News Flash


Posted on: May 20, 2020

President's Message


May 20, 2020 COVID-19 Update # 10

For 7 days in a row, our region is within all the metrics required to be in phase 3 of our Governor’s plan. Today, our positivity rate dropped once again. The daily positivity rate today was 15% in our Northeast region. We are seeing a decrease in the numbers of people hospitalized, the numbers of people in the ICU, and the numbers of people on the ventilators.

Till today, Oak Brook has had a total of 92 Covid-19 cases. 78 of these cases are from the one long term facility we have, including 13 deaths.

The best news today from Springfield is that our Governor announced that restaurants and bars will be able to open end of this month with outside seating in patios. Most of our restaurants in Oak Brook will create or expand their patios or get tents depending on parameters outlined by Governor’s office. Sidewalk cafes will be expanded in some towns, and some streets will need be closed to facilitate outdoor dining.

Also, earlier today the Governor and the Illinois Department of Public Heath rescinded the Emergency rule that would have resulted in Class A misdemeanor charges for businesses that would open in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order. This emergency rule was just enacted by the Governor last Friday evening, but was quickly opposed by small businesses, by Mayors, and by most legislators from both sides of the aisle. It was a clear case of legal overreach.

All state parks will reopen on May 29. People will be able to go outside for a walk or a picnic, provided the group is not larger than 10, with appropriate safe distancing and face masking. Indoor and outdoor tennis facilities will reopen. For golfers, the courses can now allow foursomes out on the same tee times. Boating and camping with up to 10 people will be permitted. Nail salons, spas, beauty and barber shops can open with safety precautions. All retail stores can open their doors to in-person shopping with safety precautions and capacity limits in place. Gyms can reopen for outdoor and 1:1 instruction. Our residents are finally seeing a glimmer of light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

The issue of swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor, has yet to be addressed. Question still remains whether it is safe to be around water. According to CDC, there is no evidence thus far that coronavirus can be spread through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. CDC states that proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) should inactivate the virus in the water.

Finally, in the midst of the doom and gloom of this pandemic, Ms. Aarti Tekchandani Karamchandani and Ms. Angelique Lopez have graciously taken the lead in organizing a Parade in honor of the Class of 2020, slated for this Saturday, May 23 at 10 AM. The Village of Oak Brook is pleased to support this special event with both our Police and Fire departments participating in its full glory. This celebration will certainly bring some excitement and some smile on the faces of Oak Brook’s graduating 8th graders and high school seniors. For details, kindly contact the organizers or visit our website. It goes without saying that safe distancing and wearing of face masks is expected during this celebration.

I believe optimism is in the air as we return to near normalcy in the next coming weeks and months. Of course, development of specific anti-viral treatment and vaccine for prevention of Covid-19 infection is at least 6-12 months away. Till then, stay positive, stay hopeful, stay prayerful, and stay safe.

Thank you for your kind attention.

May 15, 2020 COVID-19 Update # 9

Our region, the Northeast Region of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan, is within all the metrics in Phase 3 with positivity rate today of 17%. We need to stay under 20%. A decreasing score is desirable. Each metric has to average these numbers for 14 days.

Today, Illinois had 2,432 new cases, compared to 3,239 new cases yesterday. Illinois had 130 deaths today, compared to 138 deaths yesterday. The death total in Illinois is 4,058.

Today, Covid-19 cases in DuPage County have increased by 165 cases, compared to 223 cases yesterday. Today, we had 7 deaths. We now have a total of 5,622 cases in DuPage County, and total of 278 deaths.

How many of the increase in cases are from the increase in testing is any one’s guess. You won’t get that information or transparency from the health care experts who parade on TV every afternoon. My hunch is ~ 75% is from testing of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people, while ~ 25% are from those who are moderately ill or in the hospital.

As of few hours ago, Oak Brook has 85 cases, out of which 78 cases are from the one long term facility we have, including 13 deaths.

In our DuPage hospitals, today we had 93 ICU beds available compared to yesterday’s 110 ICU beds available, out of total of 475 ICU beds. Today, 254 ventilators were available compared to 214 ventilators available yesterday.

