Illinois Governor Pritzker Announces Updates on Hospitalizations, Ventilator Capacity


State Increases Doubling Rate, Efforts to Flatten the Curve Continue

Chicago, IL (STL.News) Building on measures to address the health and safety of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker provided an update on the state’s medical capacity to treat residents impacted by COVID-19.

“These numbers are indicators of our growing ability to manage capacity within the healthcare systems across Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker.  “We need to stay the course for our efforts to remain effective. I will do what’s best to safeguard the health and safety of Illinois’ residents.”

The doubling rate is the rate of the number of days it takes for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, or deaths to double, a key metric in determining any flattening in the curve.  The shorter the doubling rate, the steeper the curve and the faster the growth.

On March 22, Illinois had a case doubling rate of just over two days, 2.02. And on April 1, the doubling rate was 3.61 days.  As of, April 12, the COVID-19 doubling rate is now at just over 8 days, 8.17.

As of April 13, 4,283 known COVID-19 patients and suspected COVID-19 patients were hospitalized.  COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) totaled 1,189, and 796 patients are on a ventilator.  Suspected COVID-19 patients are individuals under investigation and assumed to have COVID-19 for the purpose of medical treatment.

As of April 13, Illinois has a total of 30,134 hospital beds, 2,987 of which are intensive care unit (ICU) beds.  The state has 33 percent of all ICU beds available, 994 of 2,987, and 58 percent of ventilators are available, 1,742 of 3,140.

Beginning today, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will begin posting bed utilization data on their website.  The data will be updated daily.  The data can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19.



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DHSS settles two medical marijuana facility appeals, Green Precision Analytics, BeLeaf Medical • STL.News


Appeals were related to administrative issues, not scoring concerns

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has settled two appeals of medical marijuana facility application denials.  As a result of these settlements, DHSS will issue one new medical marijuana testing facility license and will exchange an existing medical marijuana dispensary license for a new medical marijuana dispensary license.

The new testing facility license will be issued to Green Precision Analytics, Inc., which was the fifth highest ranked testing facility applicant.  This will become the only testing facility in the Kansas City area.

The new dispensary facility license will be issued to BeLeaf Medical LLC for a facility on Manchester Ave. in St. Louis, Missouri, which was the eighteenth highest scoring applicant within Congressional District 1.  BeLeaf Medical LLC will surrender its existing dispensary facility license on Lafayette Ave. in St. Louis, Missouri.  Both BeLeaf Medical LLC applications received the same initial score and were “tied” in Congressional District 1.

In both instances, DHSS determined settlement best serves implementation of Article XIV, as the settlements will provide for two of the highest scoring applicants to contribute to enhanced patient access without placing additional product in the marketplace.  Neither case involved allegations with regard to scoring, as both applicants received scores among the very top.

“We remain committed to upholding our system of awarding licenses and will continue to defend the remaining appeals filed with the Administrative Hearing Commission,” said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director.  “These particular appeals were unrelated to scoring process concerns, and we are thankful these applicants will now be able to move forward with their business preparations so they can help us serve Missourians.”

Applicants who wished to appeal after being denied a medical marijuana facility license had 30 days to file a petition with the Administrative Hearing Commission.



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Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control temporarily waives restriction on some ‘to-go’ alcohol sales in Missouri


Move is to assist businesses facing severe challenges accompanying coronavirus pandemic

Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) The Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control today announced it is temporarily waiving a restriction on some “to-go” alcohol sales in an effort to assist businesses facing unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Because Missouri law limits ‘to-go’ alcohol sales to products in their original package, ATC is temporarily allowing retailer-packaged alcohol beverages under certain conditions:

The alcohol container must be durable, leakproof, and sealable, and must meet the minimum size requirements outlined in the Code of State Regulations [11 CSR 70-2.010(5)];

  • The customer must have ordered and purchased a meal simultaneous with the liquor purchase;
  • The licensee must provide the customer with a dated receipt for the alcohol beverage(s); and
  • The sealed alcohol container must either be:
  • Placed in a one-time-use, tamperproof, transparent bag which must be securely sealed, or;
  • The container opening must be sealed with tamperproof tape.

The change does not allow liquor licensees to sell mixed drinks in ‘to-go’ plastic or Styrofoam cups with straws or loose covers.

The change is designed to assist workers and retail licensees financially by allowing them to recover some alcohol sales that may have been lost as restaurants’ dining facilities closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The temporary expansion of the original package for ‘to-go’ sales will expire May 15.

Earlier, to assist liquor licensees, ATC on March 26 extended the deadlines for liquor license renewals and waived additional fees for two months.

Normally, liquor licenses expire each year on June 30, and applications for license renewals must be filed by May 1 of each calendar year.  Licensees that have not completed the renewal process by June 30 are required to cease alcohol-related business until their renewal has been processed and the renewed license(s) posted on the premises.  Progressing fines are imposed for late renewals.

ATC’s waiver will permit licensees to apply for renewals until July 1, 2020 without penalty.  Progressing fines would apply after July 1, instead of May 1.  Businesses that did not renew their licenses would not be required to cease alcohol-related business until Aug. 31, 2020.

The extended renewal season will close on Sept. 30, 2020.

