Latest coronavirus news for August 6, 2020: Live updates

The latest
Beaches, parking lots still closed as lakefront restaurants reopen

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Chicagoans will soon be able to enjoy a chilled beverage and delicious meal at their favorite beachfront restaurants. It’s welcome news for Reggie’s on the Beach, one of at least five beachfront eateries that have announced plans to open their doors for the first time this summer.

But the beaches themselves remain closed, as do lakefront parking lots, which Reggie’s on the Beach’s owner Robby Glick said he fears might deter some customers from coming.

“Our parking lots aren’t going to be open, so it’s going to be a challenge for people to get here, but I think we’ll still do good,” he said. “I think people will still find a way and it is really beautiful at our spot, so it’ll be worth the trek.”

Reggie’s is offering a shuttle service from its South Loop location to the beach to help ease the burden on some Chicagoans. He also said people can ride their bikes on the Lakeshore Trail or park in the lot on the west side of Lake Shore Drive and then walk to the beach.

We already lost half the season, so it’s better than nothing,” Glick said. “And we’re just grateful that they listened to us and are letting us open.”

Read the full story from Madeline Kenney here.

News
8:21 a.m. Coronavirus ‘rages on’ in Illinois, prompting Pritzker to warn locals to take action — or the state ‘will be forced to step in’

Health officials on Wednesday announced another 1,759 people have tested positive for COVID-19 across Illinois, marking the third-highest daily caseload in two months and the 15th straight day the state has reported 1,000 or more cases.

Over the last four weeks, Illinois has had 23 days with four-digit caseloads — following a full month without hitting that level.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 30 more people suffering from COVID-19 have died, just the second time the state has tallied 30 or more deaths in almost a month.

Experts predict a spike in deaths during the next few weeks, the grim result of Illinois’ steady increase in cases since late June and an uptick in hospitalizations over the last two weeks.

Read the full story by Mitchell Armentrout here.

New cases
Health officials on Wednesday announced another 1,759 people have tested positive for COVID-19 across Illinois, marking the third-highest daily caseload in two months and the 15th straight day the state has reported 1,000 or more cases.
Marlins resume season and win with 18 new players.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker reported coronavirus testing positivity rates of 7.3% and 7.4% over the last week in the Metro East and southern Illinois regions, including an 8% rate in Jackson County. In Chicago, the seven-day positivity rate was at 4.9%, and 5.8% in suburban Cook County.
The number of confirmed infections in the U.S. has topped 4.7 million, with new cases running at over 60,000 a day. While that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 in the second half of July, cases are rising in 26 states, many in the South and West, and deaths are climbing in 35 states
Analysis & Commentary
8:20 p.m. Vote with your face? Masks one more thing voters will get to decide on Election Day

Chicago election officials plan to “strongly encourage” but will not require voters to wear face masks to their polling places this fall.

They say their decision was made in accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health — neither of which mandate the use of face coverings for voting.

Election officials in suburban Cook, DuPage and Lake counties told me they are awaiting updated guidance from the state before finalizing their own face mask policies.

But a statement Wednesday from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office gave no indication he will recommend any further restrictions before early voting begins in October.

“Under the Governor’s executive order, face coverings are required any time a person is unable to maintain social distance of six feet. The administration encourages local election officials to plan for and ensure as much social distancing as possible during the voting process and also encourages those voting on election day to ensure they use a face covering,” said press secretary Jordan Abudayyeh.

Please note the operative word is “encourages” — same as in Chicago election officials’ plans.

It’s the strength of that encouragement that could lead to problems.

Read the full column by Mark Brown here.


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