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

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

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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.


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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.


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HHS testing official warns Nevada must drop antigen testing ban

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COVID-19 widespread testing is crucial to fighting the pandemic, but is there enough testing? The answer is in the positivity rates.

USA TODAY

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ top testing official said Friday Nevada’s ban on rapid coronavirus tests in nursing homes could “endanger lives” and urged state health officials to immediately reverse course.

Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said Nevada would face unspecified enforcement actions if state health officials did not remove an order instructing nursing homes to discontinue use of point-of-care antigen testing machines made by two companies, Quidel and Becton, Dickinson.

HHS  “expects immediate action from Nevada to reverse its unwise, uninformed and unlawful unilateral prohibition,” Giroir said Friday in a phone call with reporters. “Lives are at stake and our administration is not going to allow actions to risk our seniors or any other vulnerable or underserved population.”

Nevada health officials did not immediately return calls or emails from USA TODAY.

On Oct. 2, Nevada officials ordered nursing homes and other long-term facilities to discontinue use of the antigen testing instruments authorized by Food and Drug Administration “until the accuracy of the tests can be better evaluated.”

 (Photo: Becton, Dickinson)

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services chief medical officer and two other high-ranking health officials cited a high rate of false positive results at eight facilities that used the antigen tests, according to a bulletin for nursing homes and health-care providers.

But Giroir said Nevada’s ban represents a misunderstanding of the role of testing machines in screening large numbers of people who might unknowingly pass the virus to others.

HHS has purchased and sent rapid antigen testing instruments to nearly 14,000 nursing homes nationwide as part of a strategy to protect vulnerable seniors. Deaths in nursing homes represent up

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Australia should brace for a wave of business failures and growing mortgage stress, the RBA warns, as support measures fall away


Australia’s central bank expects the number of small business failures will “rise substantially” as income and loan pressure builds.

With income support measures and more than $200 billion in loan deferrals set to expire, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) says between 10% and 15% of businesses in hard-hit sectors won’t make it as they run out of cash.

“These businesses are in a tenuous position and are particularly vulnerable to a further deterioration in trading conditions or the removal of support measures,” the RBA wrote in its Financial Stability Review published on Friday.

“Survey evidence indicates that about one-quarter of small businesses currently receiving income support would close if the support measures were removed now, before an improvement in trading conditions.”

While the RBA acknowledged there was “a high degree of uncertainty about the magnitude and timing” of those failures, the prognosis doesn’t look good.

For one, the number of business insolvencies has been suppressed since March as the government allowed owners to continue operating despite mounting debts.

While helpful at the time, various groups have warned that all that may do is create a business blowout further down the line, that will have even larger ramifications as owners scramble to settle with their creditors.

So too will $200 billion in loan deferrals need to be dealt with by January. It’s telling that even with that option, the RBA notes that commercial vacancies are rising and especially for retail businesses.

“Retail vacancies rose sharply over the first half of 2020. The biggest increase has been in central business districts (CBDs), where vacancy rates have risen to over 10%,” the RBA wrote.

“Further increases in vacancy rates are likely and department stores have accelerated planned closures.”

All of this will have greater consequences for Australian workers, who face the growing

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18th Judicial District Attorney Warns Of Contractor Fraud



a person standing in front of a house: The 18th Judicial District DA's Consumer Fraud Protection Unit said it's received an "extremely high number of consumer complaints" about contractor fraud.


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The 18th Judicial District DA’s Consumer Fraud Protection Unit said it’s received an “extremely high number of consumer complaints” about contractor fraud.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, CO — The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has released an advisory after a recent surge in contractor fraud. The office’s Consumer Fraud Protection Unit said it’s received an “extremely high” number of consumer complaints over the past six months about home improvement projects and hired contractors.

“While most contractors are reputable and honest, some are not,” the advisory read.

“A few complaints have originated from local organizations and businesses, but the majority have come from homeowners in areas of home repairs, renovations, and new construction.”

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Other Colorado regions have also seen a spike in fraud, officials said.

“While some problems cannot be anticipated, we believe that homeowners may have avoided financial losses and project delays if they had researched the business or contractor and taken some precautions,” the advisory read.

“Many problems could have been avoided if an attorney was involved during certain stages.”

Read the full advisory:



text: SOURCE: Office of the District Attorney – 18th Judicial District – Consumer Fraud Protection.


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SOURCE: Office of the District Attorney – 18th Judicial District – Consumer Fraud Protection.



text: SOURCE: Office of the District Attorney – 18th Judicial District – Consumer Fraud Protection.


© Provided by Patch
SOURCE: Office of the District Attorney – 18th Judicial District – Consumer Fraud Protection.

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Mom Warns Parents After Toddler Nearly Lost Eyesight From Playing With Squirting Bath Toys

PLAINFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A Plainfield mom has an urgent warning for parents after her toddler was not only hospitalized but could also have permanent eye damage from a bath toy you may have in your home.

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Baylor loves cars and playing with his big brother and sister. He also has big blue eyes.

“I just remember praying, ‘Please don’t take his eyes. He has such pretty eyes,” said Baylor’s mom, Eden Strong.

“My 2-year-old son was just having a bath,” she said. “And what looked like a little bit of irritation from getting water in his eye from the tub toys, and then it turned into full blown cellulitis.”

She said over a period of 12 hours his eye went from pink to infected. Pictures from her now-viral facebook post show the fast progression.

“His eye was protruding from his face,” she said. “It was very obscured. He was running a raging fever.”

The toddler was given IV antibiotics and then a CAT scan.

“They explained that if it moved to his retina it could permanently cause blindness or if it moved to his brain it could be a lot worse,” Strong said.

The culprit was a squirting bath toy.

“I came to find out later that because the water is never fully expelled from those types of toys that they can just grow bacteria that you can’t stop,” she said.

Strong said she hopes manufacturers take a closer look at the toys they are producing.

“I’ve been shocked,” she said. “I have a completely full inbox with parents sending me pictures of their children who have gone through the same thing. It really does seem to be a design issue across all manufacturers and not just one specific one, so I really hope even those people

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