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TRACKING CORONAVIRUS IN ILLINOIS:
April 30, 2020
Face mask order starts Friday
Everyone in Illinois will be required to wear a face mask when in a public place where social distancing is not possible starting Friday.
That includes grocery stores, workplaces, and public transit.
Faster test results, army of contact tracers needed
Scientists leading the fight against the global pandemic say rapidly detecting and tracing COVID-19 infections is the only way to isolate infected people from those who are healthy or vulnerable.
The state must get more test results faster and hire tens of thousands of contact tracers in order to accurately track and address the coronavirus pandemic in Illinois.
Some businesses can reopen, even partially, starting Friday
Illinois' modified stay-at-home order takes effect May 1 and will allow some businesses to reopen fully with social distancing measures, while others can reopen for delivery or curbside pickup.
Garden centers, nurseries, pet groomers, and golf courses are among the businesses that can reopen with social distancing measures. There will also be a phased reopening of state parks.
Non-essential retail businesses will be allowed to take orders by phone or online for curbside pickup or delivery.
Illinois unemployment claims spike to 830K statewide
More than 30 million Americans have now filed for unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Illinois, there are more than 81,000 new unemployment claims. The statewide total is more than 830,000 filings.
Many people are still complaining about issues when trying to apply for jobless benefits.
3rd lawsuit filed against Illinois' stay-at-home order
The governor is now facing a third lawsuit over the extended stay-at-home order. The most recent was filed in federal court by a pastor who accuses the governor of being hostile to churches.
Pastor Steve Cassell with Beloved Church in Lena, Illinois, is now challenging the governor's restrictions on church gatherings.
He's seeking a temporary restraining order to allow his congregation to once again meet in person and not online. Stephenson County, where his church is located, has had just 35 COVID-19 cases and no deaths, according to the Department of Public Health.
Illinois suffers 2nd deadliest day since pandemic began
Illinois health officials announced 2,563 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday and 141 additional deaths, the second highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. That brings the state's total cases to 52,918 and 2,355 deaths.
The virus has spread to 97 counties, with Brown County now reporting a case.
Illinois has performed just under 270,000 COVID-19 tests so far, with 13,200 specimens tested in the last 24 hours.
Businesses get ready for partial reopening
Businesses across Illinois are getting ready to partially reopen as part of Governor JB Pritzker's modified stay-at-home order that takes effect May 1.
While shopping in a store will still not allowed, delivery and curbside pick up will be available, a small relief for many businesses that have been on a Financial rollercoaster for weeks.
In La Grange, the business community organized a "thank you" parade was held. Business owners in their cars drove around town to thank their customers for their support during this challenging time.
UIC surgery technician dies days before scheduled retirement
UIC surgery technician Juan Martinez, Sr., died just days before he was scheduled to retire.
Martinez, 60, had spent 34 years working in healthcare.
His 75-year-old mother-in-law tested positive with COVID-19 along with his wife and daughter Angela.
It's been a trying month for their family.
"It's scary, it's scary because this thing can you know can take your loved one in a matter of days and in a matter of weeks," Martinez said. "My dad started with symptoms April 10 and we're not even at the end of April and my dad's gone."
House party violating social distancing order held in home owned by CFD commander
A Chicago townhome where a large party was held is owned by a Chicago Fire Department commander.
Video of the party has been viewed more than one million times on social media. Janeal Wright, who said he didn't fully understand social distancing or the state's stay-at-home order, admitted to throwing the party at the Galewood townhome.
Wright's mother is CFD Commander Christine Matthews, who 46th Ward Alderman Gilbert Villegas said owns the home.
A Chicago Fire Media spokesperson confirmed that Matthews is being investigated for an unrelated video made as part of the "Don't Rush Challenge" to see if it violated city policy.
Willie Wilson to bail out 12 Cook Co. Jail detainees, donate face masks amid virus outbreak
Chicago businessman and former mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson plans to bail out 12 Cook County jail detainees Thursday before giving them each $400 along with face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The detainees are all charged with non-violent misdemeanors.
Wilson also plans to donate 10,000 face masks for other detainees and staff at the jail.
So far, 700 detainees and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 cases and six detainees and one correctional officer have died from the virus.
April 29, 2020
DuPage County mayors ask for exemption from extended stay-at-home order
A group of mayors representing towns in DuPage County, including Naperville and Oak Brook, have written to Governor Pritzker asking for an exemption from the extended stay at home order so they can reopen busineses.
The mayors have proposed a phased reopening plan, and say they believe they shouldn't be subject to the same rules as Chicago since the virus is progressing differently in their towns.
Remesivir shows promise as COVID-19 treatment in first major trial
Experimental drug remdesivir, originally developed for Ebola, has shown success and positive results for treating COVID-19 in its first large scale trial.
Multiple Chicago area research hospitals, including UI Health, Cook County Health and Northwestern Medicine, are participating in the continued clinical trials.
Illinois' COVID-19 cases top 50K
The number of coronavirus cases reported in Illinois surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, according to state health officials.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,253 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state's total to 30,355.
The state's death toll has reached 2,215, IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
Cell phone data shows more Illinoisans leaving home
New cell phone location data shows people across Illinois and Indiana are starting to leave their homes more than before.
Our data team obtained cell phone location information analyzed by the data company SafeGraph. It shows the number of people remaining indoors all day crept down over the course of last week.
In Illinois, 42% of phones analyzed did not leave the house on April 24th, down from 46% the week before.
Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge seeks to give renters, homeowners relief
Mayor Lori Lightfoot stood by home lenders and landlord associations to announce the Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge.
The pledge seeks to provide relief to homeowners and renters who have been impacted by the COVD-19 pandemic.
The pledge calls for home-lenders and landlords to provide grace periods for mortgage payments and rents, no late fees for missed payments and other measures.
Mayor Lightfoot emphasized that those who can continue to make payments should continue to meet their obligations.
2nd lawmaker files suit against stay-at-home order
A second Republican lawmaker has filed a lawsuit against Governor JB Pritzker's stay-at-home order.
John Cabello from the Rockford area filed the lawsuit two days after fellow Republican lawmaker Darren Bailey was granted a temporary restraining order from the extension of the order.
The restraining order applies only to Bailey. Governor Pritzker has filed an appeal to the ruling and has called Bailey's lawsuit a "cheap political stunt."
April 28, 2020
Chicago doctor who treated coronavirus in Wuhan says lessons learned offer hope for Illinois
It's been almost three months since COVID-19 was first declared a global public health emergency and it's been three months since Chicago doctor Shu-Yuan Xiao was in Wuhan, China, where it began.
Even though Wuhan is five times larger than Chicago, and its residents live in much denser conditions, COVID-19 death rates for the two cities are about the same and Chicago's coronavirus infection rate is slightly higher.
Cook County deputy locked in 'brutal' battle with coronavirus
53-year-old County Deputy Richard O'Brien was already fighting heart problems and stage one leukemia when he came down with COVID-19.
Since he's been on ventilation, the family is left with just a daily FaceTime call with the help of nurses, even though he's not conscious.
Cicero scrap metal workers walk off job after coworker dies from COVID-19
Workers at United Scrap Metal have walked off the job after they say one of their coworkers died from the coronavirus.
A spokesperson for the town of Cicero said inspectors were inside the plant as early as Monday, and didn't see any reason for concern. But employees say they have had to procure their own facemasks, and the bathrooms have been running out of soap with which to wash their hands.
New questions about how many Illinois state prison inmates are being released due to COVID-19
New questions were being raised Tuesday night about how many inmates have actually been released from state prisons because of the COVID-19 crisis, and whether there are dangerous felons among them?
A list compiled by the Illinois Department of Corrections has the names of nearly 4,000 state inmates released since March 1.
Although they were released as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the state and state prisons, the records, released under a Freedom of Information filing, do not spell out whether any of them were cut loose because of the coronavirus danger.
Record-high COVID-19 deaths reported in last 24 hours
Illinois saw a record-high 144 COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour period health officials said Tuesday as the statewide coronavirus death toll surpassed 2,000.
Public health officials reported 2,219 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday for a total of 48,102 cases, including 2,125 deaths. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have processed 14,561 specimens for a total of 242,189.
Gov. Pritzker files appeal to judge's order in stay-at-home lawsuit
Governor JB Pritzker said his office has filed an appeal to a judge's ruling in a lawsuit over an extension to the state's stay-at-home order.
The lawsuit was filed by Republican State Representative Darren Bailey from downstate Xenia. A judge ruled in favor of Bailey and granted a temporary restraining order, which applies only to Bailey.
Pritzker has said Bailey has ulterior motives. In filing the appeal, the governor said he wants the judge's decision to be "reversed and vacated."
COVID-19 cluster reported at nursing home in Cicero
Testing at City View Multicare Center in west suburban Cicero has revealed 163 patients and 31 staff members have COVID-19.
The residents who have tested positive are being quarantined on three floors. the nursing home said.
The facility has been cited for 10 safety violations related to COVID-19 issues
The Illinois Department of Public health is also mandating the entire staff to be tested. Visitation at the facility has been suspended.
Polish Military Medical Corps assisting Illinois COVID-19 response
Members of the Polish Military Medical Corps are in Chicago to help with the state's response to COVID-19.
They've made several stops since arriving in town, including a visit to the Cook County Emergency Operations Center and a testing center in Harwood Heights.
The Polish delegation not only responded to Covid-19 in their own country, they were also on the ground in Italy.
The Polish military has had a long-standing relationship with the Illinois National Guard.
April 27, 2020
Judge rules in favor of lawmaker who sued over stay-at-home order
A judge has ruled in favor of an Illinois lawmaker who filed a lawsuit last week over Gov. JB Pritzker's extended stay-at-home order.
Republican State Representative Darren Bailey from downstate Xenia filed a lawsuit last week challenging the governor's authority to issue a stay-at-home order.
That ruling applies only to that one lawmaker. It does not lift the stay-at-home order for anyone else.
The ruling comes as Illinois' coronavirus death toll reached just under 2,000 over the weekend. Illinois health officials announced 1,980 new COVID-19 cases and 50 additional deaths on Monday.
There are now 45,883 cases confirmed in the state, including 1,983 deaths. In the past 24 hours, more than 12,000 tests have been processed.
Thousands of nursing home workers set strike date
Thousands of nursing home workers in Illinois say they will go on strike because they are concerned about their safety on the job.
The SEIU said the soonest workers would walk out would be May 8, a week from Friday.
The union represents employees at 40 nursing homes, but said they have complaints about at least 100 facilities.
GOP leaders want details on inmates released during pandemic
Illinois Republicans are renewing demands for more information on inmates released during the coronavirus pandemic. They said Monday that Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration hasn't been transparent and that inmates released during the pandemic include those with violent criminal histories. The Democrat signed an order earlier this month allowing furloughs for "medically vulnerable" inmates during the public health crisis, but state officials haven't been specific on the numbers. A message left for Pritzker's office hasn't been returned. State data shows 153 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, with the vast majority at Stateville Correction Center in Crest Hill.
Chicago launches COVID Coach App
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and health officials announced the launch of the Chi COVID Coach App.
The app was built in partnership with Google and MTX and it will allow CDPH to communicate directly with Chicago residents who may be COVID-19 positive or experiencing symptoms.
The app creates an opportunity for residents to pre-register for vaccine dissemination once it becomes available. Though a vaccine may be many months away, CDPH is already taking steps to prepare for mass vaccination.
Trump suggests Illinois should not ask for federal bailout
President Donald Trump took to Twitter Monday morning to suggest states, specifically Illinois, should not be asking for a federal bailout as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The president wrote, " Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?"
President Trump and Governor Pritzker have criticized each other in regards to the federal response to the pandemic.
Free COVID-19 testing site opens on West Side
A new testing site in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago's West Side is fully up and running at Loretto Hospital.
Tests are being done for free and patients can expect results in about 72 hours from the rapid nasopharyngeal (NP) or nose swab test.
The site is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both drive-up and walk-in testing options are available.
April 26, 2020
Pritzker responds to video allegedly showing large Chicago party
After a video surfaced allegedly showing a large house party in Chicago, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker warned that those violating social distancing guidelines are "literally putting everyone around you in danger."
Gov. Pritzker responded to the reports of the house party at his daily COVID-19 briefing Sunday.
"I want to remind everyone that by doing that, by standing together, not social distancing, many people not wearing masks, you're literally putting everyone around you in danger. You are," Gov. Pritzker said. "They are putting you in danger. And very importantly, all of those people are putting their families and their friends who are not there with them in danger."
In the video, dozens of people are seen packed shoulder to shoulder inside what is believed to be a Chicago home. While some guests are wearing masks, most are not.
Chicago police issued a statement about the social media video, saying they are away of its existence. But the department hasn't been able to pinpoint the location of the party, even though toward the end of the video someone appears to yell that police are on the way.
Number of virus deaths climbs to nearly 2,000 in Illinois
The death toll of the coronavirus crisis inched closer to the 2,000 mark in Illinois, as state officials say that the virus had taken 59 more lives. Sunday's announcement puts the number of people in Illinois killed by the virus at 1,933 and the 2,126 new COVID-19 cases in Illinois puts the state total at 43,903. The health department also says that there have been confirmed virus cases in 96 of the state's 102 counties. At a news conference, Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned people thinking of violating statewide social distancing requirements that they risk arrest if they do so.
Nonprofit opens Illinois site to clean masks amid pandemic
A biochemical research company has opened up a new site in Illinois to sterilize used N95 medical masks with hydrogen peroxide gas as the need for them has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Chicago Tribune reports Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle started the cleaning process at the Waukegan sterilization facility this month. The nonprofit's CEO, Lewis Von Thaer, says the facility is intended to serve hospitals and first responders for free. Company officials say the site can clean as many as 80,000 masks daily. Battelle says the Illinois site has been sterilizing masks for Advocate Aurora Health's Illinois and Wisconsin hospitals.
April 25, 2020
McCormick Place alternate care facility to undergo changes
Gov. JB Pritzker confirmed that alterations, including removing beds, are being made to the McCormick Place alternate care facility.
The governor said he's expecting the state will need fewer beds than originally planned.
Illinois' COVID-19 cases top 40K as state ramps up testing
As Illinois increases its testing across the state, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has surpassed 40,000.
Illinois health officials announced 2,119 new COVID-19 cases and 80 additional deaths on Saturday. There are now 41,777 cases confirmed in the state, and a death toll of 1,874.
"Over the last 24 hours, we ran 11,985 tests," Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Saturday. "We have been ramping up testing. This will allow us to make more informed decisions moving forward."
State health officials confirmed Saturday that there's been a spike in calls to the Illinois Poison Center after President Trump suggested injecting disinfectant to fight COVID-19.
Dr. Ezike urged residents to listen to scientists and health experts about how to stay healthy during the pandemic.
"Injecting, ingesting, snorting household cleaners is dangerous. It is not advised and can be deadly," Dr. Ezike said over the weekend.
April 24, 2020
New antibody test underway at Chicago's Rush hospital
Testing is underway at Rush University Medical Center to determine if antibodies can be an effective treatment for COVID-19.
Hospital staff and students are being tested to see whether they've contracted the virus.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Bala Hota, who's is involved in the trial study, said the testing could be used to better understand the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We really see an opportunity at Rush to learn and to find the science around how these tests are meaningful," Dr. Hota said. "I think nationally we need a 'back-to-work' strategy. We need to understand how we can really understand whether we're immune, whether when we've been exposed and we've gotten over it."
