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


Illinois officials announced that a resurgence in coronavirus rates in a northwest Illinois region that includes Rockford and Northern Illinois University will result in a return to tighter restrictions aimed at curbing the disease’s spread.



a group of people sitting at a table with a bunch of stuffed animals: Mourners add to a memorial on Sept. 9, 2020, during a vigil in memory of Dajore Wilson, 8, near where she was killed at 47th Street and South Union Avenue in the Canaryville neighborhood.


© Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Mourners add to a memorial on Sept. 9, 2020, during a vigil in memory of Dajore Wilson, 8, near where she was killed at 47th Street and South Union Avenue in the Canaryville neighborhood.

The news comes as the state reported 1,362 newly diagnosed cases and 23 additional confirmed deaths of people with COVID-19, raising the statewide tally to 291,001 known cases and 8,637 deaths.

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a traffic light at night: The setting sun is is seen along East Madison Street before the fall equinox on Sept. 21, 2020, in Chicago.


© Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
The setting sun is is seen along East Madison Street before the fall equinox on Sept. 21, 2020, in Chicago.

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:

7:10 a.m.: Lightfoot to hold final online budget town hall with city officials

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and City Budget Director Susie Park were scheduled to hold a final online town hall Wednesday regarding Chicago’s 2021 budget.

The city is running an $800 million budget deficit for 2020 following tax shortfalls because of the coronavirus pandemic and facing a hole of about $1.2 billion for 2021.



a person preparing food in a kitchen: Kelly Helgesen of Takeaway Bagel makes sourdough bagels at Superkhana International on Sept. 19, 2020, in Chicago.


© Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Kelly Helgesen of Takeaway Bagel makes sourdough bagels at Superkhana International on Sept. 19, 2020, in Chicago.

Since late August, the city has held a series of online town halls and gathered more than 38,000 survey responses about residents’ budget concerns and spending priorities, according to a news release from the mayor’s office. Wednesday evening’s town hall will be livestreamed on Facebook from 6-7 p.m.



Isabel Aguilar and her son, Diego, 5, create a poster at a rally to protest the possible future redevelopment of the Discount Mall in the Little Village neighborhood on Sept. 16, 2020, in Chicago.


© John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Isabel Aguilar and her son, Diego, 5, create a poster at a rally to protest the possible future redevelopment of the Discount Mall in the Little Village neighborhood on Sept. 16, 2020, in Chicago.

Lightfoot is to detail more of her plans for the 2021 budget when she gives her annual budget address in mid-October. — Chicago Tribune staff

6:46 a.m.: COVID-19 cases traced to adult volleyball games at Gages Lake restaurant

Almost 200 players and spectators were potentially exposed recently to COVID-19 during adult volleyball games at a Gages Lake restaurant and bar, with 14 testing positive for the virus as the result of an investigation by the Lake County Health Department.

The health department began its investigation on Sept. 23 after investigators and contact tracers identified people who watched or played volleyball with symptoms of the coronavirus pandemic at Jesse Oaks Food & Drink, according to a department press release.

Dr. Sana Ahmed, the health department’s medical epidemiologist and an infectious disease physician, said Tuesday investigators and contact tracers contacted Jesse Oaks when they learned about the outbreak so they could identify as many people as possible who were exposed.



a person standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Stacey Michelon, left, and Elizabeth Posner raise their fists while repeating a chant during a gathering to remember late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Federal Plaza on Sept. 19, 2020, in Chicago.


© John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Stacey Michelon, left, and Elizabeth Posner raise their fists while repeating a chant during a gathering to remember late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Federal Plaza on Sept. 19, 2020, in Chicago.

“This could potentially be a large outbreak,” said Ahmed, who estimated nearly 200 people were at risk of getting the virus. “We reached out to the establishment because we were concerned more people were exposed. We identified 14 who became infected.”

