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

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Illinois health officials on Tuesday announced 955 new known cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known cases to 163,703 and the statewide death toll to 7,324 since the start of the pandemic. The state also announced the results of 29,745 new test results.

Also on Tuesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that people traveling from Kansas to Chicago will need to quarantine for 14 days, effective Friday. Kansas became the latest state added to the city’s Emergency Travel Order. The city also continues to monitor a surge of COVID-19 in neighboring Wisconsin.

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

7:03 a.m.: CTU holds car caravan to protest CPS plan to hold mixed in-person, online classes in fall

The Chicago Teachers Union will hold a car caravan Wednesday to protest the Chicago Public Schools’ hybrid school plan, saying it “falls short on safety.”

The caravan will assemble at 9 a.m. with the intention of circling Chicago Public Schools headquarters during the Board of Education’s regular meeting, according to a news release from the union.

The protest was planned as a way to tell the district that its teachers, clinicians and support staff “reject the mayor’s strategy.” They contend the board “is seeking to force students, faculty and staff into buildings for a full school day without allocating more resources for safety or specifying how they will keep them safe.”

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The union further said it wants to see the mayor reverse course and move to a remote learning plan, such as those being implemented in cities such as Atlanta and Los Angeles. —Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas

6 a.m.: An estimated 4,400 Chicago-area businesses have closed during the pandemic. 2,400 say they’ll never reopen.

Chicagoans have watched for months as “For Sale” and “For Rent” signs popped up in windows of their favorite coffee joints and neighborhood bars, and they’ve wondered whether treasured restaurants will ever reopen.

A tally is in: The coronavirus pandemic has forced an estimated 4,400 businesses in the Chicago area to close, including 2,400 that say they won’t reopen. The data, released Wednesday, comes from crowd-sourced business review platform Yelp.

Nationally, more than 132,500 businesses have permanently or temporarily closed since March, according to Yelp. Temporary business closures are decreasing nationally as some states reopen, but permanent closures are rising, accounting for 55% of all closed businesses.

The Chicago area has suffered the fourth-highest number of closures among the nation’s metro areas, behind Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco. Restaurants and retail were the hardest-hit sectors in the Chicago area. Read more here. —Ally Marotti

6 a.m.: Students push back against in-person bar and medical college exams amid coronavirus fears

Designed to measure fitness, character and competence, the bar exam is a grueling 12-hour test typically administered over a two-day period to thousands of recent law school graduates.

But with coronavirus cases still surging in many parts of the nation, some law school graduates view this communal experience not as a shared rite of passage but as a potentially life-threatening risk.

One person worried about the uncertainties of the in-person bar exam is aspiring child protection lawyer Mollie McGuire of Chicago.

McGuire, along with Dalton Hughes and Steven Tinetti, formally filed a legal petition with the Illinois Supreme Court, asking the state’s highest court to grant 2020 law school graduates diploma privilege, meaning they could practice law without sitting for the bar exam. Nearly 1,400 law school graduates, faculty members, lawyers and health care workers signed on to support the effort.

In its response, the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, which administers the state’s bar exam, reiterated the necessity of the in-person exam, citing the board’s “duty to protect the public from dishonesty and incompetency.” Read more here. —Claire Hao

 

Here are five things that happened Tuesday related to COVID-19.

 



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