Stunning new numbers for COVID-19 cases in IL nursing homes
New data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows COVID-19 cases grew exponentially since last week. Coronavirus cases are now in more counties and more facilities.
According to new state data released Friday and examined by the I-Team, coronavirus cases at long term care facilities more than doubled the past few days; from 18,60 cases to more than 4,200. The number of deaths has also surged from 286 to 624.
Melrose Park police officer dies from COVID-19
Melrose Park police announced one of their officers has died from complications from COVID-19, the department's first coronavirus death.
Joseph Cappello died Friday, the Melrose Park Police Department spokesman said.
Chicago family loses mother, son to COVID-19; father finds out after coming off ventilator
A Chicago family has been devastated by coronavirus. In less than a week the Tapiru family lost a mother and her 20-year-old son to the virus, and which their father only learned after being taken off a ventilator for his own battle with the virus.
While 20-year-old Luis Tapiru Luis was battling COVID-19 at home, his parents, Josephine and Luis Sr., were already in the hospital. Four days after Luis died, 56-year-old Josephine also died from COVID-19. Family members said she got sick first.
Illinois sees more than 2K new COVID-19 cases after surpassing testing goal
Illinois public health officials announced 2,724 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, the largest 24-hour increase in new cases to date, as well as 108 additional deaths.
Gov. JB Pritzker announced the state performed 16,124 COVID-19 tests in a single day, achieving his daily goal of 10,000 tests for the first time. Health officials attributed the spike in new cases to expanded testing.
"Obviously, when you test more people, you are going to find more cases," Illinois Dept. of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
There are now a total of 39,658 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Illinois and a total of 1,795 deaths.
April 23, 2020
Before Cook County Jail prisoner died of COVID, wife says she called 132 times for help
Nickolas Lee, 42, died of coronavirus on April 12. Lee was the third of six Cook County Jail detainees to have died from COVID-19 according to jail officials.
His wife on Thursday told the I-Team that she tried to get help for him when he first got sick in his cell in late March.
"I called over 132 times no one was there to help me no one was there to help him." Greer-Lee said.
A federal judge in Chicago is expected to decide by Monday whether to order the release of a large number of Cook County Jail detainees because of the threat from COVID-19.
Gov. Pritzker extends stay-at-home order with changes through end of May
llinois Governor JB Pritzker announced Thursday he will extend the state's stay-at-home order through the end of May with modifications.
Beginning May 1, it will be mandatory for all residents over the age of 2 to wear a mask in public places, such as stores and other spaces where it's not possible to maintain six feet of distance.
The new stay-at-home order comes with more flexibility for residents and non-essential businesses.
Gov. Pritzker will also allow hospitals to resume some elective surgeries. Many hospitals have lost revenue that has resulted in some furloughs and layoffs.
Illinois suffers more than 1.8K new coronavirus cases
The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois grew by 1,826 to a total of 36,934 on Thursday, state health officials announced.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 123 additional deaths, raising the state's death toll to 1,688.
Buffalo Grove to require face masks in public
Buffalo Grove is requiring the use of face coverings when engaged in essential activities in public.
Village President Beverly Sussman issued an executive order Thursday that says individuals must wear face coverings when using public transportation, visiting health care professionals and shopping for groceries, home goods and medications. Children under age 5 are exempt from the order.
Employees at essential businesses are also required to wear face coverings while at work, and businesses can refuse admission or service to anyone who's not wearing a face covering, village officials said.
Buffalo Grove police will help enforce the order, and individuals and businesses could face citations with fines up to $750 for failure to comply.
"This Executive Order is part of the Village's ongoing efforts to protect our essential workers from COVID-19 exposures, in addition to protecting the health and safety of our entire community," said Village Manager Dane Bragg. "We wish we did not have to order these measures, but preventing the spread of COVID-19 remains a high priority in Buffalo Grove."
The order goes into effect Thursday at 11:59 p.m.
Funeral for CPD Officer Ronald Newman, who died from COVID-19
A funeral was held for Chicago Police Officer Ronald Newman, who is the third police officer to die from complications of COVID-19 from the department.
Newman had been with the department for 19 years and earned more than 130 departmental awards in his career.He is survived by his wife and two children.
So far, 374 members of the Chicago Police Department have tested positive for COVID-19.
City to host virtual town hall to discuss South Shore community concerns about COVID-19
The first of three virtual town halls will take place Thursday for communities that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These virtual town halls are part of a comprehensive strategy to address the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on African American communities in Chicago.
On Monday, Mayor Lightfoot said the city has targeted three neighborhoods that have been it the hardest: Auburn Gresham, Austin and South Shore.
The mayor said the newly created Racial Equality Rapid Response team is partnering with three anchor community organizations: Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, Austin Coming Together, and South Shore Works to develop hyperlocal informational door hangers as well as distributing masks.
Thursday's virtual town hall is hosted by South Shore Works and will air live on their Facebook page (@southshoreworks) from 4:30-6:00 p.m.
New Aurora COVID-19 testing site expects to see hundreds on 2nd day
The Aurora site, located at the Chicago Premium Outlets at 1650 Premium Outlet Blvd, opened Wednesday.
Cars were lining up before dawn on Thursday, and testing began at 8 a.m. Officials expected to administer 600 tests.
April 22, 2020
Aldermen propose bill for mandatory face masks in Chicago
Right now it's just a proposal, but more than 40 Chicago aldermen are co-sponsoring a bill that would make face coverings mandatory, and in some cases punish those who opt out.
Masks are currently optional in Chicago, but with COVID-19 cases not expected to peak in Illinois until mid-May, many aldermen say they should be mandatory.
Sixteen suburbs have mandatory mask orders in effect or going into effect this weekend.
Veterans Affairs-linked COVID-19 cases in IL among highest nationwide
The Veterans Health Administration is the nation's largest healthcare network and tonight the I-Team is investigating COVID-19 case data that shows hundreds of Illinois VA patients are battling the virus.
Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, headquartered on Chicago's West Side cares for 60,000 local veterans through their main hospital and neighborhood clinics. It is the VA facility in Illinois that has been hardest hit by COVID-19: 180 infection cases here and 12 deaths.
An I-Team data analysis shows the increasing impact of COVID-19 at Veterans Administration facilities nationwide. As of Wednesday, VA facilities nationwide report 5742 cases of coronavirus and 372 deaths linked to the virus.
Illinois' COVID-19 case total spikes as testing expands
Illinois health officials announced 2,049 new coronavirus cases and 98 additional deaths on Wednesday.
The spike brings the state's total COVID-19 cases to 35,108 and death toll to 1,565, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced.
Gov. Pritzker attributed the spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases to a testing milestone. The governor said Illinois performed 9,349 COVID-19 tests on Tuesday - the closest the state has come to its daily goal of 10,000 tests yet.
New coronavirus testing sites opening in Aurora, Rockford, Chicago's Little Village
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced that two additional state-run drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities are opening in Aurora and Rockford this week.
The Aurora location at Chicago Premium Outlets opened Wednesday, while the Rockford location will open on Friday.
Meanwhile, a new coronavirus testing site that opened in Little Village Wednesday will treat all residents regardless of immigration status and offer bilingual staff for Spanish speakers.
COVID-19 outbreak at South Shore nursing home leaves 10 dead, 111 sick
Symphony South Shore nursing home in Chicago has become a coronavirus hot spot, with 111 positive tests out of 158 residents and 10 deaths reported.
The facility is part of the Symphony Care Network, which has faced severe outbreaks at other locations.
The COVID-19 task force for the nursing home system is taking aggressive steps to treat patients, some of whom are not exhibiting symptoms, like isolating them from other patients. They have also been treated with hydroxychloroquine.
Naperville extends emergency declaration into May
The Naperville City Council voted Tuesday to extend its local state of emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic until May 19.
The state of emergency was first declared March 17 and extended through April 21 to allow city leaders to handle issues related to the coronavirus outbreak.
"The extension of our local declaration of emergency is critical so that we can continue to make meaningful changes to our City ordinances to help our residents and business community during this pandemic," said Mayor Steve Chirico.
Oak Brook issues order requiring residents to wear face masks in public
Oak Brook Village President Gopal Lalmalani issued an executive order Wednesday, requiring individuals to wear a face covering when in a public place.
The order takes effect Friday. Residents and visitors over the age of two must cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the new order.
Those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering are exempt from the rule.
"Oak Brook's masking requirement does not apply to people who are out walking or jogging for exercise, driving alone in their cars or in their yards with members of their own household," Lalmalani said. "Each business that is open must either supply or require their employees to wear face coverings when dealing with the public. Individuals out in the public must maintain social distancing guidelines and continue with frequent hand washing."
Cook County Jail correctional officers sue for overtime spent sanitizing for COVID-19
Correctional officers at Cook County Jail are suing the county and Sheriff Tom Dart to be paid for spending time cleaning up after their shifts because of COVID-19.
Eleven officers at the jail filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court, asking for at least one week of compensation for "sanitation activities" since March 9 - the day Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a state of emergency for the coronavirus, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
The officers are asking to be paid for up to 30 minutes after their shift spent sanitizing themselves and their personal protective equipment, according to the suit.
Mayor Lightfoot grows frustrated as City Council delays emergency powers decision
Mayor Lori Lightfoot grew frustrated Wednesday by a small group of aldermen who are critical of the mayor's push to have emergency powers to pay COVID-19 expenses without council approval.
Five aldermen - Ald. Raymond Lopez, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, Ald. Jeanette Taylor, Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, and Ald. Rosanna Rodriguez-Sanchez - used City Council rules to push the emergency powers decision to a later date. The council voted to reconvene on Friday, April 24th at 1 p.m.
Mayor Lightfoot has pushed for emergency powers for her and her administration to make COVID-19-related spending at their discretion without council approval. She said urgency is critical when trying to make these purchases during a pandemic.
The council voted unanimously to approve David Brown as Chicago's next superintendent. He was sworn in during a news conference after the meeting.
Antibody testing site opens in Lincoln Park
The first antibody testing site for COVID-19 in Chicago opened in Lincoln Park.
Innovative Express Care is using Abbott's serological tests. The exams look for antibodies can indicate if you've had the virus and might now be immune.
The group providing the test say it's available to anyone that is feeling well and has not had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Samples collected will be analyzed and results will be ready in two to five days. Insurance is accepted, or you can pay $250 out of pocket. Appointments are required.
April 21, 2020
COVID-19 cases expected to peak in mid-May, Gov. JB Pritzker says
Governor JB Pritzker said Illinois may not reach a peak in COVID-19 infections until mid-May as health officials announced 1,551 new cases and 119 additional deaths on Tuesday.
There are now 33,059 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus in Illinois, including 1,468 deaths.
For the past several days, Gov. Pritzker has talked about tweaking his stay-at-home order. While he is likely to extend it, he said Tuesday he's not yet ready to make that announcement.
Pritzker announces student loan relief, added SNAP funding
Gov. Pritzker shared some good news for some Illinoisans getting hit hard financially.
The state is expanding relief for more than 138,000 people with privately-financed student loans. Borrowers may qualify for waiving late payment fees and 90 days of forbearance.
The state will also be providing $112 million more in nutrition benefits for SNAP recipients who have children.
Pregnant woman first Lake County Jail inmate to test positive for coronavirus
A pregnant woman in her 30s becomes the first Lake County, Illinois inmate to test positive for COVID-19, according to sheriffs officials.
The woman was arrested on April 16 by the North Chicago Police Department after failing to appear on an arrest warrant for felony retail theft and felony theft. She was charged additionally with obstruction of justice and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Funeral held for CPD Sergeant Clifford Martin
A funeral was held for Chicago Police Sergeant Clifford Martin, who was the second member of the department to die from COVID-19.
Chicago police officers remained inside of their cars and paid tribute to Martin in a procession to the cemetery in Blue Island.
Three officers have lost their lives to COVID-19. Chicago police have had at least 349 members test positive COVID-19, 332 sworn officers and 17 civilian members.
Citywide cloth face mask drive launched by Mayor Lightfoot
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has launched an effort to encourage residents to donate masks and materials to help protect Chicagoans most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mask donations will be accepted for the program with drop-off locations available across the city. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning Saturday April 25 through Saturday May 16.
The masks can be made from recycled cloth, such as T-shirts, bandanas, jeans, thick cotton and other breathable fabrics.
For more information, visit Chicago.gov/coronavirus.
April 20, 2020
In jail COVID-19 fight, 'social distancing must yield to security concerns'
In a spontaneous rumble at Cook County jail, correctional officers can't be expected to intervene from six feet away.
That reality check came Monday in a federal court filing by jail officials, who have had to explain why social distancing isn't in force 24/7 even though the facility has been hit hard by COVID-19.
Illinois National Guard starts testing at Park Forest development center
Airmen from the Illinois National Guard's 183rd Wing started work Monday, helping with health screenings at the Elisabeth Ludeman Development Center.
The guardsmen are responding to a call for help after a COVID-19 outbreak infected more than 100 people at the center The facility reported to residents and one staff member died from the virus.
COVID-19 has not peaked in Illinois, Pritzker says
Governor JB Pritzker said Illinois has not yet reached the peak of COVID-19 infections as health officials announced 1,151 new cases and 59 additional deaths on Monday.
There are now 31,508 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus in Illinois, including 1,349 deaths.
As Gov. Pritzker mulls over extending the stay-at-home order beyond May 1, he said Monday he is strongly thinking about requiring masks in public places, especially grocery stores.
How COVID-19 is impacting Illinois long-term care facilities
New Illinois Department of Public Health data shows at least 1,860 COVID-19 cases and 286 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.
Long-term care facilities like nursing homes account for 6% of the state's reported cases and 22% of all of the deaths statewide.
An I-Team data analysis finds that statewide, 186 long-term facilities have reported COVID-19 cases, and 58% of those facilities with cases have reported deaths linked to the virus.
Search for long term care facilities by name and county to see how many residents have died or been confirmed by IDPH as having contracted COVID-19.
Cook County Jail guard may be 1st correctional officer to die of COVID-19 at facility, according to report
Sheila Rivera, 47, is possibly the first correctional officer at the jail to die of the disease, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday. Rivera died Sunday evening at Resurrection Medical Center, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
The sheriff's office has so far reported 191 corrections officers who tested positive for COVID-19, and 215 detainees are currently positive, including 21 who are at area hospitals. Another 180 inmates who tested positive have been moved to a recovery area within the jail.
Mayor Lightfoot outlines steps Chicago is taking to address impact on black community
Mayor Lori Lightfoot outlined efforts undertaken by the city's newly-formed Racial Equity Rapid Response Team to deal with the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the city's black community.
Mayor Lightfoot said the efforts have targeted three neigbhorhoods hardest hit by the pandemic: Auburn Gresham, Austin and South Shore. Efforts include informational door hangers and the distribution of masks.
A series of tele-town halls will be held in the neighborhoods this week and streamed on the pages of local community groups.
Chicago health officials said African Americans comprise 46 percent of COVID-19 cases int eh city and of 500 deaths from the virus, 287 are African-American.
Illinois nursing home hit by virus says 2nd staffer has died
A northern Illinois nursing home that last week announced 22 residents and one staff member had died of the coronavirus says another employee who tested positive for the virus had died. Symphony of Joliet would not provide more information about the employee. But Lakendel Evans tells The (Joliet) Herald-News that her mother, Sandra Green, a 57-year-old certified nursing assistant, died at a hospital after spending 24 days on a ventilator. Recent data released by the state show that Symphony of Joliet and another facility each had 81 COVID-19 cases, more than any such facility in Illinois.
