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The week in COVID-19: 24 Quad-Citians lose their battles with COVID-19
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The week in COVID-19: 24 Quad-Citians lose their battles with COVID-19

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The governor of Iowa enacted a partial mask mandate last week, after refusing to do so since the pandemic began in Iowa in March. The move came as COVID-19 cases in Iowa are among the highest per capita in the country and hospitals across the state are filling up with COVID-19 patients, exhausting health care workers. The mandate is limited, and the latest report from the White House’s pandemic task force suggests the new orders do not go far enough. In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker announced the state would reenter Tier 3 mitigation to slow the spread, starting Friday, Nov. 20. That's the "don't-go-out-unless-you-have-to" level. Here's a look at the week:

Friday, Nov. 13

  • The Rock Island-Milan school District announced Friday that it was going to full remote learning Monday through Jan. 18 because of a rise in COVID-19 cases in the district and the community.
  • United Township High School announced it would go to online learning, returning to in-person learning Dec. 7.
  • Quad-City hospitals (Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Health-Trinity) announced it would limit elective surgeries and procedures starting Nov. 16 because of virus spikes in the Quad-Cities and rapidly rising hospitalization rates.
  • The COVID-19 rise continues in Illinois with a one-day high of COVID-19 cases.
  • Davenport City Council is tabling Turkey Trot Street closures for now as of Tuesday. The race is annually held Thanksgiving Day. Within days, the race announced it would be held virtually.
  • Experts advised Illinois lawmakers on health care disparities in health care outcomes and access.
  • Geneseo Schools are considering going to a full remote-learning model. They have been in a hybrid model since Oct.19.
  • Republicans on the Illinois House Veteran Affairs committee want a full-scale public hearing about an outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans Home.
  • Rock Island County reported 145 new cases, for a total of 6,105, with 111 deaths and a record 64 hospitalized. Scott County had 345 new cases, for a total of 7,610, and 54 deaths.

Saturday, Nov. 14

  • Illinois health officials urge the public to stay home and limit travel and social gatherings over the next three weeks.
  • Quad-City COVID-19 cases continue to rise with 291 new cases in Rock Island County and four deaths, for a total of 115. Scott County reported 282 new cases and two deaths for a total of 56.
  • Congresswoman-elect Ashley Hinson, isolating at home because she tested positive for COVID-19, wants more testing for Iowans.

Sunday, Nov. 15

  • The Rock Island County Health Department reported 209 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total number to 6,605 since the pandemic was announced.
  • The Scott County Health Department reported a total of 8,215 cases, 323 newly confirmed. They reported two additional deaths, for a total of 58.
  • Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker warned of a widening budget deficit in Illinois. Illinois is facing a possible $4 billion budget deficit, according to a new report from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.

Monday, Nov. 16

  • In what is believed to be the first live address on prime time TV from an Iowa governor, Gov. Kim Reynolds issued new public health orders designed to slow COVID-19's spread, including a partial requirement for face masks in public.
  • Iowa continues to set record highs every day for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The state has one of the highest rates of spread in the nation.
  • U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D- Moline, tested positive for COVID-19, she announced Monday on Twitter.
  • Rock Island County reported two more COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 117.
  • Quad-City hospitals are nearing the breaking point as the virus continues to rise.
  • Illinois officials are warning the public again to rethink holiday travel plans for Thanksgiving.
  • Nursing and long-term care facilities in the Quad Cities have been hit hard by coronavirus. In Rock Island County, Centennial Care Center, the former Rosewood Care Center in Moline, has 114 open coronavirus cases — the most in the county — and 16 deaths.
  • Geneseo High School will go fully remote Monday through Dec 3, the school announced.
  • Illinois Driver Services offices will be closed until Dec. 7 because of the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Tuesday, Nov 17

  • Gov. JB Pritzker announced the state would enter Tier 3 of his mitigation plan starting Friday as he noted the best way for Illinoisans to avoid another stay-at-home order was by staying home. “Tier 3 boils down to this: if you don’t need to do it, don’t,” Pritzker said of leaving the home as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.
  • Many Moline bar and restaurant owners made heart-wrenching pleas in impact statements seeking $5,000 in relief funds. More than 50 applied.
  • Scott County reported 86 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 8,692, with 58 deaths. Rock Island reported 169 new cases, for a total of 6,878. Rock Island had two additional deaths, for a total of 117. Cases continued to climb across both states, with Iowa recording 3,647 new cases, for a total of 188,332, with 1,991 deaths, and Illinois reported 11,632 cases for a total of 585,248, with 10,779 deaths.
  • Orion approved a COVID-19 policy for village employees.
  • The interim school superintendent for the Davenport Community Schools, T. J. Scnleckloth, is hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • Bettendorf School District is seeking permission from the state to go to remote learning while Pleasant Valley and North Scott are waiting to decide to go that route. Bettendorf, if approved, would go full-time virtual from Nov. 23 through Dec. 10.
  • Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is quarantining after he was exposed to COVID-19. The move ended a 27-year streak of not missing a vote. He later announced he had tested positive.
  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker joined six other Midwest governors imploring citizens to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

 Wednesday, Nov. 18

  • A socially-distanced Santa will hear children's requests for gifts at both NorthPark and SouthPark malls.
  • Six more people have died from COVID-19 in the Quad-Cities, making the total between both health departments to 184. A total of 10 people have died in the two counties Monday and Tuesday, and more than 16,000 have tested positive. Case counts: Rock Island County had 145 new cases, for a total of 7,023, with 117 deaths. Scott County had 194 new cases, for a total of 8,886 with 61 deaths.
  • Silvis City Hall offices are closed to in-person visits, including paying of water bills, etc. They can be done online or left in a dropbox outside.
  • The state of Illinois topped the 11,000 COVID-19 death total earlier than predicted with 140 deaths Wednesday.
  • With the virus spreading in Illinois, it is helping make a meeting by the Illinois Electoral College voters somewhat difficult.

 Thursday, Nov. 19

  • The Rock Island County Health Department reported three additional deaths from COVID-19, for a total of 120. Currently, 69 patients are in Rock Island County hospitals with COVID-19.
  • Scott County reported three additional deaths for 64 total. It also has 9,146 total cases; Rock Island County has 7,133.
  • Tyson suspended two high-level managers at its Waterloo plant and launched an investigation that a plant manager organized a betting pool to see how many workers would get COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois now top 6,000 for the first time.
  • Jumer's Casino in Rock Island is closing temporarily to be in line with statewide mitigation efforts against the pandemic. It's the second time this year that has happened.
  • The CDC issued a travel warning urging Americans to not travel during the Thanksgiving holiday.

 Friday, Nov. 20

  • The Henry County Board is sending a letter to Governor JB Pritzker complaining about recent stricter COVID-19 mitigation measures. In the letter, the board says it stands with local restaurants in finding "'recent mitigations to be excessive with the limited evidence tied to outbreaks in these establishments." The letter also states the governor's order is "inconsistent with information regarding capacity levels across different types of businesses." While the board states it continues to support mitigation measures imposed by the Illinois Department of Public health and through executive order, it asks the governor to reassess the region.
  • The Rock Island County Health Department reported three additional deaths from COVID-19, for a total of 123. Currently, 72 patients are in Rock Island County hospitals with COVID-19. In addition, the health department reports 116 additional cases. The total number is now 7,249.
  • Scott County reported 266 new cases for a total of 9,412, and two additional deaths, for a total of 66 deaths.

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