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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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Gov. Parson orders external review of Missouri Veterans Homes

Gov. Parson instructed Missouri Veterans Commission Chairman Timothy Noonan to conduct a rapid, independent, external review of all seven Missouri Veterans Homes

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson has ordered an external review of all seven of the state’s veteran homes and their COVID-19 operations.

The order comes after four veterans have died in Missouri Veterans Homes.

According to a release from the governor’s office, data that was presented on Thursday in a briefing with Gov. Parson raised concerns about how well Missouri Veterans Homes are uniformly and systematically operating to prevent and, if necessary, contain COVID-19 outbreaks among their staff and residents.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the deaths in four of our Missouri Veterans Homes,” Governor Parson said. “As a veteran myself, I care a great deal about the quality of care our veterans receive at the Veterans Homes in our state and have raised an alarm bell more than once when I felt we as a state weren’t meeting the standard of care I believe they are owed.”

“We have been fighting COVID-19 for over seven months now, and we have learned a lot about how to fight the virus since March,” Governor Parson continued. “The recent sudden positive case growth among staff and residents in our Veterans Homes, and most importantly, the tragic loss of lives of veterans in our care are, in my opinion, unacceptable.”

Gov. Parson instructed Missouri Veterans Commission Chairman Timothy Noonan to conduct a rapid, independent, external review of all seven Missouri Veterans Homes.

The external review will assess their performance and identify what steps, if any, should be taken to improve their management of COVID-19.

Gov. Parson’s office said he also directed the deployment of the new Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests to Missouri Veterans Homes

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Gov. Newsom signs bill that gives one-year exemption for newspapers to keep carriers as contractors

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation into law that gives newspapers a one-year extension before they must comply with another law increasing labor protections for delivery workers.

The bill, AB 323, allows newspapers to continue classifying their paper carriers as independent contractors through Jan. 1, 2022. The governor signed the measure on Wednesday.

The law continues a temporary exemption put in place last year in response to enactment of AB 5. That 2018 landmark legislation gives so-called “gig workers” eligibility for benefits typically reserved for full-time employees such as overtime, sick leave and unemployment pay. But it has been under attack since passage.

Without the extension for newspapers, the distribution costs for The Press Democrat would have increased 60% and could have forced delivery cutbacks to rural parts of the North Coast, said Steve Falk, CEO of Sonoma Media Investments, which owns The Press Democrat and other regional publications.

On Sept. 4, Newsom had signed into law AB 2257, which provides greater carve-outs from AB 5 by removing workers such as freelance writers, editors, photographers and newspaper cartoonists from the landmark law.

The California News Publishers Association, which represents more than 400 daily and weekly newspapers, plan to work with lawmakers next year to reach a long-term solution regarding paper delivery personnel, said Chuck Champion, president and CEO. To treat news carriers as full-time workers rather than contractors would be quite costly for newspaper companies and could cause many more papers statewide to reduce news coverage or fold, publishers have said.

His group needs to do a better job of educating legislators on the importance of the exemption given that print editions are still significant revenue for local newspapers even with younger readers who consume news digitally, Champion said. “It’s critical. It continues to service a segment of our community, often

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Gov. Cuomo falsely claims New York nursing homes ‘never needed’ to take in Covid-positive patients

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo argued that nursing homes “never needed” to accept Covid-positive patients from hospitals in the state.



Andrew Cuomo wearing a suit and tie: NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)


© Jeenah Moon/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY – JULY 23: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the daily media briefing at the Office of the Governor of the State of New York on July 23, 2020 in New York City. The Governor said the state liquor authority has suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules as public officials try to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

During a press call Wednesday, Finger Lakes News Radio asked Cuomo about his administration’s advisory in late March requiring that nursing homes accept the readmission of patients from hospitals, even if they were positive for Covid-19.

Cuomo argued that the advisory was a precaution if hospitals became overwhelmed — calling it an “anticipatory rule” — which he said didn’t happen.

“We never needed nursing home beds because we always had hospital beds,” Cuomo told Finger Lakes News. “So it just never happened in New York where we needed to say to a nursing home, ‘We need you to take this person even though they’re Covid-positive.’ It never happened.”

Facts First: Cuomo’s assertion that “it never happened” is false. According to a report from the New York State Department of Health, “6,326 COVID-positive residents were admitted to [nursing home] facilities” following Cuomo’s mandate that nursing homes accept the readmission of Covid-positive patients from hospitals. Whether or not this was “needed,” it did in fact happen.

On March 25, the state’s Health Department issued an advisory requiring nursing homes to accept “the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals” if the patients were deemed medically stable.

“No resident shall be

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