Ahmed said the preliminary investigation showed some confirmed cases were among spectators as well as athletes. Read the full story here. — Steve Sadin

5 a.m.: ‘This is the future of our sport’: Athletes Unlimited, a venture that treats pro sports like a fantasy league, ends first softball season in Rosemont with plans to return

An intriguing professional sports experiment ended in Rosemont on Monday night when Team Osterman, a softball squad named after its captain, Olympic gold medalist Cat Osterman, won its final game.

But victory wasn’t really the point. Points were the point.

The six-week league was launched by Athletes Unlimited, a fledgling outfit that treats professional sports like a fantasy league. Players receive points not just for winning games but for performing well individually.

Hit a single, get 10 points. Stretch it into a double, get 20. Knock it over the fence and receive a cool 40 points.

Pitchers, meanwhile, get 4 points for every out but have 10 points taken away for every earned run. Winning an inning yields 10 points for every member of the team. Winning the game brings 50. Earning one of three Most Valuable Player spots voted on by players and fans after each game is worth up to 60 points.



Jo Padilla speaks with a proxy outside a residential building while attempting to enumerate residents for the U.S. census in the Ravenswood neighborhood on Sept. 24, 2020, in Chicago.


© Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Jo Padilla speaks with a proxy outside a residential building while attempting to enumerate residents for the U.S. census in the Ravenswood neighborhood on Sept. 24, 2020, in Chicago.

The season was set to start in August, right after National Pro Fastpitch and the 2020 Olympics concluded. But when both were shut down by COVID-19, Athletes Unlimited suddenly became the only place to play.

That drew a surge of big-name athletes, including Osterman, who had been planning to retire after the Olympics. But it also meant the league had to create its own version of a bubble — Athletes Unlimited calls it a “shield” — to keep players safe from the virus. Read the full story. — John Keilman

5 a.m.: Carbondale Driver Service facility closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

The Carbondale Driver Services facility has been temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

A news release from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office Monday said the facility will be closed until Oct. 9 and its employees are under quarantine after an order from the Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department. Attempts to reach representatives from the health department were not successful Tuesday.

The release said there is not a direct impact on customers and that the facility is scheduled to be cleaned while closed. The release also reminded drivers that the Secretary of State’s Office has extended all expiration dates to Feb. 1, 2021, for driver’s licenses and ID cards. The release encouraged drivers to do basic things, like renewing a license or car registration, online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.



a room filled with furniture and a large window: While the inside sits empty, Bob Hook and Holly King drink and dine outside the Jarvis Square Tavern in the Rogers Park neighborhood on Sept. 28, 2020, in Chicago.


© Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
While the inside sits empty, Bob Hook and Holly King drink and dine outside the Jarvis Square Tavern in the Rogers Park neighborhood on Sept. 28, 2020, in Chicago.

For those needing in-person assistance, the release directed them to nearby facilities in Marion at 1905 Rendleman St.; in Anna at 101A Transcraft Drive; and in Benton at 812 N. Main St. — The Southern, via Tribune Content Agency



a group of people standing in front of a sign: More than 4,000 hospital workers at University of Illinois Hospital went on strike on Sept. 14, 2020, after failing to agree on a contract with the hospital.


© E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
More than 4,000 hospital workers at University of Illinois Hospital went on strike on Sept. 14, 2020, after failing to agree on a contract with the hospital.

In case you missed it

Here are five stories from Tuesday related to COVID-19:



a group of people sitting at a table in a restaurant: Andrew Marinelli cleans the bar as the staff prepares for dinner service in the rooftop canopy area of Roots Handmade Pizza South Loop on Sept. 28, 2020.


© E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Andrew Marinelli cleans the bar as the staff prepares for dinner service in the rooftop canopy area of Roots Handmade Pizza South Loop on Sept. 28, 2020.

4 states were added to Chicago’s quarantine order for travelers, while none were removed.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker will isolate for a second time after another staffer tested positive for coronavirus.

A Park Ridge Catholic school has switched to remote learning after students reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

The coronavirus is increasingly infecting American children and teens in a trend authorities say appears fueled by school reopenings and the resumption of sports, playdates and other activities.

Suburban parents sue IHSA, hoping to force return of high school football and other sports.

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