Plane carrying PPE from China arrives in Chicago
A FexEx plane full of personal protection gear from China arrived in Chicago.
It's the second chartered flight in less than a week with millions of masks, gloves and other gear for health care workers and first responders fighting against COVID-19. The two shipments costing Illinois taxpayers $888,000, according to state receipts.
Governors in states across the country have been critical of the federal government, demanding that the Trump Administration take the lead on ordering supplies. But the president has fired back, putting the blame on those governors.
April 19, 2020
Springfield protesters call on Gov. Pritzker to reopen economy
Demonstrators gathered outside the Illinois State Capitol Sunday, as the "stay-at-home" order continues at least through the end of the month.
Protesters urged Gov. JB Pritzker to reopen the state's economy, shouting "Open Illinois" at the steps of the Lincoln Statue. The rally was part of the national "Operation Gridlock" movement.
Rallies across the country are calling for a reopening of the economy to help small businesses and reinstate civil liberties. On Sunday, residents in five states, including Illinois, held protests demanding their governors open up their states.
4th Cook County detainee with COVID-19 dies
A fourth Cook County Jail detainee who tested positive for COVID-19 has died.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office reported that 64-year-old Karl Battiste died at Stroger Hospital on Sunday.
Battiste's cause of death is pending autopsy, the county sheriff's office said.
There are 395 Cook County Jail detainees who have contracted COVID-19, according to county data reported Sunday. Of the nearly 400 cases, 215 detainees are currently positive for the virus, while 180 are no longer positive.
The detainees who are no longer positive are being monitored at a recovery facility at the jail.
Northern Illinois mayors ask Gov. Pritzker to reopen businesses next month
Five northern Illinois mayors have asked Gov. JB Pritzker for the authority to reopen businesses next month, urging local control over restrictions and "common sense modifications" to a statewide stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.
The request comes as protests over the restrictions have taken place at state capitols, including a handful of people demonstrating Sunday in Springfield.
Pritzker said he's continually evaluating a possible extension of the order, which expires April 30, as other states have done.
"The fact is that we have got to be very careful as we make decisions about change in the stay-at-home order to keep people safe," he said during a Sunday media briefing. "I'm looking at all the ways we can open things up and keep people safe."
Pritzker says airlift of protective gear arriving from China
Gov. Pritzker announced Sunday that an airlift of more personal protective equipment is on the way from China to keep health care workers and first responders safe on the job.
A chartered FedEx flight from China landed at O'Hare on Thursday, with millions of masks and gloves. The second chartered flight will land Monday.
The two flights are costing the state about $888,000, according to state receipts.
The Illinois National Guard will be handling transportation and logistics on the ground.
The equipment will go to a state warehouse to be checked out for quality, before it's shipped out across the state.
Illinois' coronavirus cases top 30K
Health officials announced 1,197 new positive coronavirus cases Sunday, with 33 additional deaths. The state's total now reaches to 30,357 positive cases, with 1,290 total deaths from the virus.
North suburban student dies, likely due to COVID-19 complications, Dis. 214 superintendent says; another student in ICU
A student from Arlington Heights-based High School District 214 died last week, likely due to complications from COVID-19, the district's superintendent said Saturday. Superintendent David Schuler told school district parents of the student's death in an update on COVID-19. Schuler went on to say at least one other student was undergoing intensive care due to COVID-19.
April 18, 2020
COVID-19 outbreak at Chicago meat packing plant sparks calls for investigation
With 21 coronavirus cases confirmed at a meat packing pant on Chicago's South Side, employees are demanding more equipment to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Workers at the nearly century-old Rose Packing are worried for their health and safety.
Rose Packing said they're using strict protocol to clean the facility every night, and handing out personal protective equipment to their employees. But those who spoke to ABC7 said they work close together while packaging and cutting meat, and don't have proper equipment.
They're asking for a formal investigation to make sure everything is up to protocol at the facility.
COVID-19 death toll at Illinois nursing homes higher than anyone expected, Pritzker says
Nearly half of the more than 700 nursing homes in the state have had confirmed cases of COVID-19. More than 100 have had a patient, resident, or staff member die.
In total, about 300 people in Illinois nursing homes have died from COVID-19.
Gov. Pritzker said that toll is higher than anyone expected.
Illinois National Guard members deployed to 2 state-run facilities next week
The Illinois National Guard is deploying members to two state-run facilities.
On Monday, 22 airmen will go to Ludeman Developmental Center in Park Forest to begin conducting health screenings.
More than 100 residents and staff at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19. Two residents and one staff member have died after contracting the virus.
Twenty-two National Guard airmen will also be conducting health screenings at the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kanakakee next week.
Illinois suffers record daily COVID-19 death toll
Illinois suffered another deadly day Saturday, as the state's COVID-19 death toll climbed by 125 additional deaths to 1,259.
The daily coronavirus death count Saturday matched Thursday's highest single-day increase.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 1,585 new coronavirus cases Saturday, raising the state's total to 29,160.
"Although our numbers continue to climb, it is with a guarded optimism that we say that the growth is slowing," Illinois Department of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, along with governors across the country, have been facing pressure to lift restrictions and reopen economies.
But Gov. Pritzker warned at a press conference Saturday that although there are encouraging signs in the state's fight against COVID-19, Illinois hasn't reached its peak.
"I want to remind you that we are not even at our peak yet, and so we've got to get to the peak and start moving down the other side of that," the governor said.
Rochelle food plant shut down by Ogle County Health Department after COVID-19 outbreak
A cluster of COVID-19 cases has forced an Illinois food processing plant to shut down for at least two weeks. Health officials in Ogle County, just west of DeKalb, say there are about 24 cases linked to Hormel Foods in the town of Rochelle. Those cases have shown up in Ogle County and other surrounding counties.
Joliet nursing home COVID-19 outbreak leaves 25 dead; mayor calls for IDPH investigation
There's a call for an investigation after 24 residents and one employee of a Joliet nursing home died. Officials say 16 people who tested positive for COVID-19 remain at the Symphony of Joliet.
April 17, 2020
IL National Guard called to help with COVID-19 outbreak at Park Forest developmental center
The Illinois National Guard is helping conduct health screenings after a coronavirus outbreak at a Park Forest developmental center sickened more than 100 people.
The cases involved both residents and staff at Elisabeth Ludeman Developmental Center, and three people - two residents and one staff member - have died from COVID-19.
The Illinois Department of Human Services requested the help from the Illinois National Guard Elisabeth Ludeman Developmental Center is a state-operated facility that's home to about 35 people with developmental disabilities. Twenty-two guard members will be conducting temperature checks of employees, freeing up staff at the center to care for patients.
4 dead, 14 sick in Lincoln Park nursing home
An outbreak of COVID-19 at St. Mary Home in Lincoln Park has left four dead and 15 sick.
The four residents who died range in age from 71 to their 90s. Four staff members are among the 15 sick.
Wilmette joins Chicago suburbs requiring residents to wear face masks in public
The village of Wilmette has moved to make wearing a mask a requirement, not just a recommendation.
Village President Bob Bielinski has signed an amended disaster declaration that requires the use of cloth face coverings for any workers or customers at an essential business as well as for riding public transportation.
Masks won't be required outdoors or in a personal car.
The face covering requirement will go into effect Monday.
For more information, visit the village's website.
Naval Station Great Lakes plans for a full year of COVID-19 safety measures
Every sailor in the Navy goes through basic training at north suburban Naval Station Great Lakes. Now, the I-Team has learned that military officials are preparing for COVID-19 recruit safety guidelines to be in place for a year.
After a three week pause in new arrivals to bootcamp, next week when 500 recruits report to Great Lakes, the Navy will begin imposing what it calls "Restriction of Movement" or ROM, to use the military acronym, including a 14-day quarantine in which, for the first time ever, recruits will be housed off-base.
More than half of the Navy's 1,255 infected sailors are from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Although Great Lakes officials decline to provide specific numbers of sick there, it is believed that dozens may be currently in isolation.
Small business owners question who got PPP loans as federal money runs out
In Illinois, nearly 70,000 small business owners got loans from the federal government before Payroll Protection Program funds were exhausted, and some are now wondering how those businesses were chosen and why they were shut out.
Steakhouse chain Ruth's Chris reportedly received $20 million; they have not responded to calls or emails. National sandwich chain Potbelly's confirmed it received $10 million in PPP money, which it said will go toward its employees.
Anthony Waller, owner of Catering Out The Box, applied for 12 loans and grants, including PPP.
"Truly, the small businesses that make up your neighborhood, the small businesses you see each and every day, I think often times they are taken for granted; those are the ones that need the help," Waller said.
Highland Park issues new order requiring residents to wear face masks
The city of Highland Park is requiring residents to wear face masks when engaging in certain activities in public, starting Monday.
Mayor Nancy Rotering issued the order Friday, joining a handful of suburbs that have moved to mandate face coverings.
Highland Park's order requires individuals to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while working in essential businesses, shopping for groceries or supplies, visiting a health care professional and riding in public transportation, taxis or rideshares.
There are exceptions, most importantly when wearing a covering poses a greater health, safety or security risk.
The order does not apply to any children younger than age 2, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more information, visit the city's website.
All Illinois schools closed for rest of academic year
Illinois schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday at his daily coronavirus briefing.
Gov. Pritzker said all in-person learning at schools across the state will be suspended to limit COVID-19 spread.
The decision comes as Illinois health officials announced 1,842 new coronavirus cases - the largest number of new cases in a single day - and 62 additional deaths Friday. The jump raises Illinois' case total to 27,575, including 1,134 deaths.
Gov. Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, Sen. Duckworth tour McCormick Place as alternate care facility sees first COVID-19 patients; state officials seek more testing
The McCormick Place alternate care facility began seeing some of its first COVID-19 patients Thursday, and several state leaders again toured the space Friday morning.
April 16, 2020
Illinois emergency management officials warn law enforcement agencies masks distributed by state could be fake
A warning from Illinois health and emergency officials was sent out Thursday over the state's Rapid Electronic Notification System known as SIREN. The bulletin instructed first responders to beware of some of the protective face masks provided by the state.
The masks Illinois officials have instructed law enforcement not to use are some Chinese made KN95 masks labeled "Huabai" or "Sanqi." Others cited in the state warning are unmarked respirators, or appear to be emblazoned only in Chinese.
According to the alert obtained by the I-Team that was sent to law enforcement agencies, fire departments and municipalities across Illinois, the KN95 masks provided to them by state emergency officials "may not meet performance standards."
COVID-19 cases at Illinois nursing homes may be undercounted
COVID-19 has spready quickly through nursing homes, leading to pressure on federal health to publicly track infections and deaths.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are about 100,000 people living in 1,200 long-term care facilities across the state, but it is unclear how many of those residents are infected with the coronavirus.
As of Wednesday, Illinois reported 1,587 cases associated with long-term facilities. Of those, 296 people, both patients and staff, have died.
Some experts and attorneys believe that's a significant undercount, pointing out that once a patient is transfered to a hospital and dies there, they are counted as a hospital death not a nursing home death.
Chicago State takes steps to help students impacted by COVID-19
CSU is in the city's Roseland neighborhood, one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. With the transition to e-learning, many school officials said many of their 3,000 undergrad and graduate students aren't in the position to bridge the digital divide.
CSU got $2.1 million in emergency funding relief as part of the CARES Act, but it is through its foundation and some other private donations that the school has been able to launch a student emergency fund. Each student can get up to $500.
The school is also providing loaner laptops and internet access to students who need them.
COVID-19 job losses hit more industries in Illinois
New national unemployment numbers released Thursday show staggering figures as COVID-19 job losses hit more industries, with another 5 million people filing for benefits this week.
The unemployment rate could reach up to 20% in April, according to some economists. If so, it would be the highest rate since the Depression.
David Greising, president of the Better Government Association, believes the worst is yet to come.
"We are seeing job loss at about five times the rate they were lost during the Great Recession," Greising said. "The Great Recession was the worst economic conditions that anybody alive had ever seen."
Chicago-area small businesses left without hope of federal relief after COVID-19 loan program depleted
Many Chicago-area businesses are scrambling to figure out what's next after the federal government's small business loan program ran out of money this week.
Chicago florist Steve Ziemba didn't get any money from the federal government's payroll protection program.
"I think the money ran out right away and if you didn't get it in the first day, you're out of luck," said Ziemba, of Steve's Flower Market.
Lawmakers met Thursday to try to reach an agreement to increase funding for the payroll protection program. While the discussions continue, many business owners are agonizing over the best move.
"We know we have needs for small businesses. Let's get it done," said Illinois Congressman Brad Schneider. "We are working remotely, but we are working."
Deadliest day since COVID-19 pandemic began as IL death toll surpasses 1K, 25K cases
Illinois reported its deadliest day since the coronavirus pandemic began on Thursday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 125 additional COVID-19 deaths, the single largest daily jump so far. The spike raises the state's death toll to 1,072.
State health officials also announced 1,140 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the total to 25,733 cases across Illinois.
The virus has spread to 90 counties in Illinois, with Alexander County now reporting a case.
Gov. Pritzker partners with 6 Midwestern governors to coordinate reopening of economies
Governor JB Pritzker announced a partnership with other Midwest governors on a plan to coordinate the re-opening of the states' economies. The agreement includes Indiana Governor Mike Holcomb, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Kentucky Governor Andy Bashear.
In a joint statement by the governors, they said there will be four key factors in determining when to reopen:
-Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations.
-Enhanced ability to test and trace.
-Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence.
-And best practices for social distancing in the workplace.
"Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region," the statement said. "This doesn't mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time."
Chicago's Wrigley Field serves as food packing, distribution center for COVID-19 relief
Wrigley Field is being used as a food packing and distribution center as part of the COVID-19 relief efforts.
Volunteers from the Lakeview Food Pantry are packing groceries and other essential items in the ballpark's concourse. Then on Saturday, the public distribution to those most affected will take place from noon to 2 p.m.
The Hotel Zachary across the street will also reopen to provide accommodations for healthcare workers from Advocate Masonic Medical Center through April 30.
17th Cook County Chief Judge's Office employee tests positive for COVID-19
The Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County announced Wednesday another employee tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of cases in that office to 17.
The employee works at the Juvenile Temporary Detention center and last reported for work April 8, Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County Spokesperson Pat Milhizer said.
The areas where the employee worked received a deep cleaning and anyone who came into contact with them is being informed, Milhizer said.
On Tuesday, officials announced two detainees at the detention center had contracted the virus, bringing the tally of residents at the facility with positive tests to three.
Nine of the 158 detainees have been granted release by a judge but they remain in custody while awaiting placement by the Illinois Department of Children and Family services.
Face mask requirement in Skokie takes effect Thursday, joining Cicero, Glenview, Morton Grove
Wearing a face mask will not be optional for certain parts of Skokie beginning Thursday.
The new measure aims to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and several area suburbs are jumping on board, requiring residents to wear a mask.
People will be required to wear face masks in certain public locations as part of an executive order in Skokie. The order takes effect at 5 p.m. Thursday.
There are exceptions to the mask mandate. You don't have to cover your face in your car, home or when you are exercising outdoors. For more information visit: skokie.org.
Glenview, Cicero, and Morton Grove are also mandating residents and visitors to wear a mask when in essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
April 15, 2020
Coronavirus tests for antibodies coming, but public health experts question accuracy
Many Americans are hopeful a simple blood screening to check if they have antibodies to COVID-19 could help get them back to work, school and a more normal existence.
