ByDylan Tiger, Isaiah Baba, Daria Makhneva and Samantha Boyle / For Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
As Covid-19 surges again in the U.S., the high percentage of “recovered” cases might be cited as a sign that a vast majority of those infected quickly rid themselves of the virus.
But the “recovered” statistics are incomplete, inconsistent and call into question the accuracy of any total number of recovered cases, according to a review of 50 state public health sites by the Midwest Center for Investigative reporting.
By the end of June Champaign County had conducted more than 33,000 COVID-19 tests, according to data from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.
A review of the data saw the number of daily tests increasing dramatically while showing that Champaign County has had a relatively low positive rate (2.5%) with 723 cases out of 29508 tests (May to June).
It also showed a high “recovered” rate, but the term “recovered’ can be misleading. In Illinois, the definition of recovered means that an infected person has not died within 42 days of being diagnosed. The rate was 93 percent (May to June).
Julie Pryde, administrator for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, said the state will continue in Phase Four now until the pandemic ends, meaning masks and six-feet social distancing are still recommended and required in public spaces.
The health district is in the process of hiring more contact tracers, for example. About 30 contact tracers work there now to track the persons with whom an infected person has had potential contact with.
Champaign County businesses that suffered damage from looting may eventually be included in funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA), a spokesperson said last week.
John Dwyer of the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency, said in a phone call that over 50 businesses were affected by looting. The SBA announced in an email on June 26 it would be providing grants to Illinois businesses affected by civil unrest between May 26 and June 8.
The Illinois Citizens Utility Board has warned of several scams that take advantage of utility consumers. Among the scams the board noted in a June 30 email to consumers was a maintenance plan, where water companies offer a protection plan to people that is often expensive and frequently goes unused.
The board was created by state law in 1984 to advocate for Illinoisans in dealing with utility companies, and its website said it has saved the state’s residents $20 billion by stopping rate increases. The group is not affiliated with a political party, but was created by an Illinois law.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) notified the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) of a “multi-state outbreak” of an intestinal illness known as cyclosporiasis. According to the press release, it is believed that the outbreak to be linked to packaged garden salad, and there are six cases of the illness in Champaign County as of July 1.
Fresh Express issued a recall for the products on June 27, 2020. The recalled food products were made in a production facility in Streamwood, Illinois. This factory was also linked to over 500 cases in 2018, and infections were traced to McDonald’s restaurants in several states.
Among the most trending topics on Facebook and Twitter in late June were peaceful protests, a give away of seven $50 gift cards to local restaurants and fireworks concerns all around Champaign-Urbana almost a month before the 4th of July.
The Champaign Park District, facing at least $1.8 million in lost revenue, is set to meet July 22 to discuss its budget for the upcoming year.
Part of the budget, which includes grants and the park district recently applied for a Rebuild Illinois grant. It is also in the process of applying for an Illinois Emergency Management Agency grant, but Wallace said in a phone interview Thursday that the grant has shifted to being administered federally and so the grant is more limited in scope.
Carle Foundation Hospital has received nearly $18.8 million this month in grant money under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act, according to COVID Stimulus Watch. Meanwhile, Christie Clinic received about $2.4 million in grant money.
These grants were awarded through the department’s Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund on June 11, according to COVID Stimulus Watch, which is a service of Good Jobs First, which collects data of financial assistance from federal, state and local government programs. COVID Stimulus Watch, specifically collects and publishes data from CARES Act recipients.
Before University of Illinois students were sent home in mid-March, there were at least 183 crimes in Champaign-Urbana reported directly to university police — mostly underage drinking and theft. After March 21, the total number of crimes reported decreased, with 52 crimes directly reported to university police as of May 31 according to the daily crime log.