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BREAKING: Illinois Covid-19 Cases Going Up Again; What Will This Mean For You?

November 10th, 2021 Share:  

BREAKING NEWS: Illinois covid-19 cases are starting to rise again as temperatures grow colder and the holidays loom, an ominous sign that statewide covid regulations and mask mandates aren’t leaving any time soon.

BREAKING: Illinois Covid-19 Cases Going Up Again; What Will This Mean For You?The Illinois Department of Public Health released numbers today showing that cases are continue to steadily rise, and hospitalizations are starting to spike again. There were over 17,000 new confirmed and probable cases reported last week. The 7-day average for cases is now 2,671. IDPH reported 2,060 new confirmed and probable cases Monday. The state also said over 1,300 people are hospitalized for complications with COVID-19.

Locally, the Rock Island County Health Department reports 143 cases of COVID-19 since our last report on Monday. The total number of cases is 19,317. Currently, 27 patients are hospitalized in the county with the virus. The average age of newly infected patients is 33.

Gov. JB Pritzker had been waffling on lifting the mask mandate before the holidays, and now, IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said it’s probably not going to happen.

“As we’ve moved indoors, we haven’t maybe taken our masks indoors with us. So a lot of unmasked indoor gatherings are likely part of the problem,” Ezike said. “Of course, COVID is so complicated. It’s been throwing us curveball after curveball.”

Illinois is now averaging 25 deaths from COVID-19 each day, and Ezike noted that number could very well spike even higher as the weather continues to grow colder, paralleling last year’s number leap into November and December.

Yesterday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act allowing employers to penalize employees if they refuse to follow workplace rules about covid, including mandatory vaccinations, testing, and other mandates.

The Illinois Senate voted 31-24 to approve the proposal; the measure passed out of the House on a 64-52-2 vote. Pritkzer signed the amendment into law Monday.

The Health Care Right of Conscience Act amendment bans employees from using their moral beliefs as a reason to refuse to comply with a LATEST: Will Illinois Employers Be Able To Fire Employees For Refusing Covid Vaccinations?workplace’s covid mandates, which could include mandatory vaccinations.

“Masks, vaccines, and testing requirements are life-saving measures that keep our workplaces and communities safe,” said Pritzker, who added he was grateful that the act “is no longer wrongly used against institutions who are putting safety and science first.”

The law doesn’t take effect until June 1, 2022. However, the law could go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, if there is a new vote that garners greater support within the Illinois House and Senate. Pritzker would be expected to sign that into law should the vote take place to push up the mandate.

“We have effective tools to fight this pandemic — namely, vaccines, masks and testing — and all of our communities are safer when we use the public health and workplace safety protocols we know to work,” said Pritzker in a statement. “… This legislation clarifies existing law’s intent without infringing on federal protections. Ultimately, this means we can keep kids in school, businesses open, neighbors safe, and continue on the path to bring this pandemic to an end.”

Pritzker said “the act was “never intended to allow people to avoid public health guidance and jeopardize workplace safety during a global No Jab, No Job? You Could Be Fired For Defying Covid Rules Under New Illinois Lawpandemic,” in a statement through his spokesperson. “The administration supports efforts to clarify the law, so it cannot be misinterpreted by fringe elements.”

The new amendment is expected to face many lawsuits and legal challenges after it’s implemented. Other states around the country which have tried to take similar actions have faced lawsuits under the Civil Rights Act, and two cases invoking the U.S. Constitution’s Free Exercise of Religion clause are proceeding in Maine and New York.

For ongoing coverage of this situation, continue to follow QuadCities.com.

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BREAKING: Illinois Covid-19 Cases Going Up Again; What Will This Mean For You?
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.