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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: 1,018 new known COVID-19 cases reported; CPS student athletes can start summer workouts next week but with precautions

Thursday, July 09, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s task force on Chicago’s COVID-19 recovery recommends the city accelerate spending on the South and West sides to address inequities deepened by the coronavirus, according to a copy of the group’s final report released today.

The group’s report notes that COVID-19 has hit Black and Latino communities harder than white counterparts “and laid bare structural disparities in health outcomes, underlying health conditions, access to basic necessities, and safety net support.”

Also Thursday, district officials announced Chicago Public Schools students could start summer sports programs as soon as Monday. Practices are to prepare for the “potential return” of high school sports come fall, and allow for voluntary no-contact workouts of up to five hours, according to a letter to CPS families.

Illinois reported 30 new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 Thursday as well as 1,018 new known cases. The total of new confirmed cases is the highest in more than a month, since 1,156 new cases were announced June 5.

That brings the death toll to 7,119 and the total number of confirmed cases to 150,450 since the beginning of the outbreak.

Nationally, confirmed coronavirus infections hit the 3 million mark Wednesday and Americans are again running into testing delays, facing long lines at testing sites and a long wait for results.

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

2:38 p.m.: 1,018 new known COVID-19 cases, 20 additional deaths

Illinois reported 30 new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 Thursday as well as 1,018 new known cases. The total of new confirmed cases is the highest in more than a month, since 1,156 new cases were announced June 5.

That brings the death toll to 7,119 and the total number of confirmed cases to 150,450 since the beginning of the outbreak.

—Chicago Tribune staff

2:30 p.m.: Chicago Public Schools student athletes can start summer workouts next week, but with COVID-19 precautions

Chicago Public Schools students could start summer sports programs as soon as Monday, district officials announced Thursday. But there will be no locker room talks or parents mingling around the soccer field.

The practices are to prepare for the “potential return” of high school sports come fall, and allow for voluntary no-contact workouts of up to five hours, according to a letter to CPS families from Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade and Executive Director of Sports Administration David Rosengard.

Although CPS “continues to plan for potential in-person instruction,” with plans for the fall not yet released, the district is weighing extracurricular activities that could take place following current public health guidelines, according to the letter.

Read more here. —Hannah Leone

1:41 p.m.: 17 Chicago restaurant openings and reopenings as industry continues to emerge in coronavirus era

Though restaurants in the state have been allowed to reopen for on-premise dining for weeks, some were not ready to emerge right away. But as phase three and now phase four of the reopening from the coronavirus shutdown have unfolded across Chicago and the suburbs, more are launching, many of them with new menus, patios, redesigned dining rooms and in at least one case, an entirely new concept.

On top of that, restaurateurs are getting more comfortable with the idea of opening in a pandemic-stressed economy, opening new places including Baye’s Little Bakery, The Elm and Uncooked.

Here’s a look at 17 restaurants that have opened, or re-opened, in the last week or so, and a few more that are on the horizon.

Read more here. —Phil Vettel

11:37 a.m.: Chicago’s Field Museum reopens to public July 24

The Field Museum will reopen to the public later this month, admitting members beginning July 17 and the public on July 24, the museum announced Thursday.

Chicago’s home for dinosaurs, research and natural history has been closed for four months by the COVID-19 pandemic. Already open on the lakefront Museum Campus is the Shedd Aquarium, which opened July 3, and still closed is the Adler Planetarium.

In the announcement, the Field in particular promoted its new “Apsáaooke Women and Warriors” exhibition, which opened a day before the museum’s closure in March. Described as the Field’s first major exhibition curated by a Native scholar, it focuses on “the history, values, and beliefs of the Apsáalooke people of the Northern Plains, also known as the Crow.”

The Field Museum was the third best-attended indoor Chicago museum in 2019, with about 1.5 million visitors, behind the Shedd and the Art Institute, which remains closed. The Chicago History Museum announced Wednesday it will reopen Friday.

Read more here. —Doug George

9 a.m.: Lightfoot’s COVID-19 recovery task force: Boost spending in areas hit hardest by virus to fight poverty, racism

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s task force on Chicago’s COVID-19 recovery recommends the city accelerate spending on the South and West sides to address inequities deepened by the coronavirus, according to a copy of the group’s final report.

The 104-page document released Thursday, assembled by a task force chaired by Lightfoot and former President George H.W. Bush’s onetime chief of staff, Sam Skinner, recommends the city pursue a series of big goals that have long eluded Chicago leaders.

Chief among them is a series of recommendations aimed at fighting poverty and entrenched racism. The group’s report notes that COVID-19 has hit Black and Latino communities harder than white counterparts “and laid bare structural disparities in health outcomes, underlying health conditions, access to basic necessities, and safety net support.”

Read more here. —Gregory Pratt

6:25 a.m.: Chicago History Museum reopens July 10 with free tickets

The Chicago History Museum will reopen its doors to the public July 10 and will offer free admission through the end of the month, the North Side museum announced Wednesday.

As Chicago’s principal home devoted to the city’s past and stories, its building on the edge of Lincoln Park has been shut by the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-March. It will reopen at reduced capacity, with timed entries and a maximum of 275 visitors at a time, and following the State of Illinois Phase 4 guidelines for museums.

In the announcement, the CHM also highlighted a few special exhibitions on display:”Millions of Moments: The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Collection” is a new debut, with images from the newspaper’s archives that “document monumental events and everyday occurrences of life in Chicago,” according the the announcement. Included are photos of racial relations and strife, Chicago and national politics and sporting events, some that were never published. The exhibit has been set up so viewers can social-distance.

Cityscapes is a new installation that lets visitors experience large-scale panoramic images from the CHM collection chronicling Chicago’s growth from 1858 to 2019. Additionally, “Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America” has been extended until Jan. 3, 2021.

Read more here. —Doug George

6 a.m.: As museums and zoos reopen, Chicago’s children’s museums find themselves sidelined

As museums around Chicago begin to reopen, tentatively, they say they’re mindful of the State of Illinois Phase 4 guidelines that spell out conditions specifically for them: Limited to 25% occupancy, must have plans to limit congregations of people. Then there’s this part: Any hands-on or interactive exhibits should be closed or the interactivity shut off.

For children’s museums, that’s the equivalent of telling them to take their ball and go home.

“All we are is interactive,” said Dave Judy, marketing director for Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview.

The three major children’s museums in the area — the Kohl, DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville and Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier — have been closed since mid-March by the COVID-19 pandemic, like all museums and cultural institutions. And like all those institutions, they’ve been feeling the loss both to their sense of mission and to their bottom line.

When Shedd Aquarium reopened to the public last week at reduced occupancy, museum officials said even though the new ticket revenue would be welcome, the Shedd would still be operating at a daily loss.

Children’s museums don’t have even that limited option. As nonprofits, they’re hoping area philanthropists will take note.

Read more here. —Doug George

Breaking coronavirus news

Stay up to date with the latest information on coronavirus with our breaking news alerts.

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

Despite President Donald Trump’s push for nation’s schools to reopen this fall, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the decision should be local.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls for national mask mandate and COVID-19 containment strategy in congressional testimony.

The retail bankruptcies and store closings just keep coming. For some merchants, the pandemic was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Illinois National Guard coronavirus testing mission to wind down, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces.

Cook County to start dividing up ‘much-needed’ $51 million in federal CARES Act funding to suburbs hardest hit by coronavirus pandemic.



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