According to U.S. regulators, many dozens of serological tests for COVID-19 are now on the market
But some public health officials, infectious disease experts and laboratory owners have been sounding the alarm about the lax oversight.
They said the tests need to meet standards and prove that they actually work.
In response to the growing outcry the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced government scientists will begin reviewing data on some of the antibody tests to see if they actually work.
Families of COVID-19 victims beg public to take virus seriously
The elderly are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and families grieving the loss of loved ones are begging people to take the virus seriously.
"COVID is serious. And COVID will kill you. Quickly," Sylvester Dorsey said. "It took six days to take my father out of here. After 93 years, he had only been hospitalized once in his life."
Dorsey said he hopes people will learn from his loss.
"I see people in my community, walking around with no mask on. And it's almost infuriating," he said. "You might think it's not happening because it hasn't happened to your family. But when it comes, it's gonna to come so quick."
Illinois coronavirus cases at nursing home may be undercounted, families demand answers
Twenty-two residents and one staff member at the Symphony of Joliet nursing home in the southwest suburb have now died from coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.
One of the residents who died was a former Cook County Clerk employee. Brenda Brooks, 65, died due to complications from COVID-19 on April 6.
Illinois faces $2.7B budget shortfall due to COVID-19 pandemic, Pritzker says
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said Wednesday that it doesn't take an epidemiologist to know that the pandemic is going to hit the state budget hard as he shared the harsh realities of the state's financial future.
"Budget experts estimate that Illinois will have a $2.7 billion shortfall of revenues for this fiscal year and a $4.6 billion shortfall for next fiscal year," Gov. Pritzker said.
The virus' impact on the state's budget is becoming more clear as Illinois health officials announced 80 deaths Wednesday, a slight uptick from the day before. A total of 948 Illinois residents have now lost their lives to COVID-19.
Officials also announced an additional 1,346 COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 24,593.
The virus has spread to 89 counties in Illinois, with Union County now reporting a case.
COVID-19 data shows city is 'flattening the curve,' Mayor Lori Lightfoot says
New data released by the city of Chicago indicates the city is flattening the curve in the fight against COVID-19. Officials said the rate of new cases in Chicago is now doubling every twelve days, as opposed to every two to three days one month ago.
Data suggests compliance with the stay-at-home order has led to significantly fewer cases and deaths in Illinois. There are 9,666 cases and 347 deaths in Chicago, and officials say the city could have seen 62,000 cases and 2,000 deaths if the stay-at-home order were ignored.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city will continue to monitor different metrics, including the rate of new cases and deaths, hospital capacity and increasing testing before recommending an end to the stay-at-home restrictions.
"This data is encouraging and shows that all of our efforts appear to be having the intended impact in helping to limit the spread of this virus," said Dr. Allison Arwady, CDPH Commissioner.
2nd firefighter, water department employee among city's latest COVID-19 victims
A second Chicago firefighter has died from complications of COVID-19. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford announced that firefighter Edward Singleton, 55, died Tuesday night. Singleton was assigned to Midway Airport and joined the department in 1987.
Langford said Singleton leaves behind a wife and two adult children. This comes the same week as the funeral for Mario Araujo, who was the first Chicago firefighter to died from COVID-19.
Cicero, Skokie issue orders to wear face masks in public amid COVID-19 pandemic
Two Chicago suburbs are now requiring residents to wear masks while out in public. Cicero Town President Larry Dominick issued an order mandating all essential workers and customers to wear masks out in public. The order will go into effect at midnight.
Skokie has also issued its own order requiring everyone in public to wear a mask. The order will go into effect at 5 p.m. on April 16.
Figures show Illinois spent $174M on medical supplies for COVID-19 pandemic in last month
Illinois has paid $174 million for medicine and protective equipment to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the past month, according to data released Tuesday.
Comptroller Susana Mendoza debuted an online portal identifying each expenditure since Gov. J.B. Pritzker's March 9 disaster declaration, which allows his administration to coordinate with state partners and federal agencies in buying equipment and supplies.
April 14, 2020
Despite an increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths, Governor JB Pritzker announced a slight turn in the right direction Tuesday.
"The fact that our doubling rate continues to increase in every metric is a clear demonstration that there is a deceleration of virus transmission," Pritzker said. "We are in fact bending the curve."
Illinois heath officials announced 74 additional deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state's death toll to 868. More than 1,200 new coronavirus cases were announced for a state total that exceeds 23,000.
A new Illinois National Guard COVID-19 testing site opened in south suburban Markham after Governor Pritzker called for expanded testing in African American communities. Tests are available for anyone 65 or older or anyone over the age of 17 who has pre-existing medical conditions. It's also open to all first responders and health care workers of any age with symptoms.
April 13, 2020
The city of Chicago launched a website Monday compiling all the free resources for healthcare workers and first responders, and their families, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The resources are offered directly by the city or through partner organizations and agencies. They include free mental health services, like support groups from NAMI-Chicago and individual and group therapy from the Chicago Department of Public Health, and a mental health resource dashboard with multiple apps, tutorials and fact sheets; hotel-based housing for first responders or healthcare workers who want to temporarily stay separate from their families to decrease their infection risk; free access to childcare; and free and discounted transportation options.
Click here to visit the website and explore the resources available to those on the front lines.
A worker who staffed a polling location during Illinois' primary in March has died after testing positive for COVID-19, the Chicago Board of Elections said Monday.
The victim staffed the Zion Hill Baptist Church 1460 West 78th Street polling location. He worked for the city and had taken the day off to work the election, officials said.
Gov. Pritzker defended his administration's handling of unemployment claims Monday, saying they have taken many steps over the past three weeks to improve the computer systems and add people to take calls.
Pritzker said in the last five weeks, Illinois Dept. of Employment Security (IDES) saw more than 513,000 initial unemployment claims filed, more than any five-week period in the state's history.
With unemployment offices closed, those needing to file claims have to file them online. Pritzker said the antiquated computer system just wasn't able to handle all the claims, leading to widespread frustration.
The governor said outside tech companies have now completely revamped the system, more workers have been hired at call centers, and the process has been streamlined to apply for unemployment benefits. The waiting time for checks to be cut has also been waived.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced measures to help the homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The efforts include temporary housing for vulnerable shelter residents, distribution of personal protection equipment to shelters and residents and setting up portable bathrooms and handwashing stations at homeless encampments.
April 12, 2020
A third Cook County Jail detainee who tested positive for COVID-19 has died, officials announced Sunday.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office reported that 42-year-old Nicholas Lee died Sunday at Stroger Hospital.
The cause of death is pending an autopsy, but the sheriff's office said preliminary reports suggest he died of cardiac arrest.
As of Sunday, 306 Cook County Jail detainees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, along with 218 members of the sheriff's office staff.
More than 180 of those are correctional officers, according to the county sheriff.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois surpassed 20,000 over the weekend.
Gov. JB Pritzker announced 1,672 new coronavirus cases Sunday, bringing the state's total to 20,852.
Illinois' COVID-19 death toll has reached 720, but Pritzker said the fatality count Sunday was lower than in the past few days.
"The death toll today is lower than it has been in six days," Pritzker said. "I pray as we move forward that these trends continue and if they do, it will be because of all of you adhering to our 'stay-at-home' order."
Pritzker reported 43 additional deaths on Sunday.
April 11, 2020
Illinois is sending $7 million to help provide meal assistance to senior residents across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Illinois Department of Aging announced Saturday that the $7 million in funds will go toward supporting meals programs for older residents at high risk of malnutrition and hunger.
The agency is seeing a drastic spike in demand for home-delivered meals recently.
"We have been supplying our providers with more dollars to assist them with unmet needs, and we have anticipated that the demand for home delivered meals is going to continue to increase, as we have already seen," said Paula Basta, the agency's director.
Elderly residents, as well as their family members, friends and neighbors, are encouraged to contact the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or visit the agency's website if in need of any assistance.
Illinois officials have launched an emotional support text line over the weekend to help residents facing stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. JB Pritzker said the free text line, Call 4 Calm, isn't a crisis hotline, but rather a source of support.
Residents who text the line will be contacted by a counselor from a local community mental health center. Residents can be connected with mental health professionals by texting "TALK" or "HABLAR," for Spanish speakers, to 5-5-2-0-2-0.
Individuals can also use the text line to be connected with services related to unemployment, food and housing.
The announcement Saturday comes as Illinois' coronavirus cases grew by 1,293 to a total of more than 19,000.
Illinois heath officials announced 81 additional deaths on Saturday, bringing the state's death toll to 677.
An employee at the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs has tested positive for COVID-19, state officials said Saturday.
The employee worked at the Illinois Veterans Home at Manteno, and is currently isolating at home.
Meanwhile, another facility that serves homeless veterans on the Manteno grounds has identified four employees and two homeless veterans who've contracted the virus. An investigation is underway to determine other individuals who might have been exposed.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle introduced the new co-chiefs of the county's Department of Health on Saturday.
Dr. Rachel Rubin and Dr. Kiran Joshi will lead the department going forward, as the county combats the spread of COVID-19.
Preckwinkle fired the former chief,Terry Mason, earlier this week.
Both Rubin and Joshi have been senior medical officers at the county department since 2014, as well as members of the medical staff at Stroger Hospital.
April 10, 2020
Another City of Chicago employee has died of COVID-19.
David Veloz worked as a foreman and machinist at the department known as Fleet and Facilities Management.
Union leaders describe Veloz as a "larger than life" Navy veteran, whose contributions will carry on for decades to come.
The COVID-19 outbreak at the Cook County Jail has spread to 289 detainees, the sheriff's office announced Friday.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office said 20 of the infected detainees are being treated at local hospitals, and 36 have been moved to a recovery facility.
The office also reported that 203 members of its staff have tested positive for coronavirus.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritkzer is promising action to protect African American communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
State officials announced a series of initiatives aimed at increasing testing in the African American community, including a partnership between Lurie Children's Hospital and four community health centers on Chicago's South and West Sides.
The goal is for those health centers to test hundreds of people per day, and have them processed at Lurie.
Gov. JB Pritzker also announced a program to provide hotel rooms for people from multi-generational households who need to self-isolate.
On Friday, Illinois suffered an uptick of more than 1,400 new coronavirus cases and 68 additional deaths. The state's death toll has reached 596.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is extending expiration dates for driver's licenses, ID cards, vehicle registrations and document filings for at least 90 days after driver services facilities reopen.
A second inmate has died at Cook County Jail after testing positive for COVID-19. Leslie Pieroni, 51, had been hospitalized since April 3. Two hundred and seventy six detainees in custody at the jail have tested positive.
April 9, 2020
The Chicago Police Department said more than 150 members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Of those infected, 144 are sworn members, while seven are civilian members.
The department said four sworn members have recovered from the virus and returned to duty.
The announcement comes on the same day that a funeral was held for the first CPD officer who died as a result of COVID-19.
More than 270 Cook County Jail detainees have tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff's office said.
As of Thursday at 5 p.m., the Cook County Sheriff's Office reported that 276 detainees have contracted the novel coronavirus.
Of those infected, more than 20 are being treated at hospitals, while over 35 have moved to a recovery facility.
The office reported its first apparent death from COVID-19 earlier this week.
Meanwhile, 172 staff members of the Cook County Sheriff's Office have also tested positive for coronavirus, as of Thursday at 5 p.m.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said new data shows the state may be "bending the curve" in the fight against COVID-19 Thursday, but cautioned residents still need to practice social distancing and abide by the stay-at-home order.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,344 new coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the state's total above 16,000.
COVID-19 deaths in the state also grew by 66 to a total of 528, state health officials reported.
The virus has spread to 81 Illinois counties, with Hancock, Pulaski, and Schuyler counties now reporting cases.
A report released by the CDC outlines how one Chicagoan spread COVID-19 to as many as 15 other people in February. The spread occurred through the sharing of a takeout meal, a birthday party and a funeral.
April 8, 2020
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,529 new coronavirus cases and 82 additional deaths on Wednesday, the largest rise so far.
Illinois' total COVID-19 cases have now surpassed 15,000, including 462 deaths.
The virus has spread to 78 Illinois counties, with Stark County now reporting a case.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced a curfew on liquor sales in Chicago. Starting Thursday, sales on alcohol will not be allowed after 9 p.m. The curfew will remain in effect for the duration of Governor JB Pritzker's stay-at-home order.
Illinois issued new measures to help employers and those in the real estate industry on Wednesday.
Employers will not face a penalty fee for filing wage reports for February 2020 late, the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced.
The agency is still encouraging employers to submit the wage reports, which were due March 31, as soon as possible. The department said the filings will help determine unemployment eligibility for workers who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, Gov. Pritzker's administration announced that remote notarization can be used during Illinois' "stay-at-home" order. The measure aims to remove barriers that are potentially holding back real estate closings and other related financial transactions.
Illinois will receive more than $52 million in federal funding to help health centers across the state respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the award to 45 Illinois health centers on Wednesday, a day after the state suffered the largest single-day jump in COVID-19 deaths.
The federal funding will go toward efforts to test, treat and prevent coronavirus. It'll also help health centers maintain and increase capacity and staffing levels necessary to address the pandemic.
The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law less than two weeks ago.
Of the 45 health centers to receive federal grants, 19 are located in Chicago.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is self-isolating until April 10 after a member of her security detail tested positive for COVID-19. The employee last worked in the Cook County Building and used a security detail car on March 27.
The Chicago Fire Department is mourning the loss of veteran firefighter Mario Araujo, who is the first Chicago firefighter to die from COVID-19. Araujo, 49, joined CFD in 2003 and served mostly on the Far North Side with Truck 25.
April 7, 2020
CPD conducts 3 nights of checkpoints as warm weather complicates social distancing measures
Chicago police announced Tuesday night they will begin conducting checkpoints.
The checkpoints, described by police as "Roadside Safety and Informational Check Points," will be held in each police district from April 7 to April 9 between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. They will last for about 45 minutes, police said.
Police said the checkpoints will focus on traffic safety and providing information on the state's stay-at-home order. Each driver will begiven an informational flyer about the order at each checkpoint.
Correctional officer claims unsanitary, unsafe conditions amid coronavirus outbreak at Cook County Jail
With 272 detainees and 115 staff at the Cook County Jail sick with the coronavirus at last count, the jail has an infection rate more than 50 times higher than the rest of Illinois.
Corrections officer David Evans, the chief union steward, filed an explosive affidavit alleging sheriff's officials have not provided adequate personal protective equipment, training and testing to help limit the spread of COVID-19. He said multiple detainees are being held together in cells and other officers are scared for their jobs.
Illinois sees largest single-day jump in COVID-19 deaths
Gov. JB Pritzker announced that the state has suffered another 73 fatalities due to COVID-19.
Pritzker also told reporters that 65% of the state's 2,709 hospital beds are currently full.
"I wish I knew about this in January when the Intelligence Agency seemed to know about it," Pritzker said when asked if he had any regrets in how he has handled the crisis.
Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle announced a fund for zero-interest loans for suburban Cook County small businesses and independent contractors. The Community Recovery Fund will give loans of up to $20,000 to small businesses with fewer than 25 employees and $10,000 for workers who get at least half of their income from independent contracting. The loans will be distributed by a network of community lenders across the county.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has signed an executive order to ensure that all residents, including immigrants and refugees, are able to access all benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the city.