Happy to report that the critical or serious Covid-19 cases which are the type that cause hospital overcrowding and the use of ICU beds and ventilators, are on the decline both globally and in the USA. 98.5% of the Covid-19 cases are generally mild.


1. We need to insist that Governor Pritzker decouples DuPage County from City of Chicago and Cook County. Oak Brook (and the rest of DuPage County) is ready to re-open NOW, in phases, with appropriate safe distancing, face masking, and other hygienic measures. We see no reason for DuPage County to wait for Cook County to meet the metrics outlined in the Governor’s Plan. Cook County has density and other characteristics including population of over 5.1 million that could make it longer to meet the safety metrics.

2. Small businesses are 99.6% of all businesses in Illinois. They have either gone out of business or are on life support at this time. They certainly will not survive the time it will take to reopen the State under the Governor’s current plan.

3. DuPage County has ample General Medical hospital beds and ICU beds, and more than sufficient ventilators. These capacities have been steadily growing as evidenced from several updates I’ve written over the last few weeks. The hospital capacity parameters when coupled with the fact that our positivity rates are so much lower than 20% puts DuPage County in a transition to phase 4 of the Governor’s Plan, and NOW we should be able to quickly reopen.

4. Based on logic, common sense, and scientistic data, the Governor needs to reconfigure the Region 8 of his Plan NOW, so that DuPage County can reopen soon and safely, in a thoughtful and measured manner. Cook County and the City of Chicago are large enough to form its own “region”. Chicago’s Mayor Lightfoot said last week that Chicago is materially different from the rest of the state, and requires “stricter reopening standards, based upon data that’s different here than in other parts of the state”, which is another way of her saying that she agrees with us that Oak Brook (and DuPage County) have different reopening standards than the City of Chicago.

I rest my case.

Thank you for your kind attention. As always, stay safe, stay strong, stay hopeful, and stay prayerful.

May 12, 2020 COVID-19 UPDATE # 8

Illinois today had 4,014 new cases, compared to 1,266 new cases yesterday, 1,706 new cases Sunday, and 2,225 new cases Saturday. Illinois also had additional 144 deaths today compared to 54 deaths yesterday, 57 deaths Sunday, and 108 deaths Saturday.

Oak Brook now has 77 confirmed cases as of few hours ago, 61 of them are from the one long term facility we have, including 10 deaths.

The Northeastern Region of Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan includes DuPage County. According to the plan, the entire region needs a 20% positivity rate over a 14-day period. I am happy to report to you that DuPage County has tested below this rate consistently. However, for the entire Northeastern region including Chicago and Cook County, the positivity rate is 21.4%.

The hospitals in DuPage today had 110 of its 472 beds available, compared to 98 yesterday. 242 ventilators are available today, compared to 244 of 397 ventilators yesterday.

Today, at our Village Board meeting, we uninamously passed a resolution urging Governor Pritzker to reconsider the health “regions” and to decouple Oak Brook and the rest of DuPage County from Chicago and Cook County. Chicago Mayor Lightfoot herself recognizes that Chicago is materially different from the rest of the state of Illinois and requires “stricter” reopening standards. The Village of Oak Brook requests our General Assembly to convene soon and provide the Governor with a measure of legislative guidance to balance his assertion of “executive supremacy” to treat Oak Brook and DuPage County as an extension of Chicago for health planning and recovery reasons.

The article in the Tribune last week shown below summarizes my thoughts about the Governor’s 5-phase plan as too slow, too rigid, and doomed to fail. Oak Brook and the rest of DuPage County are ripe to reopen NOW in phases, with restrictions include safe distancing, wearing a mask, and other hygienic measures. All businesses are essential. Livelihoods are essential. Of course, safety is paramount, and we should never compromise on that. The Governor should allow counties that have fulfilled the safety metrics to reopen, before its too late. Hope our Governor would listen to the pleas made by the DuPage Mayors and our businesses, and at least give them a fair hearing.

