Homewood mayor recovers. As of Friday, Jan. 8, more than 6% of Homewood's population had contracted COVID-19. That includes Mayor Richard Hofeld.
On Saturday, Hofeld was back in his business office after two weeks of isolation recovering from the infection.
He said the virus hit him pretty hard with chills, fever and loss of smell and taste, which are common symptoms of the disease.
Hope/caution. We are thinking about using this tagline for pandemic reports in the coming months: "There's light at the end of the tunnel, but we're not out of the woods." It's two cliches in one mixed metaphor, but with everything we're dealing with now, we figure such abuses of good taste in writing are the least of our worries.
Light at the end of the tunnel (but still a ways to go). The long-awaited vaccines against the virus that causes COVID-19 are expected within weeks. The first two U.S.-developed vaccines, one by Pfizer and one by Moderna, have requested emergency FDA approval. Both are touted as up to 95% effective.
Illinois is slated to receive its first shipment of 109,000 doses this month, possibly in about two weeks, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Local good news. The rate of new COVID-19 cases has slowed in Homewood and Flossmoor, and there have been no additional deaths reported for either village by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office in the past two months. Homewood has recorded 425 cases since the pandemic began, with eight new cases in the past week. Flossmoor has recorded 190 cases total, with four new cases in the past week.
Study finds link to vitamin D deficiency, COVID-19 susceptibility. Homewood surpasses 400 cases. State data processing slowdown contributes to spike in cases and tests reported Friday.
Cook County is now among 30 counties that have reached the warning level because COVID-19 metrics are nearing the threshold that could trigger renewed restrictions. The state reached a grim milestone recently, passing 8,000 deaths due to COVID-19. Local case numbers continue modest increase but no additional deaths recorded. A better milestone: The state tops 4 million COVID-19 tests administered.
Gov. J.B. Pritkzer warns at briefings this week that case numbers are trending up, putting several regions in the state at risk of having restrictions imposed again. Numbers in Homewood and Flossmoor also rise, while deaths have remained stable.
The state announces a new aid program to help childcare providers hurt by the pandemic. The state will provide masks for workers. More big business are requiring masks in all stores. State records lowest one-day death tally since mid-March. H-F deaths remain unchanged.
The state announces a new plan to respond to any sign of a resurgence of COVID-19 as case numbers make modest rise. Local case numbers rise, but there have been no additional deaths. A CDC study highlights the effective measures used by the sheriff's department to contain an outbreak in the county jail. A cluster of cases linked to a sports camp in Lake Zurich.