Confidential coronavirus data shows undisclosed outbreaks in Illinois

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Confidential statewide coronavirus outbreak data shows workplace, school and prison outbreaks are driving the increases — and that many of these outbreaks have never been made public.

Confidential statewide coronavirus outbreak data shows workplace, school and prison outbreaks are driving the increases — and that many of these outbreaks have never been made public. (Photo: wellesenterprises / Getty Images)

Like many Midwestern states, Illinois has struggled with rising coronavirus cases and death counts recently, surpassing 300,000 confirmed cases this month and recording its highest daily death count since late June on Friday. 

Public health officials issued a “warning list” for 28 Illinois counties at risk for coronavirus surges and blamed, in part, businesses who were “blatantly disregarding mitigation measures, people not social distancing, gathering in large groups and not using face coverings.”

Now, confidential statewide coronavirus outbreak data, obtained by the Documenting COVID-19 project at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation as part of a collaboration with the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, shows workplace, school and prison outbreaks are driving the increases — and that

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Noncitizen immigrants to get health coverage in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — Low-income immigrants ages 65 and older in Illinois will be eligible for health care coverage that is similar to Medicaid despite their immigration status.

Ananias Ocampo, who is at high risk of contracting the virus because of his age and health, does not qualify for Medicare, Social Security, or any other federal assistance because of his immigration status. But the 76-year-old will be able to apply for the program in December. The expansion was part of the state budget passed this year, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“At least now I can be at peace knowing that if I get sick, I can go see a good doctor that can help me heal without having to worry about not having the money to pay for the treatment,” Ocampo, who has diabetes, said in Spanish.

Hayley Burgess of the National Immigration Law Center said Illinois is the first

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Illinois reports first West Nile virus death of the year in Chicago resident

A Chicago resident died of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. The death marks the first West Nile virus-related fatality in the state this year, Illinois health officials announced this week.

The resident, who was not identified, first fell ill in mid-September and subsequently tested positive for the disease, officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said in a news release. 

“Although we are already into fall, West Nile virus remains a risk until the first hard frost,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “It’s important for everyone to continue taking precautions such as using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants, and staying indoors between dusk and dawn.”

West Nile virus, which was first reported in the U.S. in 1999, is typically spread by infected mosquitoes. Though side effects can be severe, most people who are infected experience little to no symptoms and fully recover.

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Illinois attorney sends ‘cease and desist’ letter to Winnebago Co. Health Dept. on behalf of three local restaurants

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Nick Fosberg owns Fozzy’s Bar and Grill which joined Casey’s Pub and Nora’s Place on a cease and desist letter sent to Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell fighting recent measures by the health department to stop indoor dining.

“People aren’t going to sit outside in 40-45 degree weather it’s either I lose my business now or I fight this and we see what happens and I lose it later on,” said Fosberg.

Illinois attorney Thomas DeVore represents the owners. In his letter he says the health department is trying to intimidate his clients.

“Sometimes we have department of health officials not many, but some like Dr. Martell who for whatever reason personal, political, or otherwise find it necessary to go out here and try to enforce something that can’t be enforced by anyone,” said DeVore.

Doctor Martell responds saying:

“It is extremely disappointing

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Ambetter Health Insurance Remains Committed to Illinois Community

CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — For the next open enrollment period beginning on November 1, 2020, Ambetter Health Insurance will be offered in Illinois under a new name on the Health Insurance Marketplace – Ambetter of Illinois Insured by Celtic Insurance Company (“Ambetter of Illinois” or “Ambetter”). The health insurance plan has previously been available as Ambetter from IlliniCare Health.

“Although we’re changing our name, our members’ health coverage is still the same, and they can expect the same personalized service and benefits we’ve delivered for years,” said James Kiamos, Meridian Plan President and CEO for Illinois. “Ambetter of Illinois remains committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time, and we look forward to further empowering our communities to take charge of their health.”

