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COVID-19 weekender
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COVID-19 WEEK IN REVIEW

COVID-19 weekender

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A week that foretold the promise of the COVID-19 vaccine coming to the Quad-Cities early this week included some darker realities.

Through Friday there have been 69 deaths from COVID-19 in the first 11 days of the month in the Quad-Cities. 

That's 69 of the 311 total through Friday, or 22% of all the deaths that have happened in December. 

Also Scott County though Friday had 116 deaths, 25 in December.

Friday, Dec. 4

  • Quad-Cities health officials reported eight more COVID-19-related deaths Friday, putting the death toll at 262 for the Quad-Cities since the start of the pandemic. Rock Island County has had 29 deaths in a six-day span, including the six reported Friday, for a total of 170. Scott County added two deaths Friday for a total of 92.
  • Scott County reported 158 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 11,902. Rock Island County added 126 for a total of 8,898 positive cases.
  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker warned the public of a long vaccine process but did say Friday he expects to receive 109,000 doses to be distributed across 50 counties with the highest per capita death rates.
  • A Geneseo church, First United Methodist, is preparing to give a virtual choir concert Dec. 13 and Dec. 20 via Facebook at 9 a.m. and 10:30.
  • Illinois has extended in-person closure of its driver services facilities until Jan. 4 because of the pandemic.
  • Three Republican lawmakers on Friday put pressure on Illinois Department of Employment Security officials to answer for the backlog in unemployment claims and the rising number of fraudulent unemployment claims filed, which has reached nearly 297,000 since March.

Saturday, Dec. 5

  • Children are children for only so long, then they grow up. No second chances. With that realization in mind, and not wanting the COVID-19 pandemic to rob their daughters — and themselves — of the special experience of a fancy father-daughter dance, two Quad-City dads created their own Sugar Plum balls when the popular Festival of Trees event was canceled this year. Tim Riley, of Eldridge, and Jackson Frerichs, of Davenport, are brothers-in-law with daughters, and they came up with the idea of do-it-yourself dances independently. When they happened to mention their plans to each other, they thought, "Holy cow, that's so cool," Riley said.
  • Starting Monday, only one visitor will be allowed per patient during visiting hours at UnityPoint Health-Trinity. The temporary change comes amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic to protect patients and health care workers, hospital officials said in a news release.
  • COVID-19 has claimed another six lives in the Quad-Cities. Since Nov. 29, 42 Quad-Citians have died from the virus. Rock Island County reported three additional deaths Saturday for a total of 173, while Scott County added three for a total of 95.
  • Former State Senator Martin Sandoval, 56, died of COVID-19 Saturday. Sandoval, of Chicago, was facing prison time after pleading guilty to political corruption.
  • Crust Stone Oven Pizza in Bettendorf has permanently closed. In an Instagram post Saturday, the company said: "As we prepare for our final service, we are humbled by the love & support the community has shown us over the last week. Please continue to support your local businesses. Cheers & thank you."In a Nov. 24 Facebook post, the company cited the impact of COVID-19.

Sunday, Dec. 6

Two elderyly men in Rock Island County died of COVID-19, bringing the total in the Quad-Cities to 270 since the onset of the pandemic. Scott County has 95.

Monday, Dec. 7

  • Iowa is modifying the way it records COVID-19 deaths, a change that will result in a net increase in the number of Iowans who will be recorded as having died of the virus.
  • As infection rates and hospitalizations from COVID-19 continued to level off during the first week of December, death tolls continued to rise, prompting Gov. JB Pritzker to warn Monday that Illinois is not yet out of the danger zone and that the next four weeks could be the most crucial of the pandemic.
  • The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that LaSalle Veterans Home Administrator Angela Mehlbrech had been fired after a deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle facility resulted in at least 32 resident deaths. IDVA also announced that the director of nursing at the LaSalle facility, Jackie Cook, had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the acting inspector general of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
  • The tide of COVID-19-related deaths remained high in the Quad-Cities, as health officials in Rock Island and Scott counties reported seven more victims of the virus Monday, while Henry and Stark County reported three more.
  • Rock Island and Scott counties have seen nine deaths since Sunday. Iowa health officials said four of the seven deaths Monday were in Scott County, raising the county's total number of deaths linked to COVID-19 to 99. No further details were available.Scott County reported 126 new cases Monday, for a total of 12,253 since the pandemic began.
  • The Rock Island County Health Department reported three deaths from COVID-19-related deaths Monday: a woman in her 90s; a woman in her 70s; and a man in his 70s, all of whom had been hospitalized. The number of deaths in the county now stands at 178. Health officials reported 119 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 9,199. There are 74 patients hospitalized in Rock Island County.
  • The Henry County Health Department reported the county's 21st COVID-19-related death Monday The individual was a woman in her 90s. The Stark County Health Department reported its fifth and sixth COVID-19-related deaths Monday. The victims were a man in his 70s and another man in his 80s.
  • The Bettendorf Community School District’s board voted Monday to continue the hybrid model of instruction for the third quarter of the 2020-2021 school year. Bettendorf schools have been fully remote since Nov. 23 because of the recent extent of the pandemic.