April 6, 2020
Gov. JB Pritzker, President Trump spar over federal resources as Illinois death toll tops 300
The Cook County Sheriff's Office said Monday evening that Cook County Jail has its first apparent death from the novel coronavirus.
An autopsy still has to officially confirm the cause of death. The Cook County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as 59-year-old Jeffery Pendleton. Authorities said he had been hospitalized at Stroger Hospital since March 30 when he tested positive for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump singled out Gov. JB Pritzker during his press conference.
"Even Governor Pritzker from Illinois is happy, because he may not be happy when he talks to the press, but he's happy. He's a very happy man," Trump said.
Pritzker gave an update on the state's supply of personal protective equipment. He criticized the federal government's response to the state's PPE requests.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago health officials announced that more than half of the COVID-19 cases in Chicago are African-Americans. Lightfoot said it is a "call to action" and announced a series of steps, including requiring demographic data from healthcare providers, to address the inequality.
Chicago's sports teams have joined an initiative from Mayor Lori LIghtfoot's office encouraging Chicagoans to stay home during the pandemic. The campaign is called "We Are Not Playing" and the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, White Sox, Cubs, Fire Red Stars and Sky have all joined the campaign, which will feature advertisements on billboards as well as social media.
McDonald's is donating one million N95 masks to first responders in Chicago and Illinois. The company is giving 750,000 masks to Chicago and 250,000 to the rest of the state.
The city will be adding the masks to its depositories and sending them where they are needed most as it coordinates needs for first responders and healthcare workers.
April 5, 2020
More than 230 Cook County Jail detainees have tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff's office said Sunday.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office reported that 234 detainees have contracted the virus, and 14 are hospitalized.
There are also 78 staff members in the sheriff's office who have tested positive for coronavirus, as of Sunday at 5 p.m.
Illinois coronavirus death toll reaches 274, including 2nd fatality linked to Stateville prison outbreak
The number of coronavirus cases in Illinois surpassed 11,000 over the weekend.
With new totals reported at 11,256 cases and 274 deaths, state officials are asking the public to stay committed in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 889 new COVID-19 cases and 31 additional deaths on Sunday.
The death toll includes an inmate at the Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet.
Ronald Rice, 66, died early Sunday at Morris Hospital in Morris, Ill., the Grundy County coroner's office said.
The virus has spread to 71 counties, with Boone, Calhoun and Gallatin now reporting cases.
An inmate at the Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet died from COVID-19 Sunday at a nearby hospital, according to a statement from the Grundy County coroner's office.
66-year-old Ronald Rice died early this morning at Morris Hospital in Morris, Ill., the Grundy County coroner's office said.
No further information on his death has been released at this time.
April 4, 2020
'The number is sobering': Illinois coronavirus cases rise above 10K, including 243 deaths
Illinois has reached a grim milestone in the fight against COVID-19 Saturday, when the state's confirmed cases surpassed 10,000.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,453 new COVID-19 cases and 33 additional deaths Saturday. The state's death toll due to coronavirus has climbed to 243.
The virus has spread to 68 Illinois counties, with Jasper, Lee, Mason, and Pike counties now reporting cases.
April 3, 2020
The number of Cook County Jail detainees with COVID-19 has surpassed 200, the sheriff's office announced Friday.
The office reported 43 more detainees have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to 210. Fourteen of them are hospitalized, the office said.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office also reported Friday that 60 of its staff members have contracted COVID-19.
Chicago police announced 13 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the department Friday, bringing the number of cases to 89.
Of the cases, 87 are officers and two are civilian employees, Chicago police said.
Illinois coronavirus deaths, cases see largest spike in single day so far
Illinois' coronavirus cases increased by more than 1,200 with 53 additional deaths Friday, the largest jump in both categories in one day.
There are now 8,904 confirmed COVID-19 cases across Illinois, including 210 deaths, state health officials announced Friday.
State health officials said the virus has spread to 64 counties, as of Friday. DeWitt, Effingham and Jersey counties are now reporting cases.
Illinois COVID-19 deaths surpass 150 as hospital at McCormick Place set to open
The death toll from COVID-19 has reached 157, with an additional 16 deaths reported Thursday as the state prepares to get alternate care facilities ready for a possible surge in patients.
Illinois National Guardsmen and women reported to McCormick Place Friday morning with hard hats and masks in hand. They have been supporting a lightning fast effort to transform Chicago's biggest event space into an alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients who don't need intensive treatment.
Governor JB Pritzker says the massive convention center in Chicago should be up and running today.
April 2, 2020
More than 160 Cook County Jail detainees have tested positive for coronavirus, as of Thursday night.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office reported that 167 detainees have contracted COVID-19, and 14 are hospitalized.
There are also 46 employees in the sheriff's office who have tested positive for coronavirus so far.
Coronavirus Illinois deaths surpass 150, cases near 8K as Cook County ME works to expand storage
Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new statewide initiative as Illinois' number of confirmed coronavirus cases grew by 715 with 16 additional deaths. The new messaging campaign, called "All In Illinois," calls on all residents to work together to fight the virus.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Thursday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state has reached 7,695, with a total of 157 deaths.
Twelve of the deaths were in Cook County. Deaths were also reported in Christian, DuPage, McHenry and Whiteside counties.
Logan, Macoupin, Mercer, Moultrie, and Piatt counties are now reporting cases.
A Chicago police officer has died from COVID-19, Mayor Lori LIghtfoot and Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck announced. Officer Marco Difranco, 50, contracted the virus last week and was hospitalized over the weekend. He is survived by a wife and two children, ages 10 and 7.
Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle announced that the county would be launching a technical assistance program to help small businesses, their employees, gig workers and independent contractors to benefit from a $377 billion federal relief fund. Preckwinkle also announced further aid to small businesses and employees from the Economic Bureau of Development would be coming in the next week.
April 1, 2020
Aurora has extended the city's emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through May 15.
The city said the declaration can be withdrawn earlier if the emergency no longer exists.
Mayor Richard Irvin also is closing City Hall and all city properties, including parks, playgrounds, museums and the zoo, to the public through May 15.
The Illinois National Guard said Wednesday that Gov. Pritzker also activated about 30 of its medics.
The Illinois National Guard medics will provide medical support at the Stateville Correctional Center, where an inmate who had COVID-19 died earlier this week. They'll perform screenings at the prison, including checking vitals, blood pressure and temperatures.
There are now 167 Cook County Jail detainees who have tested positive for COVID-19, the county sheriff said Wednesday.
The county sheriff said 12 of the detainees are hospitalized, while 19 detainees have tested negative.
The sheriff also announced Wednesday that nine more of the office's employees have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to 34.
The Chicago Police department reported 14 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total within the agency to 64.
A CPD spokesman said, "We continue to adapt to the new temporary normal and implement social distancing and infection protocols at CPD."
42 new COVID-19 deaths raise toll to more than 140 in Illinois, cases near 7K, officials say
COVID-19 has claimed more than 140 lives in Illinois as the number of novel coronavirus cases nears 7,000, state health officials said.
Gov. JB Pritzker renewed his call for retired and former health care workers to join the fight against coronavirus as the state recorded 42 new deaths Wednesday. Three of those individuals were in their 20s or 30s.
Illinois health officials announced 986 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the state's total to 6,980.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker announced a $4 million grant program for artists and institutions on Wednesday. It's intended to help an estimated 77,000 people who work in the industry in Illinois and have been hit hard by the "stay-at-home" order that shut down theaters and galleries.
More information on the grant program is available here: https://artsforillinois.org/.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces 1st city employee death
City of Chicago employee dies from coronavirus, Mayor Lightfoot announces.
CHA will defer rent for thousands of tenants through the end of the month while the stay-at-home order remains in effect.
Families with loved ones at Westchester Health and Rehabilitation Center are expressing concerns about a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility, with two deaths reported. A spokesperson for the center said patients who have tested positive are hospitalized outside the facility.
March 31, 2020
Governor JB Pritzker extends IL stay-at-home-order to April 30 as COVID-19 cases spike to nearly 6K
Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday at his daily coronavirus briefing that the state's stay-at-home order will be extended through the end of April as COVID-19 cases in the state spike to nearly 6,000.
Pritzker said the state's disaster proclamation and suspension of on-site learning at schools across the state would also be extended through April 30.
Illinois public health officials announced 937 new coronavirus cases and 26 additional deaths Tuesday. The disease has now claimed 99 lives in Illinois, with the total number of COVID-19 cases climbing to 5,994.
First responders on the front lines of the coronavirus will get the chance to stay at a downtown hotel during the pandemic. Mayor Lightfoot said nearly 300 hotel rooms at Hotel Essex will be set aside for first responders concerned about potentially exposing their family members to COVID-19.
Before the announcement, a new class of Chicago Fire Department paramedics graduated, with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Fire Commissioner Richard Ford congratulating them. The paramedics entered the room 10 at a time in order to practice social distancing.
March 30, 2020
Cell phone data shows Cook County travel plummets after stay-at-home order
Chicagoans are obeying the city's stay-at-home order to combat the spread of coronavirus. Cell phone data from Chicagoans and Cook County residents shows people moving around drastically less than before last week.
Nurse diagnosed with COVID-19 speaks out after working while sick at Westchester facility; 11 test positive
There's growing concern about an outbreak of cases at the Westchester Health and Rehabilitation Center where at least 11 people have tested positive.
A nurse there who is among the confirmed cases is speaking out, saying she hadn't been feeling well but still had to work. It wasn't until last Wednesday that she was tested for COVID-19, and has since been hospitalized and is trying to recover.
Gov. JB Pritzker announced that part of the McCormick Place Convention Center will be temporarily converted into an alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms who do not require intensive care.
The facility will have the capacity to care for up to 3,000 patients. The buildout will take place in phases, with up to 500 beds expected to be assembled by the end of this week.
An employee at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office tested positive for COVID-19. The individual works at the Cook County Domestic Violence Court Building located at 555 W. Harrison St. in Chicago and last reported for work on March 24. The CCSAO is contacting anyone known to have had contact with the employee in the last two weeks. Unrelated to this employee and in addition to routine cleaning and disinfection, a deep cleaning took place at 555 W. Harrison St. on March 25. All CCSAO employees working at that location will be sent home for 14 days.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces new remote learning plans at CPS, City Colleges
Chicago Public Schools has announced new remote learning plans so students can continue their education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CPS said it plans to implement remote learning beginning on April 13 and families can expect to hear directly from their schools by April 6, the district said.
The schools will offer both digital and non-digital learning options, schools can create their own activities to supplement district instruction and teachers will provide weekly feedback to students.
Lightfoot and CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson also announced a plan to get thousands of devices into the hands of homebound students so they can use the plans.
March 29, 2020
101 detainees at Cook County Jail have contracted COVID-19, sheriff says
More than 100 detainees at the Cook County Jail have tested positive for coronavirus, the county's sheriff announced Sunday.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office reported that 101 detainees at the jail have COVID-19, and they're awaiting results for 93 others.
Nine detainees have tested negative, the office said.
Additionally, 12 employees at the sheriff's office have tested positive for coronavirus.
The Cook County Sheriff said that Cermak Health Services are closely monitoring detainees and will test any who are symptomatic.
Illinois sees 1K+ spike in COVID-19 cases in 1 day as state seeks to increase testing capacity
Illinois reported a spike of more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases Sunday.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,105 new COVID-19 cases and 18 additional deaths Sunday. The state is now reporting a total of 4,596 cases in Illinois, including 65 deaths.
There are now cases in 47 Illinois counties, with patients confirmed in Bond, Knox, Menard and Montgomery counties.
The deaths reported Sunday include 11 patients in Cook County, two in Kane County, one in DuPage County, one in Kendall County, one in LaSalle County and one in St. Clair County.
The Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County announced Sunday that two more employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Both of the employees worked in the Traffic Division on the Lower Level of the Daley Center, officials said.
Both employees last reported for work on March 20. One of the two is currently hospitalized, officials said.
March 28, 2020
A Chicago infant who tested positive for coronavirus has died, Illinois officials announced.
The number of Illinois' COVID-19 cases jumped by 465 new cases and 13 additional deaths. There are now 3,491 coronavirus cases in the state, including 47 deaths.
March 27, 2020
12 nurses at University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago test positive for COVID-19
Twelve nurses at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago have tested positive for COVID-19.
A member of the Illinois Nurses Association told ABC7 on Friday that the dozen nurses weren't wearing personal protective equipment while working with patients who had not yet been tested for coronavirus.
"How would you know which ones are positive, which ones are not? So that's why we are not sure so why don't we just use masks every time we are in the hospital? And finally they listened this afternoon," said Terrence Yee.
New program offers grants to help residents pay rent, mortgages during COVID-19 crisis
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program that will offer 2,000 grants of $1,000 each.
Chicago residents have to apply and there is certain criteria to meet to determine eligibility.
Applicants have to provide documentation showing how they've been economically affected by the COVID-19 crisis, such as unemployment insurance claims, notices of employment status change and proof of household income at or below 60% of the area median income prior to job loss.
Illinois lags behind most states in coronavirus testing, but rates are improving
Illinois lags behind the majority of states when it comes to coronavirus testing, but figures here are improving after a slow start.
There has been a surge of testing in Illinois. From the new National Guard outpost on Chicago's Northwest Side to a private drive-through clinic near Lincoln Park, the result is what was a sluggish 300 tests two weeks ago increased last week and is now more than 50 times where it started at nearly 17,000 people tested. As of Friday evening, almost 22,000 total swab tests have been conducted in Illinois.
Aurora city officials announce both Mayor Richard Irvin and Police Chief Kristen Ziman have tested positive for COVID-19.
Illinois expands food stamp access as COVID-19 cases top 3K, with 34 deaths
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is offering up more state assistance to provide housing and food to those in need as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state surpasses 3,000.
State health officials announced 488 new cases of COVID-19, bringing Illinois' total cases to 3,026. Health officials said 34 people have died of the novel coronavirus.
The cases are spread across 40 counties in Illinois, and patients range from younger than 1 to 99 years old. Eighty-six percent of deaths so far have been patients 60 years and older.
On Friday, Gov. Pritzker announced expanded access to the federal food stamp program, known as SNAP, and financial assistance for day care centers caring for children of essential workers.
The Illinois Department of Human Services is increasing monthly SNAP benefits and expanding access to the program. It could mean doubling existing benefits for many residents, according to Pritzker's administration.
There's also $6 million being directed to agencies helping those experiencing homelessness in Illinois.
Gov. Pritzker also asked all licensed health care workers to sign up for a new emergency alert system.
"People who live in a certain area of the state, we might say, 'Hey everybody, we need 100 or 50 of these kinds of professionals, please let us know if you're available this afternoon, this evening to come to this location to help us out," Pritzker said.
With the number of Illinois cases continuing to rise sharply, the governor said he's still evaluating whether to extend the "stay-at-home" order past April 7.
43 sick, 10 positive COVID-19 cases linked to Glenview church
A church in the northern suburbs may be at the center of the latest cluster of novel coronavirus cases in Illinois.
Forty three people at the Life Church of Glenview are sick, and at least 10 have tested positive for COVID-19.
Pastor Anthony LoCascio said it all started after a service on March 15 when 80 people attended service to hear a guest speaker.
Most of the sick range in age from the late 20s to mid-40s, and there are some children sick as well.
March 26, 2020
On Thursday, Gov. Pritzker issued an executive order that will keep new inmates from being admitted to state prisons, aside from some limited exceptions.
So far, 12 corrections staff and prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19.
