Illinois health officials on Thursday announced 6,652 new cases of COVID and 88 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 1,052,682 and the statewide death toll to 17,928 since the start of the pandemic. Hickory Hills now has 1002 confirmed cumulative cases of COVID and 20 related fatalities.
General Update on Vaccine Distribution
We will report on relevant vaccination news and local distribution sites as I receive the information. It is important to clarify that local municipalities are not part of the vaccine acquisition and distribution process. Simply stated, the federal government is supposed to distribute vaccines to the states and the state then distributes to the various counties which then announce the distribution plan and network of vaccine locations throughout the county. The most recent news is as follows:
The Governor announced that Phase 1B of the state’s vaccinations plan will start statewide on Monday, January 25.
What Groups and Individuals Are Part of Phase 1B?
Phase 1B will begin, allowing frontline essential workers and residents age 65 and over to get vaccinated. The frontline essential workers designation includes many residents who carry a higher risk of COVID19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, and/or they must work closely to others without being able to socially distance. This includes first responders, education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections workers and inmates, USPS workers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and staff at shelters and day cares. Illinois has 1.3 million people who qualify as “frontline essential workers” and 1.9 million adults age 65 and over, totaling 3.2 million eligible Illinoisans.
WHERE TO GET VACCINATED
Additional vaccination sites are opening across the state to ensure vaccines are administered as quickly and efficiently as possible. Hundreds of additional pharmacy providers are coming online through a partnership with IDPH. Additionally, the Illinois National Guard (ILNG) is deploying teams to sites in Cook County as well as sites in St. Clair County, before additional deployments statewide. As the state moves forward with its plan and continues to build out capacity, smaller independent pharmacies, urgent care clinics, doctors’ offices, and workplaces will all be coming online to serve as vaccination sites. Additional teams from the ILNG will also deploy to regions across the state to stand up new sites and build out additional capacity at existing sites. More information on locations and how to make appointments will be available to the public on a website to be launched prior to the start of Phase 1B
City Water Accounts
Just a reminder that city hall remains open for regular city business, though we are still not conducting business in person due to the pandemic. We have seen a significant rise in delinquent water bills so we would encourage you to call city hall to check on the status of your account in the event you have missed some payments. The city understands that these are some very difficult times and is willing to set up payment plans for individuals who are struggling financially.
Good News Stories
Did you know that Max Strus, raised in Hickory Hills, and former star player at Stagg High School and DePaul University, is now playing for the Miami Heat? Max has already played in 3 games this year and is making quite an impression with the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat. Just the other night Max scored 11 points and grabbed 7 rebounds and 1 assist against the Philadelphia 76ers. Congratulations Max and the entire Strus family. Hickory Hills is so proud of you Max! Below is a picture of Max in action and his official NBA bio from the Heat home page.
MIAMI, FL – Your Miami HEAT have converted the contract of guard/forward Max Strus to a two-way contract.
Strus appeared in two preseason games with Miami this season averaging a team-leading 16.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field and 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from three-point range. He posted 22 points, all off the bench, last night against Toronto while connecting on 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, helping the HEAT to a, 117-105, win.
Strus split last season between the Chicago Bulls and their G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls. He appeared in two games with Chicago totaling five points and one rebound in 6:14 minutes of action while shooting 2-of-3 from the field and connecting on his only free throw. He also appeared in 13 games (12 starts) for Windy City, before suffering a season-ending injury, and averaged 18.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 34.9 minutes while shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 96.3 percent from the foul line.
Strus played two seasons at DePaul University after transferring from Lewis University. As a senior at DePaul in 2018-19, he appeared in 35 games (all starts) and averaged 20.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 37.4 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from three-point range and 84.2 percent from the foul line. Among DePaul’s all-time leaders, he finished third in three-point field goals made (194), fourth in career scoring average (18.6) and fifth in career free throw percentage (.825). He scored 705 points as a senior, joining Mark Aguirre as the only players in school history to score at least 700 points in a single season. Additionally, Strus recorded eight career 30-point games, joining Aguirre (17), George Mikan (13) and Tom Kleinschmidt (8) as the only players in program history with at least five 30-point games.
One Smart Dog
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