As always, stay safe, stay hopeful, stay strong, and stay prayerful.

May 9, 2020 -- COVID-19 UPDATE

Today in Illinois there has been 2,225 new cases compared to 2,887 new cases yesterday. Illinois also had additional 108 deaths today compared to 130 deaths yesterday. The death total in Illinois is now 3,349 out of total positive cases of 76,085.

Today in DuPage there has been 142 new cases compared to 123 cases yesterday. In addition, 10 deaths were reported today. We now have a total of 4,520 cases in DuPage with a total of 247 deaths. 84% of the cases in DuPage are associated with long term care facilities.

Oak Brook as of today has had a total of 66 cases. 61 of the cases are from the one long term care facility we have In Oak Brook, including 10 deaths.

On the brighter side, In the Northeastern region (including DuPage), hospital daily admissions did decrease from May 1st to May 6th from 307 to 280. It should be noted that 18% of hospital beds, 19% of ICU beds, and 64% of ventilators are available.

We have been most disappointed with the Governor’s 5-phase plan which I believe is ill-conceived, too slow, and doomed to fail. Also, lumping in DuPage County with Chicago and Cook County is not quite fair. Chicago is big enough to have its own region, and its Mayor yesterday came up with its own reopening plan. Neither our Governor nor Chicago’s Mayor consulted or sought input from our legislative leaders or our DuPage Mayors before coming up with their respective reopening plans. The DuPage Mayors sent a letter out last week to the Governor requesting for a meeting; we have had no response as yet. The Executive Board of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference will next meet on Monday to discuss our own plan to reopen DuPage County in a measured and thoughtful manner, and in phases, keeping the safety metrics front and center.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Wishing all the mothers out there a joyful and a blessed day, in spite of the trials and tribulations we have all endured the last few months.

Till we chat again next week, stay safe, stay strong, stay hopeful, and stay prayerful.

May 6, 2020 -- COVID-19 UPDATE

Today, Illinois had 2,270 new cases compared to 2, 122 cases yesterday. Today, Illinois had an additional 138 deaths compared to yesterday’s 176 deaths. Total deaths in Illinois is now 2, 974. Total cases confirmed in Illinois is now 68, 232.

What I’m not able to determine from the data presented is how many of these cases are asymptomatic people who went for testing and turned out positive, how many of them are mildly symptomatic and are self-isolating at home, and how many cases are severely symptomatic resulting in hospitalization. My most educated guess as I closely look at the DuPage County data is that ~ 25% of the cases are in the hospital, and the rest ~ 75% are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. With increasing availability of testing, my hunch is that a larger number of the new cases reported will be from the asymptomatic group. As we lump these increasing number of asymptomatic positives in the “new cases”, we may never reach our peak or see the descending limb of the pandemic curve.

Total cases in DuPage County residents as of this afternoon is 4, 082, including 217 deaths. Since yesterday, there are 160 new cases of Covid-19 in DuPage County including 11 deaths reported.

Number of cases in Oak Brook is now up to 55 as of this afternoon, from 43 a week ago. 29 of these cases are from the one long term facility we have, including 5 deaths. Most of these cases are elderly residents with underlying other medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, heart and lung diseases.

Our Governor’s 5-phased plan to reopen the state’s economy unveiled yesterday is ill-conceived, too slow, and will not work. It looks like he is not willing to advance the reopening timetable. Our businesses are hurting badly, and if he drags this out into the summer, many of our businesses may be shut down completely by then. Livelihoods are at stake here. It is an economic survival issue. As a business man before he became our Governor, he surely should understand what our businesses are going through.

The Governor’s plan has grouped our districts into 4 regions. DuPage County has been lumped in with Cook County and Chicago which is not appropriate since we have different population densities with no scientific data to support grouping DuPage County or other collar communities with Chicago. The Cook County and Chicago numbers are going to hurt DuPage’s chances of opening our businesses and economy sooner. As far as the DuPage Mayors can tell, based on several hospital trends and other parameters, we are ripe for reopening in a thoughtful and staged manner NOW, and have requested the Governor’s consideration.