Illinois to receive federal funding for COVID-19 recovery after Pres. Donald Trump approves disaster declaration
President Donald Trump has approved Illinois' request for a federal disaster declaration, making federal funding available for COVID-19 recovery efforts.
President Trump declared a major disaster exists in the state on Thursday.
It makes federal funding available for state, tribal and eligible local governments as well as certain nonprofits in response to the coronavirus outbreak. It also makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for Illinois residents affected by the crisis.
The announcement comes as Illinois' COVID-19 cases topped 2,500 on Thursday.
Illinois health officials announced 673 new cases and seven additional deaths, bringing the state's total to 2,538 cases and 26 deaths.
The deaths include a man in his 50s, two men and two women in their 60s, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 90s.
There are now coronavirus cases in 37 Illinois counties, with Franklin and Tazewell counties now reporting cases.
Chicago's Lakefront Trail, 606 Trail and more closed amid stay-at-home order
Several public spaces, including Chicago's lakefront and the 606 Trail, are closed to the public until further notice, according to several Chicago aldermen.
"Starting today, all of Chicago's lakefront with its adjoining parks will be closed to the public until further notice. In addition, all fieldhouses, all playlots, all school playgrounds, the Chicago Riverwalk, and the 606 Trail are now closed to the public," Ald. James Cappleman said in a newsletter.
Mayor Lightfoot, AARP Illinois to host telephone town hall to address seniors' concerns during virus outbreak
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and AARP Illinois are scheduled to host a telephone town hall meeting Thursday about seniors' concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak in Chicago.
The meeting is designed to offer residents more information on access to senior resources available throughout the city. It will also provide information on how others can help older people during the pandemic.
The call is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Thursday. Those who wish to join the call can do so by calling 877-299-8493, using PIN 115390.
Illinois workers experience issues filing for unemployment, website flooded with claimants
A record 3,283,000 Americans filed for unemployment this week amid the coronavirus crisis, U.S. Department of Labor figures released Thursday show. That number shatters the record that was set back in 1982, and economist say were heading to an unemployment rate that could be worse than the Great Depression.
As layoffs are surging because so many businesses are closed due to COVID-19, many people who say they can't work are claiming they are unable to file for unemployment.
March 25, 2020
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker delays state tax filing deadline as COVID-19 cases reach 1,865, 19 deaths
Gov. JB Pritzker announced he's delaying Illinois' tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15 on Wednesday, when the state's total coronavirus cases climbed to 1,865, with 19 deaths.
Pritzer said the decision aligns Illinois' tax day with the federal government's and gives "millions of taxpayers three additional months to file their individual returns."
Illinois health officials announced the number of coronavirus cases in the state has reached 1,865, with 19 deaths. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 330 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, including three deaths.
Chicago could shut down parks, lakefront if residents ignore stay-at-home coronavirus guidelines
During an afternoon update, Mayor Lori Lightfoot reminded residents to stay home despite the nice weather. "Outside is for brief respite, not 5Ks," she said. "Preferably in your neighborhood."
Mayor Lightfoot said she will be forced to shutdown the parks and the entire lakefront if people continue to disregard social distancing guidelines.
"If we don't maintain the social distancing we need, we will lose ground that we've gained," the mayor said.
Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck reminded residents they are under an order.
"If you violate it, you are subject to a citation, a fine of up to $500, and if you continue to violate it you will be subject to physical arrest," Beck said.
CTA bus, rail operators test positive for COVID-19
The CTA announced that two employees, a bus operator and a rail operator, have tested positive for COVID-19.
The bus operator works out of the 77th Bus Garage at 210 W. 79th St. and the rail operator works out of the 95th Street Terminal at 15 W. 95th St.
March 24, 2020
The City of Aurora has confirmed, through the Kane County Health Department, the area's first death due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
A male in his 90s succumbed to COVID-19 complications yesterday after being diagnosed just two days prior.
Health officials announced 250 new cases and four more deaths Tuesday, bringing the state's total to 1,535 positive cases and 16 deaths.
The four deaths include a Chicago resident in his 50s, two Cook County residents both in their 60s, and a DuPage County resident in her 90s. Grundy County also reported its first case of COVID-19.
March 23, 2020
Health officials announced 236 new cases and three more deaths Monday, bringing the state's total to 1,285 positive cases and 12 deaths.
Monroe County is the latest to join the list of counties in Illinois that have confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of the 102 counties, officials said 31 have seen cases in their area.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will join the Department of Housing and Department of Family and Support Services to announce new supports for homeless populations as well as the city's healthcare system during the COVID-19 outbreak.
March 22, 2020
A fourth Chicago police officer has tested positive for COVID-19.
A Chicago Police Department spokesman confirmed the case on Twitter Sunday night.
The officer is assigned to a patrol district on Chicago's South Side, according to CPD.
There's no indication that the case is connected to the other three involving the law enforcement agency, a spokesman said.
The number of coronavirus cases in Illinois has surpassed 1,000, state health officials announced Sunday.
Gov. JB Pritzker and state health officials announced 296 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths, bringing the state's total to 1,049 with nine deaths.
The deaths include a Cook County man in his 80s, a Chicago man in his 80s and a McLean County woman in her 70s, according to Illinois health officials.
A total of 30 Illinois counties have COVID-19 patients, with Jo Daviess, Livingston, Rock Island and Stephenson counties now reporting cases.
The BIue Island Police Department has been temporarily shut down Sunday by the city's mayor after a department employee has tested positive for COVID-19, Mayor Domingo Vargas confirmed.
Mayor Vargas said that he learned late Saturday night that an employee of the Blue Island Police Department had tested positive for COVID-19.
The mayor said the department has been temporarily shut down and no one is being allowed inside while the building is being cleaned.
Mayor Vargas requested the help of the Cook County Sheriff's Department to help assist police in the city during this time.
March 21, 2020
The city of Evanston has installed portable bathrooms with hand-washing stations to help protect the homeless against COVID 19.
Fifteen of the portable bathrooms have been strategically placed around the city so people without access to private bathrooms can wash their hands to lessen their chances of catching the virus.
You can find a list of locations HERE.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified two additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the county's total to four.
The office said 48-year-old Timothy Loving died March 17 of acute hypoxic respiratory failure due to COVID-19 infection.
Diane Breymeyer, 80, died March 19 of multifocal pneumonia due to COVID-19 infection, according to the office.
An Aurora Police Department employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
The law enforcement agency confirmed Saturday that a member of the department's supervisory staff is self-quarantined at home after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
The department said the member started feeling ill on March 17, and is already improving.
Gov. JB Pritzker and health officials announced 168 new coronavirus cases and another death in Illinois on Saturday, bringing the state's total to 753 with 6 deaths.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said a Cook County man in his 70s died after being diagnosed with the virus.
There are now cases in 26 Illinois counties with patients ranging in age from 3 to 99.
Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin announced parking officials will not ticket for parking violations through the end of April, unless vehicles are parked in an unsafe manner. Aurora is also suspending the licenses for all solicitors through the end of April.
Irvin approved the sale of packaged liquor at some establishments and closed parks and playground through April 7.
The Illinois National Guard announced that Gov. JB Pritzker has authorized the activation of another 20 service members for the state's COVID-19 response.
They include medical and logistics planners, geospacial planners and public affairs personnel, the Illinois National Guard said.
There's now a total of 80 activated Illinois National Guard members to help with the coronavirus outbreak.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ensures residents they will continue to have access to food and services during Gov. JB Pritzker's "stay-at home" order.
But she also said "the time is now to step up and help them because they are helping us," in regards to numerous organizations helping Chicagoans get what they need.
March 20, 2020
Gov. JB Pritzker issues 'stay-at-home' order for all Illinois residents
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a "stay-at-home" order for all Illinois residents Friday afternoon in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Joined by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Gov. Pritzker said the order begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 and will remain in effect through Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Essential services - such as grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies - will remain open, but all non-essential businesses will be forced to stop operating. Pritzker said residents will still be able to leave home to buy food, obtain medication and go to a medical office or hospital.
Lightfoot added that the CTA will remain running through the "stay-at-home" order, and essential city services, such as garbage collection, will continue.
Pritzker also announced a 5th death in Illinois from COVID-19, a Cook County resident in her 70s. As of Friday, there are 585 cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, a jump of more than 100 cases from the previous day's tally of 422.
A pre-schooler in Bartlett has tested positive for COVID-19. The child goes to Independence Center for Early Learning, Elgin School District U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders said.
March 19, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot extends Chicago Public Schools closures, orders sick residents to stay home
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is extending Chicago Public Schools closures and ordering all sick residents to stay home as part of the city's COVID-19 response.
Lightfoot addressed residents from her City Hall office Thursday, delivering the city's plan to combat the new coronavirus pandemic.
The mayor announced that Chicago Public Schools will be closed through April 20, with students returning to class Tuesday, April 21. The measure comes after Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker mandated all schools to close from March 17 through March 30.
Lightfoot also said that many of the city's debt collection, ticketing and impound practices will be suspended until April 30.
The suspension cover booting of cars and late fees and defaults on payments for all city debt, including parking tickets and utility bills.
Mayor Lightfoot announced Thursday the creation of the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund, starting with more than $100 million in low-interest loans intended for small businesses severely affected by the outbreak.
The mayor also announced City Hall will not be open to the general public, effective Friday, March 20 and until an announcement to resume normal operations is made. During this time, only City of Chicago personnel and members of City Council will be able to access the upper floors of City Hall.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced three new coronavirus-related deaths in the state Thursday, bringing the state's fatality total to four.
Pritzker said a Will County resident in his 50s, a Cook County resident in her 80s and a Florida resident in her 70s died after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Florida resident was in Sangamon County, health officials said.
Illinois health officials also announced that the number of cases statewide has risen to 422, a spike from the 288 total on Wednesday.
There are now cases in 22 counties, with patients' ages ranging from 9 to 99.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said the five new counties that are now reporting coronavirus cases include Jackson, Kankakee, LaSalle, Washington and Williamson counties.
"I am saddened to announce three more people in Illinois with coronavirus disease have passed away," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "We ask everyone to please, stay home as much as possible so we can reduce the number of people who are infected and potentially suffer serious illness, including death."
Health officials said the jump in cases reported is partly due to the increase in testing by commercial and hospital labs.
Mayor Lightfoot orders sick to stay home, to address city on COVID-19 response
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is ordering all sick residents to remain home to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
In a press release, Lightfoot's office said Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady signed a public health order Thursday requiring all residents with confirmed coronavirus illness or who are exhibiting symptoms of the illness to stay home.
Lightfoot will be sharing an update on the city's COVID-19 pandemic response at 5 p.m. Thursday. It can be watched on ABC7 as well as on ABC7Chicago.com and the ABC7 News App.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced new alert services to provide information about COVID-19. For text updates, residents can text alertcook to 888777. A new hotline is also available at 708-622-3319 and email at email@example.com.
Illinois Senate President Don Harmon canceled next week's Senate session days as part of a public health effort to limit exposure and hopefully slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Senate was scheduled to be at the Capitol March 24-27.
March 18, 2020
A second member of the Chicago Fire Department has tested positive for COVID-19. The person is hospitalized and those that have come into contact with the person are being asked to self-quarantine.
Two Rush Oak Park ER doctors have tested positive for COVID-19 as the suburb has issued a shelter in place order, limiting travel to grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations and laundromats.
March 18, 2020
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 128 new cases of COVID-19 across Illinois, bringing the total number of confirmed cases across 17 counties to 288. Two additional counties are now reporting cases of COVID-19 cases, Kendall and Madison counties. Cases have occurred in patients ages 9 to 99.
An additional 20 individuals at the long-term care facility in DuPage County experiencing an outbreak have tested positive, bringing the total to 42, including 30 residents and 12 staff.
The state has launched a new website for COVID-19 resources, including unemployment eligibility for those impacted, at coronavirus.illinois.gov.
The Chicago Department of Public Health confirmed that a Chicago Department of Procurement Services employee tested positive for COVID-19. At this time, it is not believed the employee contracted the virus at work.
Gov. JB Pritzker signed an emergency declaration, effective through April 12, enabling haulers to get free Illinois Department of Transportation overweight trucking permits for the movement of emergency relief supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DePaul University announced that a faculty member has tested positive for COVID-19. The faculty member works at 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. and was last in the building on March 15 with a non-DePaul person who has also been confirmed to have COVID-19, the school said.
March 17, 2020
An individual last in the Willis Tower March 13 tested positive for COVID-19. The building was scheduled to undergo a deep cleaning but was expected to be open March 18.
Gov. JB Pritzker activated about 60 Illinois National Guard members to assist with the state's COVID-19 response on Tuesday.
The service members include 43 airmen from the Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing's Medical Group and 17 planners and liaison officers from Army National Guard and Air National Guard units across the state.
The Illinois National Guard said the activation is in anticipation of the need for more medical staffing and logistic support.
The Illinois Institute of Technology announced that a student in the Stuart School of Business has tested positive for novel coronavirus.
University officials said the student was last at the school on March 12 and was asymptomatic. It's the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at IIT.
The university is working to notify anyone who had direct contact with the student so they may self-quarantine.
Illinois' first COVID-19 death is Chicago resident
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced Illinois' first COVID-19 death, a Chicago resident in her 60s. Pritzker said the woman was not a resident of a nursing home. She tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month and had underlying medical conditions, Pritzker said. No additional details were released.
Illinois health officials on Tuesday also announced word of an outbreak at a DuPage County long-term care facility, where a woman in her 60s tested positive on Saturday.
After everyone in the facility was tested Sunday, officials said 18 residents and four staff members were confirmed to have the virus.
DuPage County officials said the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook self-identified themselves as the facility in question.
The county's health department said they'll have to reach out to hundreds, possibly thousands, of people who may have come in contact with each of the confirmed cases.
The Illinois Department of Public Health updated the state's total of confirmed coronavirus cases to 160. Patients are reported in 15 counties between the ages of 9 to 91.
Wednesday's monthly Chicago City Council meeting is cancelled. It's consistent with the governor's director to cancel public gatherings of 50 or more. As a result, Mayor Lightfoot is discouraging people from travelling to City Hall.
CFD paramedic tests positive for COVID-19
A paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. According to a department spokesperson, the paramedic came back to work on March 14th and was not feeling well. The paramedic was treated and released and is at home in self-quarantine.
Three FAA technicians at the Chicago Midway Air Traffic Control Tower tested positive for the COVID-19 on Tuesday.
The tower has been cleaned in accordance with guidance from the CDC and there is no immediate effect on operations, according to the FAA.
In extreme circumstances, service levels could vary, but safety will not be compromised, said the FAA.
I-TEAM: Chicago election officials wanted polls closed due to COVID-19, IL Governor Pritzker said no
As turnout tanks in the dawning hours of the Illinois primary, election officials in Chicago say they tried to get in-person voting called off by state officials and were turned down.
Predicting fear among voters and pollworkers, the chief spokesman for Chicago's Board of Election Commissioners Tuesday morning unleashed a critical attack on Illinois governor JB Pritzker and the state's decision to plow ahead with presidential primary voting in the face of a coronavirus pandemic.
Polls across Illinois opened for the primary election with uncertainty about COVID-19 expected to impact voter turnout. Election officials say machines will be cleaned regularly.
March 16, 2020
University of Illinois at Chicago announced a graduate medical trainee at the College of Medicine has tested positive for COVID-19. It was the first confirmed case among UIC faculty, staff or students and was related to travel.
