Latest coronavirus news for May 23, 2020: Live updates

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Hundreds of coronavirus deaths removed from weekly nursing homes update as state changes how tally is compiled

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Illinois officials are no longer including 216 deaths and 1,727 confirmed cases in their weekly reporting of coronavirus outbreaks at long-term care facilities, according to an analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The omissions are part of a revised way COVID-19 cases and deaths at nursing homes and other facilities will now be reported, officials said. A Sun-Times count of current and past numbers shows long-term care facilities now account for half of all coronavirus deaths in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health releases figures every Friday on the number of coronavirus cases and deaths reported at every long-term care facility in the state.

Reporters Nader Issa and Caroline Hurley have the full story.


7:08 a.m. Nursing homes now account for half of all Illinois coronavirus deaths; protesters gather at Pritzker’s house

An activist with Northside Action For Justice along with a dozen other protest outside Gov. Pritzker’s Chicago home demanding those in long term care facilities get resources amid the coronavirus pandemic, Friday, May 22, 2020. Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Nursing homes now account for more than half of all coronavirus deaths in Illinois, according to a data analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times.

That updated tally came as a dozen people gathered Friday at Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Chicago home to protest his oversight of long-term care facilities.

Nursing homes reported 1,583 new COVID-19 cases and 395 new deaths in the past week, according to data released Friday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

A Sun-Times count of state totals stands at 2,368 deaths and 14,799 confirmed cases at long-term care facilities since the pandemic started. The figures released by the state show lower totals, however, because officials have stopped including in their public data 74 facilities that have not had a new case in the past 28 days, an IDPH spokeswoman said Friday.

Read the full story by Nader Issa and Tyler LaRiviere here.

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Analysis & Commentary

7:11 a.m. When others around the world don’t even have clean water and soap, we all pay the price

Without better basic hygiene around the globe, we are bound to be hit by another pandemic.

Yet the World Bank this week reported that some 3 billion people around the world don’t even have access to clean water and soap, the most basic and effective necessities for preventing the spread of disease, including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Globally, 46% of schools don’t have hand-washing facilities with water and soap.

Germs, as we have come to appreciate so painfully during the current pandemic, respect no borders. A bug in China or Italy can circle the globe in no time, especially if billions of people can’t even wash their hands.

Read the full editorial by the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board.