According to Governor’s plan, we are currently in phase 2. I believe we may not get to phase 3 till July or later when barbershops, salons, offices and manufacturing can reopen to the public with safety precautions, face masks, and social distancing. The Governor’s plan will probably not allow restaurants and bars to open up till August or later, when we hopefully will reach phase 4. Phase 5 will likely not be realized till next year when festivals, conventions, and large events will be allowed once vaccine or effective treatment becomes available or new cases are eliminated over a sustained period through herd immunity. Face masks and social distancing will be the norm throughout this entire period.

In spite of the fact that Illinois has a veto-proof Democratic majority in both its houses, it is time that our legislators from both sides of the aisle chime in on the serious happenings in Illinois. The Executive Powers of the Governor is one thing, but it’s time that the Mayors as well as our concerned residents have a dialogue with our legislators so as to bring accountability and sanity back. This can only happen if the Legislature is called back into session ASAP.

The coronavirus is here to stay. We all need to help mitigate this viral pandemic by staying home as much as feasible particularly those with underlying conditions, practicing social distancing, wearing face masks when in public space as well as washing hands and other hygienic measures. Public health is paramount. From a medical standpoint, more effective treatment and vaccine should hopefully be available in the next year or so. In the interim, we need to slowly open up our businesses in phases, while closely monitoring safety metrics. Our small businesses cannot withstand any further extension of this lockdown, and what baffles me the most is that larger outlets like Target, Walmart, and others are allowed to open under the lockdown, but smaller businesses cannot. Go figure!

Stay safe, stay hopeful, stay strong, and stay prayerful. This, too, shall pass.

May 2, 2020 -- COVID-19 UPDATE

Till today, total Covid-19 cases in DuPage County is 3, 439 including 189 deaths. Of the 189 deaths, 137 of them are related to elderly patients from long term care facilities with other underlying conditions. Today, there are 194 new cases including 15 deaths reported. Yesterday, 152 new cases were reported, and 10 deaths. The day before we had 195 new cases. The information that I am not able to get is how many of the new cases are related to asymptomatic people who simply went for testing for no specific reason but their fear or anxiety over this viral pandemic, how many of them have mild disease and self-isolating at home, and how many have more critical illness and are admitted to the hospitals. My hunch is that increasing number of the new cases are due to more testing being done in the asymptomatic group. But, we need more detailed and transparent data to confirm this.

Hospitalization rates are stable statewide with 1263 ICU beds in use yesterday, and 1293 the day before. There are a total of 3, 667 ICU beds statewide. Of those, 777 were on ventilators yesterday, and 785 the day before, leaving
2, 894 ventilators available for use.

In our DuPage hospitals, more ICU beds are available. Yesterday, 88 of 508 ICU beds were available, compared to 65 beds available the day before. 212 of 313 ventilators were available yesterday compared 207 out of 311 the day before. The good news is that we don’t have swamped hospitals overrun with covid patients in DuPage County. The bad news is that hospital officials have indicated that their revenue is down 50% over the past two months so that they are forced to impose pay cuts (and furloughs) to their employees and their employed physicians. There maybe layoffs in the offing if the trend continues. The occupancy in DuPage County hospitals is down to 60-70%. There is a perception out there that most of the patients at the hospitals are covid-19 patients, but in actuality it is much less. At Edward and Elmhurst hospitals, ~ 24% are Covid-positive patients. However, non-covid patients are staying away from hospitals including for outpatient testing.

Our new behaviors including physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and hygienic measures including frequent hand washing, are helping slow the spread of the virus and flattening the pandemic curve. DuPage County has been doing better than our neighboring counties in many ways including case and death rates. Illinois has 118 cases per 100K population, while DuPage has 102 cases per 100K population. The DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference under the able leadership of Mayor Steve Chirico of Naperville has been working hard to establish a dialogue with our Governor J.B. Pritzker so as to thoughtfully and in phases open up our businesses and our economy. DuPage County, with careful planning and some limits, is well positioned to open sooner rather than later. Public safety and health is paramount, but based on available information, we should aim to open up by mid-May.

