How COVID-19 has changed even the most routine doctor’s visit (LIVE UPDATES)

How COVID-19 has changed even the most routine doctor’s
visit (LIVE UPDATES) 1

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How COVID-19 has changed even the most routine doctor’s visit


Bringing her 14-year-old son, Alessandro, into Chicago for doctor’s visits has been a heavy burden on Ramona Gonzalez.

As a baby, Alessandro’s brain was deprived of oxygen and, as a result, he needs a ventilator to breathe, a feeding tube to eat, he’s deaf and blind. In recent years, Gonzalez has had to bring her son from Matteson to La Rabida Children’s Hospital on the South Side, which specializes in caring for medically complex chronically ill children. Sometimes, she has to load him in an ambulance along with his medical supplies and equipment.

“It’s a lot,” she said.

But over the past few months, Alessandro was able to see six doctors from La Rabida in three exams conducted over video. It was a godsend for Gonzalez during a pandemic she feared would endanger her son’s life.

“It was really good,” she said. “I don’t want to risk him getting any disease.”

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Read the full report from Brett Chase here.


10:54 a.m. Empty Soldier Field will ‘definitely be different without fans’

One day after the Bears said they won’t have fans at Soldier Field for the foreseeable future, Bears coach Matt Nagy said Tuesday that health and safety should be paramount.

“Across the league, you are seeing there are different things going on and different rules that teams are implementing,” he said. “For now, that happens to be where we’re at. I trust in everybody that is making the decisions … and just we’ll see where it ends up.”

The NFL does not have a uniform fan rule, meaning some states might allow their stadiums to open at partial capacity. Others won’t.

Read the full story here.

8:44 a.m. Lightfoot warns of layoffs and furloughs without revenue replacement money from Congress

Saddled with a shortfall that’s $700 million and growing, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday she will have no choice but to order employee “layoffs and furloughs” without another round of stimulus money to replace revenue lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lightfoot has said repeatedly that raising property taxes is her last resort and layoffs and furloughs are next to last. She has called previous rounds of furloughs demoralizing to city workers.

But, during a panel discussion Tuesday at the virtual Democratic National Convention sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the mayor said she’s running out of options to avoid that painful choice.

“If we don’t get [revenue replacement] help from the federal government, we have nothing but bad choices, including looking at layoffs and looking at furloughs,” Lightfoot said.

“This is not the time for government to be putting people into an uncertain economy. We need to make sure that we do everything that we can — that we’re prudent fiduciaries of taxpayer dollars. But the last thing that we should be doing is putting people into the unemployment ranks because we can’t get help from the federal government for this once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis.”

Read the full story from City Hall reporter Fran Spielman here.

New Cases

  • Illinois’ coronavirus testing positivity rate inched up again Tuesday with the latest 1,740 cases confirmed statewide. Those new cases were diagnosed among 34,175 tests, or about 5.1% of them — the highest positivity rate for a single day in Illinois in more than 10 weeks.

Analysis & Commentary

8:17 a.m. COVID-19 makes clear the need for private and public investment in local water systems

It costs money to make the infrastructure investments needed to ensure people have clean, safe and healthy water. So, it makes sense that water rates are increasing — both for municipally run systems and for those run by water companies — as necessary investments from upgrading treatment plants to replacing aging water mains are made.

As rates increase to support clean drinking water, there are significant, valid concerns around water affordability. One driver of rates are wholesale water costs. For example, the cost of Lake Michigan water purchased from the City of Chicago, which water companies pass through in rates without any markup, has more than doubled over the past decade.

Concerns about affordability have led some municipalities to delay necessary investments for years or even decades. Deferring necessary investment keeps rates low but the resulting failing water systems deliver unsafe water and put public health in jeopardy.

Read the full guest column here.

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