test

Gov. J.B. Pritzker warns Illinois’ improvements have ‘cooled down’ as 2,818 more people test positive for COVID-19

Latest

Lake County flagged at COVID-19 warning level as 2,818 more test positive statewide

AP Photos

Illinois’ coronavirus testing positivity rate inched upward for a third consecutive day Friday as public health officials announced another hefty caseload of 2,818 more people testing positive for COVID-19.

They were diagnosed among 71,599 tests submitted, raising the statewide average positivity rate over the last week to 3.8%. That number indicates how rapidly the virus is spreading — and that’s as high as it’s been in almost a month.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned this week that the state’s improvement from a midsummer resurgence has “cooled down.”

And while over the last few months, the state’s COVID-19 problem areas have popped up well beyond the Chicago area — mostly in central Illinois and downstate — the Democratic governor’s health team singled out north suburban Lake County for being among 26 counties considered to be at a coronavirus “warning level.”

Reporter Mitch Armentrout has the full story.


News

7:24 a.m. Downstate Rep. Mike Bost, an Illinois Trump campaign chair, tests positive for COVID-19

Downstate Rep. Mike Bost announced Friday he’s tested positive for COVID-19 after coming down with “a mild cough and a rapid loss of both taste and smell.”

The Republican congressman said in a statement that his public schedule is on hold and his meetings will go virtual as he isolates at home just a few weeks ahead of Election Day.

“We are taking this situation seriously and will continue to serve the people of Southern Illinois while doing our best to ensure their health and safety,” Bost said. “I will provide additional updates in the days ahead and am anxious to get back to work as soon as I make a full recovery.”

Read the full story here.


New cases

  • Public health officials
Continue Reading

Care homes in England fear new Covid-19 cases as 90% of test results delayed

Nearly nine out of 10 Covid-19 tests taken under the system used by care homes in England were returned after the government’s 48-hour target in September, official figures reveal.



a man and a woman sitting in a room: Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP via Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP via Getty Images

The performance of the NHS test-and-trace system has sparked warnings from care managers that continued delays will increase the risk of infection among their vulnerable residents.

At the end of the first month in which tests were routinely provided to care home staff and residents, 87% of those carried out at satellite testing centres, predominantly used by care homes, were returned after more than two days. Over half took more than three days to come back.

Related: Health officials fear de-prioritising of Covid testing in care homes in England

Ministers had promised weekly testing in care homes in the summer, but it only began comprehensively in September. The health minister James Bethelltold parliament 48 hours was the target for getting results back.

Care workers are now being tested weekly and residents monthly, but managers are concerned that delays of over a week in some cases in receiving results mean asymptomatic staff could be spreading infection.

Recorded infections in care homes have been falling slightly, according to Public Health England figures, but there are fears that in areas of rising community infection, such as the north of England, once the virus gets into homes there are likely to be increases in cases.

Mark Adams, the chief executive of Community Integrated Care, a national charity that is one of the biggest care providers in Liverpool, said it currently ttook three and a half days on average to get results. Only one in five weekly staff tests were coming back with the government’s 48-hour target.

There have only been a handful of positive

Continue Reading

DOL Proposed Rule Clarifying Test for Worker Classification

On September 22, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) released a long-awaited proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) providing guidance for determining employee versus independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  For decades, employers have struggled with properly classifying workers, oftentimes resulting in substantial liability for, among other things, unpaid overtime and unpaid payroll taxes.  If adopted, the Proposed Rule may make it easier for employers to classify workers as independent contractors.

Background and the Need for Rulemaking

While the employee versus independent contractor debate has garnered significant attention over the years as more workers desire the flexibility that comes with contractor status, the DOL has never promulgated a formal regulation addressing the matter.  Instead, since 1954, the DOL has issued and revised guidance based upon a multifactor “economic reality” test, which focuses on the economic independence of the worker.  This evolving guidance, mostly issued through opinion letters, has often been anything but clear.

The Proposed Rule critiqued the DOL’s prior guidance on the issue as follows:

First, the test’s overarching concept of “economic dependence” is under-developed and sometimes inconsistently applied, rendering it a source of confusion. Second, the test is indefinite and amorphous in that it makes all facts potentially relevant without providing any guidance on how to prioritize or balance different and sometimes competing considerations. Third, inefficiency and lack of structure in the test further stem from blurred boundaries between the factors. Fourth, these shortcomings have become more apparent over time as technology, economic conditions, and work relationships have evolved.

The Proposed Ruled is intended to bring clarity and consistency to the employee versus independent contractor determination, allowing employers to more readily identify workers covered by the FLSA and at the same time respecting the prerogative of workers to pursue

Continue Reading

Five bathroom updates that will help your space stand the test of time

If, after being stuck at home for months on end, you are taking stock of your surroundings and looking for ways to spruce up the appearance or improve the functionality of your home, you are not alone. According to a report from Review Home Warranties, online searches related to home remodeling are up 84% this year.

Small but achievable updates in bathrooms, such as tile, hardware or paint, are among the more popular projects, according to the report. If you’re going to update a bathroom and you want your design choices to stand up over time, the first step is determining what styles will be timeless for you specifically.

“People tend to fall into one or two camps,” interior designer Michael Winn of Winn Design and Build in Virginia said. “They want a very classic-looking bathroom, or they want something contemporary and spa-like, like the Four Seasons.” Translation: For many people, the bathroom might not be the place to get splashy with trends.

But what if you adore bold colors and patterns? “Sometimes, the most timeless things are the things that you love,” said Katy Harbin, a designer based in North Carolina. “There are people that redo their bathroom every 10 years,” and for them, choosing a paint color of the year and of-the-moment hardware might work.

For those who want to do it right and be done, though, Winn, Harbin and Boston-based interior designer Erin Gates, author of “Elements of Family Style,” agreed on five bathroom updates that are truly timeless.

An all-white palette

Whether you prefer a classic-looking bathroom or a spa-like retreat, Winn said, “white doesn’t go out of style.” Think white paint, tile, countertops, vanities and textiles.

If you find yourself craving color, you can add it with window treatments and towels, Gates suggests, or wallpaper

Continue Reading

5 bathroom updates that will stand the test of time

If, after being stuck at home for months on end, you are taking stock of your surroundings and looking for ways to spruce up the appearance or improve the functionality of your home, you are not alone. According to a report from Review Home Warranties, online searches related to home remodeling are up 84% this year. And small but achievable updates in bathrooms, such as replacing tile or hardware or painting, are among the more popular projects, according to the report.

If you’re going to update a bathroom and you want your design choices to stand up over time, the first step is determining what styles will be timeless for you specifically.

“People tend to fall into one of two camps,” says interior designer Michael Winn of Winn Design and Build in Northern Virginia. “They want a very classic-looking bathroom, or they want something contemporary and spalike, like the Four Seasons.” Either way, for many people, the bathroom isn’t the place to get splashy with trends.

But what if you adore bold colors and patterns? “Sometimes, the most timeless things are the things that you love,” says Katy Harbin, a designer based in North Carolina. “There are people that redo their bathroom every 10 years,” and for them, choosing the paint color of the year and of-the-moment hardware might work.

For those who want to do it once and be done, though, Winn, Harbin and Boston-based interior designer Erin Gates, author of “Elements of Family Style,” agreed on five bathroom updates that are universally timeless.

An all-white palette

Whether you prefer a classic-looking bathroom or a spalike retreat, Winn says, “white doesn’t go out of style.” Think white paint, tile, countertops, vanities and textiles.

If you find yourself craving color, you can add it with window treatments and towels, Gates

Continue Reading