Orland Park experiences worst COVID-19 infection spike in 8 months

Orland Park experiences worst COVID-19 infection spike in 8 months
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Orland Park experiences worst COVID-19 infection spike in 8 months

As Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau fiddles, Orland Park burns as Coronavirus infections experienced its largest ever increase during the past 28 days, of 696 new cases, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Pekau has resisted issuing a mandate requiring all residents to wear a face masks because wearing face masks have become a symbol of conservative rightwing extremist anger. Despite playing it down, COVID-19 has spiked dramatically again in Orland Park

By Ray Hanania

The number of new Coronavirus COVID-19 infections more than doubled over past month increases since March 2020, an increase of 696 confirmed infections, representing the worst infection spike in the history of the Village of Orland Park, according to data released by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

On Oct. 5, the number of infections was a fearsome 1,398 that Pekau ridiculed in his political attack eNewsletter when the data was released. It represented a steady hike of 320 infections from the prior month. Pekau argued at the time that the data represented more than one month (five days into October) and therefore wasn’t a “spike,” even though the majority of that increase number occurred during the last 10 days of October.

But the most recent IDPH numbers released November 2 have exposed Pekau’s apparent uncaring concern for the COVID-19 pandemic and show that the number of total infections has jumped dramatically during the past month (actually using Pekau’s point, in an even shorter period of time) from Oct. 5 through Nov. 2, only 28 days.

The monthly increase is more than double the average of the steady increases that occurred in each of the past months.

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Chart showing steady increase in Coronavirus COVID-19 infections in Orland Park, according to IDPH data

Chart showing steady increase in Coronavirus COVID-19 infections in Orland Park, according to IDPH data

The IDPH recorded increase in COVID-19 infections reports a total of 2,094 total cases in Orland Park, a southwest suburban community of under 60,000 residents, during that short period from the previous recorded number.

The 2,094 total represents a frightening increase of 696 total cases, more than double the average of past month-to-month increases. It demonstrates Pekau’s total lack of responsible leadership in downplaying the virus threat and failing to be a leader in mandating every Orland Park resident to wear face masks.

Confirmed infection cases have been steadily rising during the past month from 530 on July 1, 781 on August 1, 1,078 on Sept. 1, 1,398 cases on October 5, and 2,094 on Nov. 2.

The steady increases in infections is alarming considering that the president of the village, Keith Pekau, has seemingly downplayed the importance of both the number of infections and the pandemic itself. Pekau appears to be reluctant to wear a face mask even while at public events.

 

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau at the Bike Ride for the Special Olympics Aug. 30 hosted by the Orland Park Police Department is the only person in the village photo that is not wearing a mask. Photo courtesy of the Orland Park Police Department.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau at the Bike Ride for the Special Olympics Aug. 30 hosted by the Orland Park Police Department is the only person in the Police Department photo that is not wearing a face mask. Photo courtesy of the Orland Park Police Department.

The coronavirus has gotten so bad and threatening to Illinois residents that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has extended restrictions for North-Central Illinois this past Sunday and plans to announce wider restrictions to cover all of the state’s 11 regions including around Orland Park.

Pekau used $66,000 in taxpayer funds to file a lawsuit against Pritzker last June asserting that Pritzker had no right to impose the restrictions on communities like Orland Park. The lawsuit was thrown out and described as “ridiculous” by critics but Pekau, demonstrating his hallucinatory political ego, asserted incredulously that after the lawsuit, Pritzker backed down and eased restrictions. Of course, Pritzker’s decision to ease restrictions had nothing to do with Pekau’s political games, or the wasted taxpayer funds on the failed lawsuit, but instead reflected a brief respite in the pandemic numbers.

Pekau called Pritzker’s strategy to combat COVID-19 an “asinine display of logic.”

Those numbers have since surged as if to prove that Pekau has been wrong from Day One about the significance and threat of the coronavirus on the village’s exposed population.

The Village of Orland Park website clearly leaves the recommended use of face masks off of its recommendations and online “updates.”

 

“Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Village has focused on providing timely and relevant information to the public. The Village is continuing to educate the community on how best to keep themselves, their families and the rest of the community safe, especially our elderly and other at-risk populations. We ask that all residents be responsible and follow the requested actions to help keep everyone safe, particularly the most vulnerable among us. Avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing and utilize proper hygiene techniques to avoid the spread of the virus.”

 

Click here to visit the Village website updates on coronavirus.

In his State of the State address last month, Pekau asserted that the infection rate has been “up and down.” And he argued that “cases are not your best indicator in the world, in fact it is your worst indicator.” Pekau instead incredulously said that the infections rate data “can give you misleading information.” He said that the increased numbers “are the result of increased testing.”

 

Pekau State of the STate chart where he argues daily infection rates are insignificant. Photo courtesy of the Village of Orland Park

Pekau State of the STate chart where he argues daily infection rates are insignificant. Photo courtesy of the Village of Orland Park

 

Pekau repeatedly asserts, “Cases are not your best indicator.”

What is clear that Pekau is playing down, is that the more residents of Orland Park who are infected, the faster the infection rate is.

You can view the current COVID-19 data by zip code by clicking this link.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) also today (Monday Nov. 2, 2020) reported 6,222 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 20 additional deaths.
–  Champaign County: 1 male 60s
–  Cook County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 0ver 100
–  DuPage County: 1 male 80s
–  Iroquois County: 1 male 80s
–  Lake County: 1 male 80s
–  Mason County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 90s
–  Monroe County: 1 female 90s, 1 female over 100
–  Piatt County: 1 female 60s
–  Will County: 1 male 90s
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 423,502 cases, including 9,810 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 68,118 specimens for a total 7,876,421.  As of last night, 3,371 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 722 patients were in the ICU and 298 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. 
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from October 26 – November 1 is 8.1%.  This is the number that IDPH has been consistently reporting in its daily releases and is calculated using total cases over total tests.  Similar to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPH has been using test positivity for regional mitigation metrics on its website since mid-July.  Test positivity is calculated using the number of COVID-19 positive tests over total tests.  On October 29, 2020, IDPH began reporting the statewide test positivity in its daily releases.  The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from October 26, 2020 – November 1, 2020 is 9.7%.
Case positivity and test positivity rate are both relevant and offer insight into the bigger COVID-19 picture.  Case positivity helps us understand whether changes in the number of confirmed cases is due to more testing or due to more infections.  Whereas, test positivity accounts for repeated testing and helps us understand how the virus is spreading in the population over time.
*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered.  For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

Ray Hanania

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