Chemical Industry Council of Illinois (CICI) Members


Mark Biel, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected] or 217/522-5805 


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Only 4 of Illinois’ 11 COVID-19 Regions Below 5% Positivity Rate; Chicago Public Schools Announce Remote Learning Amongst Strike Threats from Teachers’ Union, Archdiocese Continuing with In-Classroom Option; Cook County Issues Travel Guidance Order Similar to Chicago; Hospitalization Rates Remain Low and Steady; Update on COVID-19 Cases

Only 4 of Illinois’ 11 COVID-19 Regions Below 5% Positivity Rate:  Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health warned again today that while the state’s overall positivity rate is at 3.9%, only 4 of the state’s 11 regions under the state’s revamped Phase 4 are under a 5% positivity rate. At the end of June, 10 of the 11 regions had positivity rates below 5%.   

The governor also reiterated warnings to those regions and counties which are approaching an 8% positivity rate that further mitigations could happen, including closing bars and indoor dining while issuing fines and penalties for violators. You can see where the various regions are at in terms of their positivity rates, hospitalizations and other metrics at this link

Chicago Public Schools Announce Remote Learning Amongst Strike ThreatsComing off the heels of a threatened strike vote next week by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) over the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) plan for returning to in-classroom instruction, CPS announced today its over 300,000 students will participate in a new remote learning program for the Fall semester and perhaps even longer. CPS had asked parents to choose by this Friday whether they want their children to learn in-school using a hybrid model this fall, or stay at home with remote learning.

Details of CPS’ new plan will not be released until late in the week but did note that one of the key differences between last Spring and this Fall’s plan is that teachers will be providing so-called “synchronous instruction” where students and teachers are online at the same time, receiving several hours of live instruction.  Teachers will also be taking daily attendance and grading assignments.  In the Spring, teachers gave fewer grades, and many gave credit to students simply for turning in homework.

High schools will try to maintain a normal schedule as much as possible with breaks given between classes and lunch.  Elementary students will participate in small group activities and instruction and independent learning with short breaks and lunch time throughout the day.

Chicago Archdiocese: Meanwhile, the Chicago Archdiocese announced today that they will continue on with their plan which provides for full-time in-person learning with the option for remote, e-learning for students who are unable or whose parents are unwilling to return them to classrooms.

Updated Specific State Information on COVID-19 Orders:  CICI national association member, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), has updated their comprehensive chart detailing state specific orders, re-opening plans, and other restrictions as well as executive orders and legislation relating to business liability.  This chart is attached to this Update.

Cook County Issues Travel Guidance/Quarantine Order Similar to Chicago: The Cook County Department of Public Health in July issued this travel guidance similar to the City of Chicago Executive Order providing for quarantine for its citizens traveling to or from certain states where the COVID-19 positivity rate equal to or greater than 15 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 resident population per day, over a 7-day rolling average. However, this guidance are merely recommendations and not an actual order.

Like Chicago’s order, essential workers with verification from their employer, and those traveling for medical care or parental custody are exempt from these recommendations. Essential workers are defined as any person who works in critical infrastructure as designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Again, you may find this example letter helpful. The example letter has been adapted where “essential employees” may be asked to show proof they are exempt from the City of Chicago’s quarantine order. Please share/review with your HR and legal folks and use as you see fit.

Hospitalization Rates Remain Low and Steady: The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting today that of the current 186,471 positive tests in Illinois, only 1,552 individuals, or 0.83% required some sort of hospital care. This is a reduction of 0.02% from 7 days ago, which continues a downward trend over the last couple months.

Of these hospitalizations, 368 patients were in the ICU and 129 patients were on ventilators.  When the state’s COVID-19 peak was reached on April 28, over 5,000 patients were in the hospital with 1,290 patients in the ICU.  At that time, 10% of all then-positive cases were requiring hospital care.  Again, IDPH’s webpage tracks positivity and hospitalization rates for the state’s current four regions.

Update on COVID-19 Cases: IDPH is reporting 186,471 positive cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, an average increase of 1,621 new cases per day since reported here 7 days ago, July 29.  In total, 2,896,063 tests have now been conducted in Illinois for the virus, an average increase of 41,058 tests per day since July 29.  The state’s positivity rate over the last few weeks has risen from 2.6% at the beginning of July to 3.9% today.

Unfortunately, IDPH is reporting a total of 7,573 deaths, an average increase of 32 per day since July 29.

You can also check where these cases are occurring at the State of Illinois COVID-19 website which also contains more information on this outbreak. Also, IDPH has a case breakdown of the number of positive cases in Chicago and each county relative to the number of fatalities.  The IDPH website also now includes a breakdown of the cases under each zip code in the state.

For information on other states and countries, John Hopkins University has developed this website that provides invaluable resources at a one-stop location detailing testing and tracing trends, timelines of COVID-19 policies, and interactive maps.

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