Tuesday, Dec. 8

  • Moline City Hall will remain closed because of a spike in coronavirus numbers in the area. City council members on Tuesday approved extending the closure until further notice.
  • The city of Chicago has cited a restaurant owed by an alderman for allowing customers to dine inside in violation of rules designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, city officials said Tuesday. Ann Sather, a restaurant owned by Alderman Tom Tunney, faces two citations, which carry maximum fines of more than $10,000 combined, according to Chicago’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department.
  • Emergency and law enforcement personnel, food packing workers, teachers and school staff, and child care workers are among those who would be next in line to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa after health care workers and staff and residents at long-term care facilities are given the first batch, according to the state’s plan. 
  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said Illinois was still in the danger zone even as infections and hospitalizations continued to level off in Illinois. The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests dropped below 10% for the first time in a month.
  • Four more people died of COVID-19 in the Quad-Cities as plans continued to develop for the first round of vaccines. Scott County now has 96 deaths from COVID-19 with the addition of one. Rock Island County has 178 with the addition of three. A drop, though has been seen in terms of cases.
  • Quad-Cities health officials reported four more COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday as the development of plans for the first round of vaccinations continued in Scott and Rock Island counties. The Rock Island County Health Department reported three additional deaths from COVID-19-related causes Tuesday. The number of virus-related deaths in Rock Island County is 181. “In the first eight days of December, 30 Rock Island County residents have lost their life because of COVID-19,” said Nita Ludwig, administrator of the Rock Island County Health Department. In addition, the health department reported 94 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 9,293. There are 83 patients hospitalized in Rock Island County. Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Tuesday the state’s COVID-19 case positivity rate fell below 10% for the first time in a month.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,910 new cases Tuesday, for a single-day positivity rate of 8.3%. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate dropped to 9.9%, the lowest rate recorded since Nov. 6.

Wednesday, Dec. 9

  • Monsignor Richartd Soseman, an Alleman graduate who grew up in East Moline, died of COVID-19 Wednesday at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. He was 57.

  • A massive COVID-19 relief bill has been introduced in Congress that would help families with child-care assistance and school districts with education needs. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is a co-sponsor of the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act, which would support education and child care by providing $430 billion to students, families, teachers and schools. Duckworth had a virtual meeting Wednesday with Rock Island-Milan School District Superintendent Dr. Reginald Lawrence to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the school district and the need for digital equity.
  • Despite financial shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Bettendorf ended its fiscal year on June 30 "in a very strong financial position" and continues on that track nearly halfway into the budget year that began July 1, Finance Director Jason Schadt told the city council last week. Anticipating a $2.2 million reduction in revenue, the city in June trimmed about $1.9 million from across all funds in the 2020-21 budget year now underway.
  • Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, will see its deadliest year for fatal opioid overdoses when 2020 ends, the county's chief medical examiner said Wednesday.
  • Because of increasing cases of COVID-19, Bettendorf City Hall will be closed to the public beginning Thursday, Dec. 10, until further notice. Business is still going on and can be conducted by phone or online. For questions, call 563-344-4000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
  • St. Ambrose University's annual Dance Marathon will go virtual this year to raise money for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The virtual event, "Dancing in a DM Wonderland," begins at midnight and concludes Thursday night at midnight with the fundraising total reveal. Organizers are hoping to raise $23,000 in 24 hours.
  • When Nov. 25 passed, Augustana College students took a deep breath, sighed and realized they’d met a goal of the college’s — to stay in live and in-person classes until Thanksgiving break. For them, the remainder of the fall semester will be completed virtually to reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19 following Thanksgiving gatherings and travel.
  • While COVID-19 infection rates continued to decrease Wednesday, the number of people hospitalized for the disease increased to its highest mark since last Friday. Gov. JB. Pritzker noted the importance of testing in suppressing virus positivity rates and targeting actions for mitigating spread. He was joined by Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, which is coordinating a national COVID-19 testing action plan. Pritzker said the foundation had been “an important convener of public health officials and elected leaders to exchange best practices for protecting the health of their communities.”

Thursday, Dec.10

  • Geneseo schools are planning a return to a hybrid in-person/remote schedule as of Jan. 4. According to the district's hybrid model, half the students attend in person on Mondays and Thursdays with remote learning the other days, and half attend Tuesdays and Fridays with remote on the other days. Superintendent Adam Brumbaugh told school board members Thursday that although a return to a hybrid schedule was planned, a final decision won't be made until the week of Dec. 28.
  • Health officials from in and around the Quad-Cities delivered news Thursday of the deaths of 13 people linked to COVID-19. Rock Island County reported five deaths, Scott County reported five and Henry County reported three. But there is better news on the horizon. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, considered to be the best hope for mitigating the spread of COVID-19, are scheduled to arrive in Scott and Rock Island counties next week. Rock Island is expected to receive 1,000 doses, while Scott County is scheduled for delivery of 2,000 doses. All doses will be administered to front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
  • Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday his administration had requested the help of the Illinois National Guard at three of four state-run veterans homes, including two homes that are dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks. Pritzker said the National Guard members were sent to the LaSalle Veterans Home on Thursday and would arrive Monday at state-run homes in Quincy and Manteno to provide “staff support for screening and handling testing data tracking so that medical staff can focus on direct patient support.”
  • Pritzker said the state continued to make gradual progress in suppressing the spread of COVID-19, and the state’s public health director said she plans to receive a virus vaccine when it is her turn in line. Another 196 COVID-19-positive individuals were reported dead over the previous 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 13,861 among 823,531 confirmed or probable cases and 11.4 million test results reported. But positivity rates and hospitalizations were showing a general downward trend.
  • Friday, Dec. 11

  • Rock Island County Health Department reported three additional deaths and 95 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of deaths from this virus now is 195.

  • The COVID-19 death toll surpassed 14,000 on Friday as the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 190 additional deaths in people from their 20s to over 100 years of age. The state also reported 9,420 new or confirmed cases, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 832,951 cases with 14,050 deaths among more than 11.5 million test results reported. There were 104,448 results reported Friday for a one-day positivity rate of 9.1%.

  • Also Scott County through Friday had 116 deaths, 25 in December.

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