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Half of U.S. states now on Chicago’s travel advisory list

A sign along the Indiana-Illinois state line in Dyer, Ind.,

Sun-Times file

Indiana has joined the states on Chicago’s emergency travel order after a surge of coronavirus cases in the Hoosier state.

People coming to Chicago from states on the list are asked to quarantine for 14 days, though there are exceptions for necessary trips, such as for medical care or travel by essential workers.

Changes to the list of states affected by the travel advisory are announced on Tuesdays and take effect the following Friday.

Indiana officially goes on the list as of 12:01 a.m. Friday, along with Rhode Island and New Mexico. The list now includes 25 states as well as Puerto Rico.

Read the full story from Manny Ramos here.


7:30 a.m. Chicago COVID researchers get $7.4 million in private funding

A Skokie foundation pledged $7.4 million in funding to provide more widespread free COVID-19 testing, study risks among children, find ways to predict virus outbreaks and related research.

Eight programs, mostly led by researchers at some of Chicago’s leading teaching hospitals, are working in collaboration with state and local health departments with money provided by the 2-year-old Walder Foundation.

Findings are expected to inform public health policy on testing, prevention and racial health disparities, said Sandra Laney, Walder Foundation’s senior director of science innovation.

“We really landed on a portfolio of projects that were driven by health departments’ needs,” Laney said.

The one-year grants range from $300,000 to $1.25 million each. The winners were selected from more than 20 applications, Laney said.

Read the full story here.

7:05 a.m. 10 to see at the 2020 Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival, now in its 56th year, makes a novel move online thanks to the novel coronavirus. The 11-day showcase of world cinema offers 39 dramas, 19 documentaries and 56 shorts via the internet. Seven features are world premieres. Audiences can interact with filmmakers in livestream Q&A sessions.

“We can reach new audiences,” says artistic director Mimi Plauché. “The festival is more accessible to people who live anywhere in the U.S.” Some titles, however, are limited to Chicago audiences; other films are limited to Midwesterners living in Illinois and five other states.

The global pandemic forced international festivals to go virtual, so Plauché and her programming team scouted this year’s entries through the internet. She says she is partial to “the films you watch and you can’t stop thinking about them.” Three are dramas in this year’s downsized lineup: “Any Crybabies Around?,” “Dear Comrades!” and “Memory House.”

Read the full story here.

New cases

Analysis & Commentary

7:10 a.m. Like illness, Mr. COVID Answer Man lingers

It might be hard to imagine, but I try to premeditate my columns, to consider possible ramifications before clicking on the “Submit for Approval” button. Is everything spelled right? Are my facts all in a row, quacking happily? Will I be frog-walked sobbing away from my career and into early retirement? But when I rolled out “Mr. Covid Answer Man” early this month, there was one response I never imagined: that readers actually would, as requested, send in questions. Sincere questions, some of them. So even though I like to flit nimbly from one topic to another, with this crisis reaching whatever nightmare crescendo we’re heading toward, I feel duty bound to address a few.

Dear Mr. COVID Answer Man: What is the polite way to say to your brother who you are very close to that his girlfriend is acting recklessly in regards to the virus and is putting his and anyone he sees lives at risk?

Read the more questions and answers by columnist Neil Steinberg here.