 cases.

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