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More Deaths Associated with COVID-19 Announced for the City of St Louis • STL.News


Deaths Related to COVID-19 Continue in the City of St. Louis

ST LOUIS, MO (STL.News) Deaths associated with COVID-19 in the City of St. Louis now stand at 26, after the Department of Health received notification today on the passing of an African American male and a Caucasian male, both in their 80’s.  The Department announced that there are no plans to release additional information on the patients due to privacy laws.

The Department of Health continues to plead with the community to stay at home.  If you must go out, physically distance yourself at least six feet from others.  Wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth is recommended if you think you’ll come into contact with others.  Another must is regularly washing your hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

As of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, 2020, there were10 pending COVID-19 test results approved by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, 179 persons being monitored, and 723 positive cases in the City of St. Louis.  For a breakdown of positive cases by zip code, visit stlouis-mo.gov/covid-19/data.

Visit https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/covid-19/ for accurate information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic or call the Department of Health’s hotline (314) 657-1499.



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UN chief on COVID-19 and misinformation • STL.News


(STL.News) António Guterres (UN Secretary-General) video message on COVID-19 and misinformation.

As the world fights the deadly COVID-19 pandemic – the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War – we are also seeing another epidemic — a dangerous epidemic of misinformation.

Around the world, people are scared. They want to know what to do and where to turn for advice.

This is a time for science and solidarity.

Yet the global ‘misinfo-demic’ is spreading.

Harmful health advice and snake-oil solutions are proliferating.

Falsehoods are filling the airwaves.

Wild conspiracy theories are infecting the Internet.

Hatred is going viral, stigmatizing and vilifying people and groups.

The world must unite against this disease, too.

The vaccine is trust.

First, trust in science.

I salute the journalists and others fact-checking the mountain of misleading stories and social media posts.

Social media companies must do more to root out hate and harmful assertions about COVID-19.

Second, trust in institutions — grounded in responsive, responsible, evidence-based governance and leadership.

And trust in each other. Mutual respect and upholding human rights must be our compass in navigating this crisis.

Together, let’s reject the lies and nonsense out there.

Today I am announcing a new United Nations Communications Response initiative to flood the Internet with facts and science while countering the growing scourge of misinformation — a poison that is putting even more lives at risk.

With common cause for common sense and facts, we can defeat COVID-19 — and build a healthier, more equitable, just and resilient world.

Thank you.

NOTE: YouTube video courtesy of UN



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Louisiana Gov. Edwards Signs Proclamation Moving Louisiana’s Elections Back Several Weeks


(STL.News) – Today, at the request of the Louisiana Secretary of State, Gov. John Bel Edwards has postponed Louisiana’s elections for another few weeks because of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.  The Governor originally moved the elections on March 13.

The June 20, 2020 Presidential Preference Primary election in Louisiana is hereby rescheduled for July 11, 2020 from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. The July 25, 2020 election is hereby rescheduled for August 15, 2020 from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

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Florida Attorney General Moody’s Office Issues 65 Subpoenas Related to Price Gouging


(STL.News) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Consumer Protection Division continues to fight price gouging—issuing investigative subpoenas, securing refunds and working to address consumer concerns in real time.  Attorney General Moody activated the Price Gouging Hotline following the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.  Since then, members of the Attorney General’s Rapid Response Team, Consumer Protection Division and Price Gouging Hotline have been working with a sense of urgency to deter price gouging.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “For more than a month now, my investigators and attorneys have been working diligently to deter price gouging, secure refunds and hold bad actors accountable.  These efforts are producing results, and a large part of that success is due to the great information we are receiving from Floridians who do not want to see their neighbors taken advantage of during these challenging times.  Please keep the reports coming and we will continue our efforts to deter price gouging and hold gougers accountable.”

Since activating Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline, the Florida Attorney General’s Office has:

  • Received approximately 2,700 consumer contacts about the price of essential commodities;
  • Made more than 3,800 referrals and contacts to merchants about allegations of price gouging, refunds and scams;
  • Secured more than $158,000 in refunds related to travel, leisure and product purchases;
  • Issued 65 subpoenas to further price gouging investigations; and
  • Worked with online platforms to deactivate more than 160 posts offering items for outrageous prices.

Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period.

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Valero Energy Corporation Announces Pricing of Notes Offering


SAN ANTONIO, TX (STL.News) Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO) announced today that it has priced a public offering of $850,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 2.700% Senior Notes due 2023 and $650,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 2.850% Senior Notes due 2025.  The offering is expected to close on April 16, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.  Valero intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

BofA Securities, Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Mizuho Securities USA LLC acted as joint book-running managers for the notes.

Copies of the prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from BofA Securities, Inc. at 1-800-294-1322, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. at 1-800-831-9146, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC collect at 1-212-834-4533 and Mizuho Securities USA LLC at 1-866-271-7403, and online at www.sec.gov.



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Indiana Gov. Holcomb to Provide Updates in the Fight Against COVID-19 •


(STL.News) – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, the Indiana State Department of Health and other state leaders will host a virtual media briefing in the Governor’s Office to provide updates on COVID-19 and its impact on Indiana.

WHO: Gov. Holcomb

U.S. Sen. Todd Young

State Health Commissioner Kristina Box, M.D., FACOG

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, April 14

Media outlets that wish to broadcast the press conference live are encouraged to use the high quality livestream.  The livestream is also available to the public.  Direct Link: https://livestream.com/accounts/18256195/events/9054752/player?width=960&height=540&enableInfoAndActivity=true&defaultDrawer=feed&autoPlay=true&mute=false

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