Rebuilding Together: Homewood Disposal’s special initiative, known as “Rebuilding Together,” is helping employees stimulate the local economy. The company is distributing a series of gift cards and full family meals to nearly 300 employees as a thank you and to encourage spending in the local economy. A fully-stocked hamburger meal, organized with Walt’s Food Center in Homewood and Fairplay Foods in Markham, was distributed in mid-May with additional distributions expected.
Illinois and Cook County death milestones. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 surpasse 5,000 according to the Wednesday report from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The daily death count was 160, which was high again after four straight days under 100. The 31 deaths on Monday was the lowest since the same number was reported on April 19.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office reported that it had handled more cases so far this year than it did in all of 2019. Last year, the office determined cause and manner of death in 6,274 cases. So far this year, the office has handled more than 6,600.
WHO officials: Reopen with care. With states and countries passing peaks of COVID-19 cases and deaths, many are restarting economies, with varying degrees of restrictions remaining in place. At the World Health Organization’s briefing Monday, officials sounded a note of caution about becoming complacent. The case numbers are getting better because social distancing worked.
“In order to beat the virus you need to have speed which is faster than the virus itself. You have to take measures to slow it. Then you will be ahead of the virus. While the virus has all the spaces and moving everywhere it can with all the speed it can use, you can’t beat it. That’s why you use social distancing to slow it.” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general
“All countries need to remain on high alert here … even countries that have had success in suppression. A large percentage of population remains susceptible. This virus, if it finds an opportunity, will start an outbreak. A hallmark of coronavirus is its ability to amplify in certain settings, its ability to cause transmission or super-spreading events and we are seeing in a number of situations in these closed settings. When the virus has an opportunity it can transmit readily.” Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead COVID-19