Mask Advisory Likely As COVID-19 Cases Rise
As Chicago inches closer to being declared a high risk for getting the coronavirus, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urges people to get vaccinated and boosted. “If you haven’t had the COVID-19 vaccine since Labor Day, you’re not up to date,” Lightfoot said at a Thursday news conference.
Lightfoot also said the City could issue a mask advisory if Cook County reaches a high transmission level of COVID-19. A“high” transmission is 100 or more cases per 100,000 people or a positivity rate of 10% or higher, according to the health guidance by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A mask advisory would mean all Chicagoans two and older will be asked to wear a mask in indoor public settings, including restaurants as well as theaters. “Not only will this (wearing a mask) protect you, but it will also protect those around you, including some of our most vulnerable older residents and those with compromised immune systems,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
Illinois reported 3,225 new COVID-19 cases and 18 new deaths Thursday. There have been at least 3,950,143 total COVID cases in the state since the start of the pandemic and at least 35,698 related deaths.
The Mayor just finished a five-day quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.
Internet Access For Underserved Areas
$253.7 million in federal funds will be sent to Illinois to boost broadband infrastructure development which is lacking throughout the state. The plan will connect 87,613 households and businesses, according to the state, which will cover about 25% of areas in Illinois without high-speed internet access.
“This funding will help governments with critical capital projects, including reliable affordable broadband infrastructure and other digital connectivity technology projects,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
The reality of digital inequities in parts of Chicago with high numbers of low-income residents and rural areas of Illinois was exacerbated during the pandemic.
According to the state, the federal monies will cover about 25 percent of areas in Illinois without high-speed internet access.
Congressional Gold Medal To Emmett Till, And His Mother
Emmett Till, the Chicago teen murdered by white supremacists in the 1950s, and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley will be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.
The House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday to posthumously present the award for Till-Mobley’s bravery and pioneering civil rights work after the brutal kidnapping and murder of her 14-year-old son.
The medal will be given to the National Museum of African American History, where it will be displayed near the casket Till was buried in.
The esteemed award is the highest civilian honor that Congress bestows.