Stay safe, stay prayerful, stay strong, and stay hopeful.

Thank you for your kind attention.

April 29, 2020 -- Covid-19 Update

Today, coronavirus cases in USA topped a million cases. Till today, Illinois has had > 2,125 deaths. The single worst day for deaths was today, 144 died in Illinois last 24 hours.

Today, in DuPage, Covid-19 cases increased by 114 cases, compared to 178 cases yesterday, and compared to 124 cases the day before. We now have a total of 2,739 cases in DuPage and 138 deaths. 72.4 % of DuPage deaths have been nursing home residents.

Till today, Oak Brook has a total of 43 cases, and at least 23 of them are from the one nursing home in Oak Brook.

Today, DuPage County approved an ordinance to waive late fees for property tax payers who are experiencing hardship due to Covid-19. This ordinance allows taxpayers who are unable to pay their first property tax assessment on time and requests them to pay it in September without assessment of late fees. Criteria for hardship include: termination of employment or lay-off, and reduction in household income of > 20%. For landlords, reduction in rent collected (80% or more), and for non-essential businesses who have shut down and who do not qualify for PPP program.

Yesterday, a downstate judge threw a legal bombshell and overturned Governor Pritzker’s new stay-at-home order that extends the lockdown to the end of May. The filing apparently claims that the law grants the Governor emergency powers for only 30 days. This could open the door to legal challenges from other individuals and groups. Stay tuned.

The DuPage Mayors are in active conversation to reopen our economy and our businesses in the next week or two, using strict guidelines, and at least in phases. We have requested a meeting with the Governor to address these urgent issues. I believe some counties like DuPage may have flattened the curve more than the other counties, and are now ripe for reopening. It baffles me that large outlet stores like Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, etc, have been open all through this pandemic, while smaller and boutique type of stores in Oak Brook are not able to do so. Additionally restaurants, bars, hotel banquet rooms, hair and nail salons, etc, could be allowed to open sooner as long as social distancing guidelines and use of face masks is incorporated as a pre-requisite.

Enough is enough. Let us get things moving again before the financial meltdown becomes more irreversible. Of course, public health and safety is paramount, and should never ever be compromised.

Finally, for the avid golfers out there, the golf courses will reopen this Friday, May 1. However, strict guidelines such as safe physical distancing, and other restrictions will apply.

Stay safe, stay strong, stay hopeful, and stay prayerful. This, too, shall pass. I seek your valued input as together we navigate this crippling pandemic, the likes of which we have never seen during our lifetime.

Thank you for your kind attention.

April 25, 2020 -- Latest COVID-19 News as of an hour or two ago. GOLFERS must read!

1. Today, it was announced that in Illinois there are 2,119 new cases and 80 deaths during the last 24 hours, as compared to 2,724 cases and 108 deaths yesterday. Hope and pray that this downward trend continues.

2. Today, DuPage County confirmed Covid-19 cases have increased by 124 cases compared to increase of 151 cases yesterday. In addition, today we had 2 deaths as compared to 7 deaths yesterday. One of the deaths was a female resident of the Oak Brook long term facility in her 90s with other health issues. Very encouraging statistic.

3. 73.2% of DuPage deaths have been from our nursing homes.

4. DuPage County is doing very well compared to other counties based on a per capita basis.

5. Hospitalizations, utilization of ICU beds and ventilators in Illinois are all remaining flat, and are NOT threatening hospital capacity. As a frontline physician taking cardiac care of the sick Covid-19 patients on a daily basis, I’m seeing lesser acuity of their illnesses and lesser number of cases as compared to several weeks ago.

6. A downstate municipality is contemplating allowing businesses to reopen in defiance of Governor’s order.

7. A lawsuit was filed downstate challenging Governor’s right to extend the order past the 30 days allowed by statute.

8. Lastly, for the golfers out there, there is GREAT news. Few hours ago the Governor’s office at the insistence of many suburban municipalities shall be permitting golf as a recreational activity beginning 6:00 AM, May 1st. Social distancing, no hand shaking, and several other precautions as well as operational restrictions will apply.