Illinois Secretary of State announced they will be closing all offices as of Tuesday, including drivers service facilities, until March 31. Those who have expiring drivers license will be given a one month extension.
Illinois bans gatherings of more than 50 people as state preps for election
Governor JB Pritzker announced a ban on gatherings of 50 people or more Monday as the number of Illinois cases reached triple digits. There is now a total of 105 cases of COVID-19 across 15 counties, including two new counties: south suburban Will and downstate Peoria. Meanwhile, Chicago election officials are bracing for a very challenging Election Day with election judges continuing to quit.
President Trump tells older people to stay home, all ages to avoid crowds
The White House on Monday urged all older Americans to stay home and everyone to avoid crowds and eating out at restaurants as part of sweeping guidelines meant to combat an expected surge of coronavirus cases.
President Donald Trump, in a marked shift in tone about a crisis that has enveloped the globe, for the first time acknowledged that the pandemic may send the U.S. economy into a recession and suggested that the nation may be dealing with the virus until "July or August."
Will County announces its first confirmed coronavirus case. Health officials establish a coronavirus hotline for questions, available from 8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday at 815-740-8977.
The Noble Charter School Network announced all schools would be closed on Monday after a staff member at Mansueto High School in Brighton Park tested positive for COVID-19. Noble said schools will be closed to all activities other than food service.
March 15, 2020
A member at a South Side school has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Chicago Public Schools.
The Chicago Department of Public Health notified the school district of a confirmed coronavirus case involving an individual at Mark Sheridan Math and Science Academy in Bridgeport.
CPS is requesting that anyone who was in the school on March 9 to stay home effective immediately through Monday, March 23.
Mark Sheridan Math and Science Academy will close Monday, March 16, and reopen March 31.
All Illinois restaurants, bars to close for inside dining for 2 weeks to limit COVID-19 spread, governor says
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has announced that all restaurants and bars will close for inside dining for more than two weeks to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Pritzker said the closures will begin Monday, March 16, through March 30.
The action Sunday afternoon came as the state announced 29 new coronavirus cases, bringing Illinois' total to 93.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said five additional counties are reporting COVID-19 cases: Champaign, Clinton, Sangamon, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.
The patients were also reported in Cook, Cumberland, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, St. Clair and Woodford counties.
"We are seeing the number of COVID-19 cases increase exponentially and in more locations across Illinois," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "At this point, it is best to assume that the coronavirus is circulating in your community and you should take the same precautions when interacting with other people that you would when interacting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19."
March 14, 2020
Northwestern University confirmed that a second employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
The university identified the patient as a staff member in the Office of the Registrar on the Evanston campus. The employee serves in a role with "limited face-to-face interaction with students or faculty," the school said.
The employee is self-isolating off campus, the school said.
The Sangamon County Department of Public Health reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing Illinois' total to 66.
A patient at Memorial Medical Center has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the department said. The patient is in critical condition at the hospital. No other details about the patient's age, gender or source of infection are known at this time.
Sangamon County officials reported a second coronavirus patient, who was tested at an outpatient facility.
No other details on the second patient are known at this time.
The parent of a Thornwood High School student has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the South Holland school district announced Saturday.
Thornton Township High School District 205 said the parent visited the school on March 4 for a meeting with staff. The district is now working to identify who came into contact with the parent at the south suburban school.
As a precautionary measure, the high school is closing on March 16, one day earlier than the state-mandate school closure period.
Governor JB Pritzker announced 18 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including the first cases for both central and southern Illinois.
The newest cases come from Cook, Lake, Cumberland, Woodford, St. Claire and DuPage counties.
The DuPage County case is a woman in her 60s who resides at a private long-term care facility. The facility has been locked down to outside visitors, according to the governor.
The governor also announced his administration will file a federal waiver to expand Medicaid coverage as COVID-19 continues to spread.
March 13, 2020
Northwestern University confirmed Friday that an employee in the Kellogg School of Management has tested positive for coronavirus.
The university said the employee works in the school's Global Hub on the Evanston campus. The employee is now self-isolating off campus, according to university officials.
All students, faculty and staff who may have been in direct contact with the employee are being asked to self-isolate, the university said.
Illinois officials announced plans to close all schools in an effort to limit COVID-19 spread as the total of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 64.
Gov. JB Pritzker announced that all public and private K-12 schools will close from Tuesday, March 17, through March 30.
The announcement Friday came as Illinois health officials announced 14 more patients have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the state's total to 64.
Lake County, Illinois declares disaster proclamation as a proactive measure that will allow the county to access additional state and federal funding and resources for coronavirus response efforts. The proclamation follows a recommendation by the Lake County Board of Health at its March 12 executive board meeting.
President Donald Trump declares a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic.
The Archdiocese of Chicago announced it has suspended all services, including Masses, effective Saturday evening. It has also closed all schools operated by the Archdiocese beginning Monday, March 16.
Chicago-based Grubhub held a press conference with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announcing that the food ordering and delivery service will suspend the collection of up to $100 million in fees from independent restaurants. The company will also set up a charitable fund for impacted drivers and restaurants.
A student at St. Margaret of Scotland School tested positive for COVID-19. The school will be closed until March 23 and Mass will not be held on March 13. The school was already scheduled to be closed from March 16-20 for spring break.
March 12, 2020
Coronavirus testing debacle is in the execution, top US coronavirus-fighter admits
The testing of potential COVID-19 patients is "failing" according to a top doctor from the National Institutes of Health.
That that dire assessment came Thursday just as President Trump hailed government testing, saying it "has been going very smooth."
An I-Team reality check of coronavirus testing turns up disappointment and distress, and sometimes no answers.
Illinois officials ban events with 1K+ people as 7 new COVID-19 cases bring total to 32
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has issued new guidelines around large gatherings in public spaces as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state climbs to 32.
Pritzker recommended Thursday that all public gatherings and community events that are expected to attract 250 people or more be canceled or postponed. The recommendation aligns with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The governor also mandated that events of 1,000 or more people be canceled or postponed immediately.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city will also enforce the ban against events exceeding 1,000 individuals.
The actions come as Illinois health officials announced seven more individuals have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the state's total to 32.
In Chicago, a woman in her 40s and a child are among the new cases announced Thursday. Two women in their 70s and a man in his 50s were also confirmed in Cook County.
Illinois health officials also announced two new cases outside of Cook County: a Kane County man in his 70s and a McHenry County man in his 60s.
Chicago coronavirus 'could spread like wildfire' among homeless without proper precautions, advocates say
As more people across the country test positive for the novel coronavirus, and as the death toll climbs, some experts fear the virus could "spread like wildfire" among Chicago's homeless population without proper precautions.
It's unclear if there are any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the homeless, but because of the obstacles they face, some say it's inevitable.
The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police held a press conference to call on the Chicago Police Department and City of Chicago to change police procedures in light of the spread of novel coronavirus.
Among the things FOP president Kevin Graham asked for was the end of roll calls out of concern for bringing together large groups of first responders.
The Chicago Bulls returned home from Orlando on Thursday and announced they will stop all basketball operations activities for the next few days as a "proactive measure to social distance."
No player has reported symptoms at this time and all players, coaches and basketball operations personnel have been asked to remain in the Chicagoland area, the team said.
Disneyland, California Adventure to temporarily shut down in response to coronavirus threat
The Walt Disney Co. on Thursday announced the temporary closure of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim in response to the expanding threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The closure will go into effect this Saturday and last through the end of March. The company said it will work with visitors who want to change or cancel their visits and will provide refunds on hotel bookings.
NCAA Tournaments canceled amid COVID-19 outbreak
The NCAA has canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments because of the spread of coronavirus, putting an abrupt end to the season less than a month before champions were to be crowned.
The decision comes a day after the NCAA announced the games that were scheduled to start next week would go on, but played in mostly empty arenas.
MLB suspends spring training games and delays opening day
Major League Baseball has officially suspended spring training games and will delay the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.
"This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans. MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season," a statement by MLB read.
NHL suspends season due to rapid spread of COVID-19
The NHL is following the NBA's lead and suspending its season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Thursday it is pausing its season, one day after the NBA suspended play after a player tested positive Wednesday for COVID-19.
Hinsdale schools, Chicago Latin School closed amid COVID-19 concerns
Hinsdale District School District 86 officials decided Wednesday night to cancel classes for Thursday. Events and activities are also being put on hold.
The Latin School of Chicago announced Thursday that it would be closed, with a tentative plan to reopen on April 6 after spring break. The school said there are no reports of anyone in the school community with COVID-19.
The Bernard Zell Ansche Emet Day School in Lakeview announced that it would be closed again on Thursday amid COVID-19 concerns. The school was closed earlier in the week and reopened for class on Wednesday.
Vaughn Occupational High School in Portage Park remains closed until at least March 18 after an employee there tested positive.
WATCH: Infectious disease specialist answers your questions about COVID-19
March 11, 2020
Illinois announces 6 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 25; majority in Chicago area
Six additional cases of coronavirus were announced, bringing the total in Illinois to 25. Five of the cases are in Cook County and a sixth is in Lake County.
The Lake County case is a man in his 50s. The other cases involve a man in his 80s, two men in their 70s, a woman in her 50s and a man in his 40s.
The origin of the six new infections remain unknown, but the patients are all in isolation, according to Illinois officials.
Chicago's St. Patrick's Day parades, river dyeing postponed amid coronavirus concerns; NBA suspends season, other teams consider playing without fans
Officials announced the postponement of the downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade and river dyeing as well as the South Side and Northwest Side parades. Naperville also announced that it is canceling its parade.
St. Patrick's Day festivities bring hundreds of thousands of people downtown every year, with the downtown parade and river dyeing. But concerns over spreading COVID-19 led to the postponement. Mayor Lightfoot said they will work with officials to possibly reschedule events for a later date.
Old St. Pat's Church's first annual Shamrock'n the Block has also been postponed, the church said, in light of the mayor's decision to cancel official festivities. They said all tickets purchased will be honored at the rescheduled event.
State and local leaders continue to stress that the general public is still at a low risk of contracting the new coronavirus. But because of the massive scale of these festivities, which draw more than a million people in close proximity, leaders determined allowing the events to go on would be an unnecessary risk.
March 10, 2020
8 new Illinois coronavirus cases announced in Kane, McHenry, Cook counties, bringing state total to 19
In a daily briefing, Governor JB Pritzker announced eight new confirmed cases, including the first confirmed cases of Illinois residents outside of Chicago and Cook County. The new cases include a man in his late teens in McHenry County and a woman in her 60s in Kane County.
Neither patient had a history of travel to an affected area and no connection to a known case of COVID-19, making them possibly among the first cases of community transmission in the state.
The other six new cases include four people from Cook County -- a man in his 70s, a woman in her 60s, a woman in her 40s and a man in his 40s -- and two men in their 40s from Chicago.
"We know this is going to spread," Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. "We're probably not at the peak now. So everything we do now will help determine how high that peak gets."
Four Chicago area schools were closed on March 10, as Resurrection High School in Norwood Park and Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Lakeview joined Loyola Academy in Wilmette and Vaughn Occupational High School.
March 9, 2020
4 new Chicago coronavirus cases announced, bringing IL total to 11; Wilmette school closed after student exposed to COVID-19 patient
Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster declaration as four new cases of coronavirus were announced, bringing the state's total to 11.
Two of the four cases were linked to a previous case of a CPS employee who tested positive for COVID-19. The third case is a woman in her 50s who traveled to Illinois from California and the fourth case is a woman in her 70s who returned from an Egyptian cruise linked to COVID-19. Health officials said all are in good condition.
The governor's disaster declaration, which is Illinois' version of a state of emergency, will open up state and federal resources, including federal disaster aid, to address the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Loyola Academy in Wilmette closed March 9 after school officials said a student and the student's family were exposed to a person with COVID-19.
March 8, 2020
7th COVID-19 case confirmed in state, Amtrak passenger traveling from Chicago to St. Louis tests positive
Health officials confirmed a seventh case of coronavirus in Illinois, a Chicago man in his 60s. Officials said the man is in serious condition and the case is not related to any travel nor is it connected to any of the previous cases in Illinois, meaning it might be the state's first case of community spread.
Dr. Allison Arwady, CDPH's commissioner, said that the man is a Chicago resident and he's currently hospitalized in serious condition.
Amtrak also announced that a person who traveled on a train from Chicago to St. Louis last week tested positive for coronavirus.
March 6, 2020
CPS employee is 6th confirmed case of COVID-19 in Illinois, mayor says
A sixth case of coronavirus in Illinois was confirmed to be a Chicago Public Schools employee at Vaughn Occupational High School. The school will be closed until March 18.
The woman, who is in her 50s, was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise ship that docked in San Francisco in February. The same ship is now quarantined off the coast of California with more than a dozen new cases of the virus.
Vaughn serves more than 200 students with intellectual and physical disabilities.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin joined local health officials, as well as CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Dr. Jay C. Butler, to discuss how the federal and local governments are working together to respond to the novel coronavirus. Durbin also gave an update on the possibility of a vaccine. He said health officials are saying that could take a year or two.
WATCH: Senator Dick Durbin speaks at coronavirus roundtable discussion
Illinois' fifth positive coronavirus case was released to home quarantine after doctors determined he would be able to recover at home, hospital officials said. RUSH officials said while the patient was still showing symptoms, he "no longer requires hospitalization."
March 5, 2020
RUSH University Medical Center treating 5th COVID-19 case confirmed in Illinois; Cook County man in isolation
Illinois public health officials announced a fifth Illinois resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The Cook County resident in his 20s recently traveled to Italy, where officials said he acquired the virus and is being treated at RUSH Medical Center.
The state has three testing labs up and running, and patients testing negative for flu are being asked to volunteer to be tested for COVID-19. This "surveillance testing" is in an effort to assess whether community spread of the virus is occurring.
The Illinois Department of Public Health created a COVID-19 information hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website and the Chicago Department of Public Health website.
The state's third confirmed coronavirus patient is released from Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.
March 3, 2020
Chicago Archdiocese suspends physical contact during sign of peace, holy water fonts amid COVID-19 outbreak
The Archdiocese of Chicago announced it is suspending physical contact during the sign of peace due to the spread of novel coronavirus.
Holy water fonts are being temporarily suspended, along with the wine cup at Communion. The changes are based on guidance from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Divine Worship and are effective immediately.
Priests are also required to wash their hands before Mass begins and use hand sanitizer before and after Communion.
March 2, 2020
Illinois announces 4th positive test for COVID-19, 3rd patient being treated at hospital in Arlington Heights
Illinois health officials confirmed that a fourth person has tested positive for COVID-19. The fourth patient, a woman in her 70s, is the husband of the person who is the third patient. Both are in good condition.
It is not clear how the man became infected. An emergency command center is now operating inside Northwest Community Hospital.
The Inspired Home Show, one of Chicago's biggest conventions, has been canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
February 29, 2020
3rd coronavirus patient being treated at hospital in Arlington Heights
A Cook County patient became the third patient to test positive for coronavirus in Illinois. The patient was treated at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.
Loyola University Chicago announced it is bringing students studying abroad in Rome back home over concerns about the novel coronavirus.
"It kinda hurts," one student said. "We had trips planned we can't get our money back for, and places I wanted to see."
February 28, 2020
Novel coronavirus risk remains low in Chicago, health officials say; testing expanding across state
Health officials said COVID-19 testing would be expanded to central Illinois and downstate. Officials said patients exhibiting influenza-style symptoms would be tested for coronavirus.