Illinois residents will begin to see Ambetter of Illinois replace the old brand name

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Older people will soon receive health coverage in Illinois regardless of immigration status under first-in-nation program: ‘It’s a relief’

When Ananias Ocampo, 76, learned that in December he’ll finally have access to health care coverage even though he lacks legal immigration status, he smiled and managed to get up from the chair next to his ice cream cart despite his trembling and extreme knee pain because of arthritis.



a person standing in front of a store: Ananias Ocampo, 76, pushes his cart along 18th Street to Paulina Street to sell ice cream in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood on Sept. 25, 2020. Ocampo has arthritis, diabetes and osteoarthritis.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Ananias Ocampo, 76, pushes his cart along 18th Street to Paulina Street to sell ice cream in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood on Sept. 25, 2020. Ocampo has arthritis, diabetes and osteoarthritis.



Paletero Ananias Ocampo, 76, left, sells ice cream to Ray Hernandez near 18th and Paulina streets in Chicago on Sept. 25, 2020. Ocampo suffers from severe arthritis, diabetes and osteoarthritis.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Paletero Ananias Ocampo, 76, left, sells ice cream to Ray Hernandez near 18th and Paulina streets in Chicago on Sept. 25, 2020. Ocampo suffers from severe arthritis, diabetes and osteoarthritis.

He could not believe it.

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“Enserio, no lo puedo creer, que alivio!” cried out Ocampo while selling ice cream on the corner of 18th and

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Illinois health officials report 2,442 new cases of COVID-19, 31 deaths

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Public Health on Saturday reported 2,442 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 31 additional confirmed deaths.

The deaths were reported in the following counties:

  • Christian County: 1 male 80s
  • Cook County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 50s, 2 males 60s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
  • Crawford County: 1 male 50s
  • Greene County: 1 female 70s
  • Kane County: 1 male 60s
  • Livingston County: 1 male 60s
  • Macon County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
  • Madison County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Mercer County: 1 female 90s
  • Monroe County: 1 female 60s
  • Morgan County: 1 male 80s
  • Peoria County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
  • Rock Island County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
  • Tazewell County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
  • Vermilion County: 1 male 70s
  • Will County: 1 male 70s, 3 females 90s

Currently,

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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Sept. 30 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

“IDPH recognizes that some who will choose to gather together anyway, and instead of denying that reality, we are issuing guidance and recommendations for safer ways to celebrate together in person,” IDPH director Dr. Ngozi Ezike wrote in a statement. “Remember, we know what our best tools are: wearing our masks, keeping our distance, limiting event sizes, washing your hands, and looking out for public health and each other.”

Additionally, the central Illinois region around Champaign-Urbana could be hit with stricter restrictions on restaurants, bars and other businesses as the percentage of positive coronavirus tests is on the rise, state public officials warned on Wednesday.

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

8:35 p.m.: American Airlines to furlough 19,000 employees as clock runs out on deal for federal aid

American Airlines will begin furloughing 19,000 employees on Thursday after lawmakers and the White House failed

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Illinois health officials report 2,206 new cases of COVID-19, 47 deaths

Posted: Oct 2, 2020 / 12:04 PM CDTUpdated: Oct 2, 2020 / 12:05 PM CDT

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,206 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state on Friday, including 47 additional deaths.

The deaths were confirmed in the following counties:

  • Bond County: 1 female 80s
  • Bureau County: 1 male 70s
  • Champaign County: 1 female 90s
  • Christian County: 1 male 60s
  • Coles County: 1 female 70s
  • Cook County: 1 male 40s, 2 females 60s, 3 males 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
  • DuPage County: 1 male 60s
  • Fayette County: 1 male 90s
  • Jersey County: 1 female 90s
  • Kane County: 1 male 80s
  • Kankakee County: 1 male 90s
  • Lake County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
  • Lawrence County: 1 female 60s, 2 females 90s
  • Livingston County: 1 female 60s
  • Macoupin County: 1 female
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Illinois health officials report 2,166 new coronavirus cases, 25 deaths

CHICAGO — Illinois health officials said 2,166 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 additional coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed over the past 24 hours Thursday.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the COVID-19 test positivity rate from September 24-30 came in at 3.5 percent, while the results of over 65,000 tests were reported over the past 24 hours.

The 7-day average for both the number of COVID-19 cases and tests in the state have been rising steadily since mid-September, data compiled by WGN shows, while the positivity rate has been stable over the same period. The weekly average of deaths has been between 20 and 24 a day over that period, and remains higher than the lowest levels seen in mid-August.

Hospitalizations across the state remain within state guidelines, with 1,635 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday night, including 359 in intensive care and 149 on ventilators.

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