The DuPage mayors (including yours truly) are continuing to work collectively and collaboratively to open our businesses and our economy, at least in phases, sooner rather than later.

As always, stay safe, stay strong, stay careful, and stay prayerful. This, too, shall pass.

PS Kindly don’t forget to wear your masks when stepping out into public places, and wash your hands frequently. Better safe than sorry!

April 23, 2020 -- COVID-19 UPDATE:

Today, Illinois reports 1,826 new cases bringing the total positive cases to 36,934 in 96 counties of our state. There have been additional 123 deaths today bringing Illinois’ death toll to 1,688 lives.

Today, 4,877 persons are hospitalized with the virus in Illinois, occupying 1,268 ICU beds and utilizing 766 ventilators.

Till today, DuPage County has had a total of 2,075 cases, and a total of 128 deaths. 71% of DuPage deaths have been nursing home deaths. In Oak Brook, we have had 37 confirmed cases at this point, out of which 12 reside in the one nursing home we have. Due to privacy laws, no additional information can be shared about those afflicted with the virus in our community.

I am happy to report that most people who contract the virus will recover quickly and completely. 60% of the people will recover in 2 weeks, and 77% will recover in 4 weeks. The percentage of cases that are serious or critical now are less than 2%. These are encouraging statistics but we need to continue to do our part. Those with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, heart and lung diseases as well as older age groups have more difficulty in the recovery process.

As many of you know, our Governor today extended Illinois’ stay at home order through the end of May. Beginning May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face covering or a mask in public indoor spaces such as stores as well as in public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. While it is possible that Illinois may not have reached its peak of this viral illness, some of our counties like DuPage County may have flattened the curve more than the other counties in our state. I am working hard to collect meaningful data so as to formulate my own conclusions in advocacy of our community. With all due respect, the Governor needs to be more up front with his assumptions and data, and further explain the modeling used, and the conclusions he may have reached. As the saying goes: “In God we trust, all others must bring data”.

Where do we go from here?

Once the public health hazard has stabilized and abates, we need to quickly re-open our society, including our businesses, as long as we abide by social distancing guidelines, personal protection including face masks, and best practices for disinfection including frequent hand washing, etc. Our restaurants and bars should open sooner rather than later, for on-site service with appropriate limits on occupancy and seating, keeping physical distancing guidelines in mind. Beauty salons, barbers, and cosmetologists could be allowed to open by appointment only. Likewise, automobile dealers could transact business by appointment. Golf courses and state parks should be allowed to re-open. Hotels and banquet facilities should be available again for meetings, wedding receptions, etc. Places of worship should be encouraged to open as well, keeping in mind that our “new normal” will need to include distancing guidelines, face-masks, and hygienic measures that we have recently become accustomed to. Hospitals and surgi-centers will hopefully soon be able to do elective surgeries if they follow certain criteria.

Rough times are ahead for each one of us both in terms of public health, as well as the economic recovery that needs to follow rather soon. Of course, we need to keep our faith. This, too, shall pass. But, the time has come to reopen Illinois, at least in phases, and some counties that have either already peaked and are at lower risk could do so sooner than the rest.

April 22, 2020 -- Update

Making a plea to all of you that we ought to wear a face mask/covering when out in a public place. All residents, visitors, and store workers are strongly urged to do so. This face mask requirement does not apply to people who are out alone either jogging or walking for exercise, or driving alone in their cars, or are in their backyards with members of their family. Those who do not medically tolerate a face-covering will be exempt as well.

In addition to safe distancing and frequent hand washing as well as other hygienic measures, wearing a mask is yet another tool that will help tide the community spread of the coronavirus during this global pandemic. This temporary and reasonable request is our attempt to meet a fine balance between one’s civil liberties and public health. This executive order is NOT punitive in any form; there will be no citations, fines, tickets, or arrests.


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