"Number one, the risk is low," said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. "The level of preparedness is very high, and in the event we need to scale up our efforts we are uniquely qualified to do so."
Concerns about the new coronavirus also prompted changes at Catholic churches in Chicago and the state of Illinois for the safety of clergy and parishioners.
February 24, 2020
'Support Chinatown in Chicago': Restaurant crawl aims to overcome coronavirus xenophobia
A "Support Chinatown in Chicago" restaurant crawl was held to support Chinatown businesses and combat fears about novel coronavirus.
"No confirmed cases down here. Everyone's healthy," said Carlos Matias, who organized the crawl. "The food is still delicious, and we should be supporting these small businesses."
Some merchants in Chinatown are still reporting a drop in business of 80 percent or more.
"These business owners haven't done anything to deserve that," said Ally Lee, who attended the crawl. "Nothing's changed in the quality of the food or the goods that you're buying here."
February 21, 2020
A Chicago woman, who would later be confirmed as the state's sixth confirmed patient, disembarks from the Grand Princess cruise ship in San Francisco after traveling to Mexico.
February 13, 2020
It's safe to shop, eat in Chicago's Chinatown, local and state health officials say
Illinois and Chicago health officials remind people that the risk to the general public remains low. Officials were joined by the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce to reiterate that Chinatown is open for business and safe.
Fears of the virus have turned Chicago's Chinatown into a virtual ghost town. Busy sidewalks and restaurants typically teeming with lunchtime crowds were all but empty Thursday. Some locations have seen a 50% decrease in traffic and have had to reduce staffing.
February 11, 2020
Illinois becomes first to conduct in-state testing for deadly novel coronavirus, first group of quarantined Americans released
Illinois became the first state to be able to test for the novel coronavirus on its own.
The new testing technology will allow health officials to detect and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus as the CDC prepares to see more cases show up in the United States as well.
"The test has received an emergency use authorization approval from the Food and Drug Administration, and can be tested now at these state laboratories," said Dr. Anne Schuchat with the CDC.
The new test can determine if a person has the infection within just 24-hours, giving health officials an important tool to stop the illness from spreading.
February 7, 2020
Chicago couple who tested positive for virus released from hospital; Great Lakes naval station possible quarantine location
A Chicago husband and wife who became the first two cases of coronavirus in Illinois were released from the hospital. Both were treated at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates and later released to home monitoring. Health officials said they have made a full recovery.
State health officials said the Chicago couple will remain home where they will be monitored daily until the CDC clears them to leave their house. Health officials are tracing people who have been near the couple.
Great Lakes naval base learned Thursday that military installations near 11 major airports, including the north suburban base, might become quarantine locations for those under observation for contracting the virus, should U.S. Department of Health and Human Services facilities fill up. There are also other locations that are not military-related that have been identified, local navy officials said.
January 31, 2020
Coronavirus spreads from Chicago woman to husband in 1st US human-to-human transmission, CDC says
The CDC announced that the first human-to-human coronavirus transmission in the U.S. was from a Chicago woman to her husband, the second confirmed case in Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said the woman in her 60s, who was the first case reported in Illinois, is stable and doing well. Local health officials said the patient's husband reported his symptoms on Tuesday and was hospitalized before his test results came back positive for coronavirus.
Both patients are being monitored in isolation at the St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, hospital officials confirmed on Thursday.
January 24, 2020
Coronavirus diagnosed in Chicago woman; 2nd case in US
A Chicago resident became the second confirmed case of coronavirus in the United States after she returned from traveling in Wuhan, China. The CDC said that the patient, a woman in her 60s, traveled to Wuhan in late December and returned to the U.S. on January 13.
The woman was not showing symptoms when she returned, but started feeling unwell a few days after returning, the CDC said.
"She was administering to her elderly father, who was sick while she was there," said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. "She came home and started feeling the symptoms."
"She called ahead to alert her doctor to her illness, rather than just presenting to a clinic or an emergency department," said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. "This is exactly what any potentially ill returning traveler from Wuhan should do."
COUNTY BREAKDOWN OF CONFIRMED CASES
Jo Daviess County
Rock Island County
St. Clair County
CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN ILLINOIS
1. A Chicago woman becomes the first case of novel coronavirus in Illinois after returning from Wuhan, China, health officials announced in early February. She was treated at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates and was later released to home monitoring. Health officials say she has made a full recovery.
2. The husband of Illinois' first confirmed case tested positive for the virus. He was also treated at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates and has since been released and is said to have made a full recovery.
3. A Cook County man in his 70s tested positive and was treated at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, health officials announced on February 29. It remains uncertain how the man become infected but Pritzker said the husband had traveled to a state with community transmission. They were released on March 5.
4. The wife of Illinois 3rd case, a woman in her 70s, also tested positive for novel coronavirus. She was quarantined at home as advised by health officials. Both she and her husband were reported in good condition.
5. A Cook County resident in his 20s tested positive and was announced by health officials on March 5. He flew into Chicago through O'Hare Airport earlier in the month after traveling from Italy, where officials said he contracted the virus. He was hospitalized in isolation at RUSH Medical Center and listed in stable condition. He has since been released to recover in self-quarantine at home.
6. A Chicago Public Schools employees at Vaughn Occupational High School tested positive, health officials announced on March 6. The patient is a woman in her 50s who was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise ship that docked in San Francisco on February 21 after traveling to Mexico. March 4 the cruise line announced a quarantine of the ship off the coast of California with more than a dozen confirmed cases of the virus. It was also learned that other passengers on the cruise to Mexico were also infected. She is a special education classroom assistant at the school that serves more than 200 students with intellectual and physical disabilities.
7. A Chicago man in his 60s is announced by health officials as a positive case on March 8. Officials listed the man in serious condition and the case is not related to any travel nor is it connected to any of the previous cases in Illinois. The Chicago Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health said he might be the state's first case of community spread.
8. The patient is a female family member of the CPS employee at Vaughn Occupational High School that recently tested positive after a cruise vacation. Governor JB Pritzker announced the case on March 9. The patient is listed in good condition. No other information is available at this time.
9. The patient is a female family member of the CPS employee at Vaughn Occupational High School that recently tested positive after a cruise vacation. Governor JB Pritzker announced the case on March 9. The patient is listed in good condition. No other information is available at this time.
10. A woman in her 50s, who traveled from California to Illinois to work at Cinespace Film Studios tested positive for the virus. As of March 9, no other information is available at this time. She is listed in good condition.
11. A woman in her 70s was confirmed as a positive case, according to Governor JB Pritzker on March 9. She has returned from an Egyptian cruise linked to COVID-19. She is listed in good condition.
12. A Kane County woman in her 60s became the first Illinois resident outside of Chicago and Cook County to test positive for novel coronavirus on March 10. She does not have a history of travel to an affected area and no connection to a known COVID-19 case. The patient is in isolation and is said to be doing well.
13. A McHenry County teen tested positive for COVID-19, according to health officials on March 10. Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of the individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. The patient is in isolation and is said to be doing well.
14. A Cook County man in his 70s tested positive, according to officials on March 10. No further information is available at this time. Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of the individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. The patient is in isolation and is said to be doing well.
15. A Cook County woman in her 60s tested positive, according to officials on March 10. No further information is available at this time. Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of the individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. The patient is in isolation and is said to be doing well.
16. A Cook County woman in her 40s tested positive, according to officials on March 10. No further information is available at this time. Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of the individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. The patient is in isolation and is said to be doing well.
17. A Cook County man in his 40s tested positive, according to officials on March 10. No further information is available at this time. Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of the individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. The patient is in isolation and is said to be doing well.
18. A Chicago man in his 40s tested positive, according to officials on March 10. No further information is available at this time. Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of the individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. The patient is in isolation and is said to be doing well.
19. A Chicago man in his 40s tested positive, according to officials on March 10. No further information is available at this time. Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of the individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. The patient is in isolation and is said to be doing well.
20. A Lake County (Ill.) man in his 50s tested positive, officials said on March 11. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
21. A Cook County man in his 80s tested positive, officials said on March 11. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
22. A Cook County man in his 70s tested positive, officials said on March 11. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
23. A Cook County man in his 70s tested positive, officials said on March 11. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
24. A Cook County woman in her 50s tested positive, officials said on March 11. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
25. A Cook County man in his 40s tested positive, officials said on March 11. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
26. A Chicago woman in her 40s tested positive, officials said on March 12. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
27. A Chicago child tested positive, officials said on March 12. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
28. A Cook County woman in her 70s tested positive, officials said on March 12. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
29. Another Cook County woman in her 70s tested positive, officials said on March 12. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
30. A Cook County man in his 50s tested positive, officials said on March 12. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
31. A Kane County man in his 70s tested positive, officials said on March 12. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
32. A McHenry County man in his 60s tested positive, officials said on March 12. The source of the infection is unknown and the patient is in isolation.
33. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
34. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
35. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
36. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
37. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
38. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
39. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
40. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
41. A Chicago resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
42. A Cook County resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
43. A Cook County resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
44. A Cook County resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
45. A Cook County resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
46. A Lake County resident tested positive, officials said on March 13. Their age, gender and the source of infection are all unknown.
47-64. Illinois health officials announced 18 new cases on March 14, but didn't disclose any further information on the patients.
64-93. Illinois health officials announced 29 new cases on March 15, but didn't disclose any further information on the patients.
94-105. Illinois health officials announced 12 new cases on March 16. One of the patients is a 54-year-old man who tested positive in Will County. The patient is currently isolated in the hospital. The man marks Will County's first positive case of coronavirus.
106-160. Illinois health officials announced 55 new cases on March 17. Twenty-one patients were reportedly linked to a DuPage County long-term care center.
161-288. Illinois health officials announced 128 new cases on March 18. An additional 20 individuals at the long-term care facility in DuPage County experiencing an outbreak have tested positive, bringing the total to 42 (30 residents and 12 staff).
289-422. Illinois health officials announced 134 new cases on March 19, as well as the death of three people diagnosed with COVID-19. The individuals include a Will County resident in his 50s, a Cook County resident in her 80s and an out-of-state resident in her 70s who was in Sangamon County.
423-585: Illinois health officials announced 163 new cases on March 20, as well as the death of a Cook County woman in her 70s diagnosed with COVID-19. Three additional counties are now reporting cases: Adams, Christian and McLean counties. The Chicago Department of Public Health also confirmed that a CTA bus operator has tested positive for COVID-19. The operator worked out of the CTA bus garage in the Forest Glen neighborhood on Chicago's northwest side. The CTA said it has reached out to employees who may have had direct contact with the bus operator, and are cleaning and disinfecting the impacted area of the garage which will remain open.
586-753. Illinois health officials announced 168 new cases on March 21, as well as the death of a Cook County man in his 70s.
754-1,049. Illinois health officials announce 296 new cases and three additional deaths on March 22. The deaths include a Cook County man in his 80s, a Chicago man in his 80s and a McLean County woman in her 70s, according to Illinois health officials. Jo Daviess, Livingston, Rock Island and Stephenson counties are now reporting COVID-19 cases.
1,050-1,285. Illinois health officials announced 236 new cases and three more deaths on March 23. Monroe County is the latest to join the list of counties in Illinois that have confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of the 102 counties, officials said 31 have seen cases in their area.
1,286-1,535. Health officials announced 250 new cases and four more deaths on March 24. The deaths include a Chicago resident in his 50s, two Cook County residents both in their 60s, and a DuPage County resident in her 90s. Grundy County also reported its first case of COVID-19. The City of Aurora also confirmed, through the Kane County Health Department, the first death in the area due to COVID-19. A male in his 90s succumbed to COVID-19 complications March 23 after being diagnosed just two days prior.
1,536-1,965. Illinois health officials announced 330 new cases and three additional deaths on March 25. The deaths include a Kane County man in his 90s, a Cook County man in his 60s, and a Will County woman in her 50s.
1,966-2,538. Illinois health officials announced 673 new cases and seven additional deaths on March 26. The deaths include a man in his 50s, two men and two women in their 60s, a man in his 70s, and a woman in her 90s. Franklin and Tazewell counties are now reporting cases.
2,539-3,026. Illinois health officials announced 488 new cases and eight additional deaths on March 27. Approximately 86% of fatalities are among patients 60 years of age and older. Bureau, Henry, and Iroquois counties are now reporting cases.
3,027-3,491. Illinois health officials announced 465 new cases and 13 new deaths on March 28. Carroll, Fayette and Macon counties are now reporting cases.
3,492-4,596. Illinois health officials announced 1,105 new cases and 18 additional deaths on March 29. Bond, Knox, Menard and Montgomery counties are now reporting cases. The deaths reported Sunday include 11 patients in Cook County, two in Kane County, one in DuPage County, one in Kendall County, one in LaSalle County and one in St. Clair County.
4,597-5,057. Illinois health officials announced 461 new cases and eight additional deaths on March 30. An incarcerated man from Stateville Correctional Center was among the deaths reported. There are 12 inmates who are now hospitalized and 77 more with symptoms who are isolated.
5,058-5,994. Illinois health officials announced 937 new cases and 26 additional deaths on March 31. Ford and Ogle counties are now reporting cases.
5,995-,6980. Illinois health officials announced 986 new cases and 42 additional deaths on April 1. Three of the individuals who died were in their 20s or 30s. Massac and Vermilion counties are now reporting cases.
6,981-7,695. Illinois health officials announced 715 new cases and 16 additional deaths on April 2. Twelve of the deaths were in Cook County. Logan, Macoupin, Mercer, Moultrie, and Piatt counties are now reporting cases.
7,696-8,904. Illinois health officials announced 1,209 new cases of COVID-19, including 53 additional deaths, on April 3. DeWitt, Effingham and Jersey counties are now reporting cases.
8,905-10,357. Illinois health officials announced 1,453 new cases of COVID-19, including 33 additional deaths, on April 4. Jasper, Lee, Mason and Pike counties are now reporting cases.
10,358-11,256. Illinois health officials announced 899 new cases of COVID-19, including 31 additional deaths, on April 5. Boone, Calhoun and Gallatin counties are now reporting cases.
11,257-12,262. Illinois health officials announced 1,006 new cases of COVID-19, including 33 additional deaths, on April 6. Jefferson and Wabash counties are now reporting cases.
12,263-13,547. Illinois health officials announced 1,287 new cases of COVID-19, including 73 additional deaths, on April 7. Coles, Lawrence, Richland, and Shelby counties are now reporting cases.
13,549-15,078. Illinois health officials announced 1,529 new cases of COVID-19, including 82 additional deaths, on April 8. Stark County is now reporting a case.
15,079-16,422. Illinois health officials announced 1,344 new cases of COVID-19, including 66 additional deaths, on April 9. Hancock, Pulaski, and Schuyler counties are now reporting cases.
16,423-17,887. Illinois health officials announced 1,465 new cases of COVID-19, including 68 additional deaths, on April 10. Fulton and Greene counties are now reporting cases.
17,888-19,180. Illinois health officials announced 1,293 new cases of COVID-19, including 81 additional deaths, on April 11. McDonough, Perry and Warren counties are now reporting a cases.
19,181-20,852. Illinois health officials announced 1,672 new cases of COVID-19, including 43 additional deaths, on April 12.
20,853-22,025. Illinois health officials announced 1,173 new cases of COVID-19, including 74 additional deaths, on April 13. Johnson County is now reporting a case.
22,026-23,247. Illinois health officials announced 1,222 new cases of COVID-19, including 74 additional deaths, on April 14. Clay County is now reporting a case.
So what do we know about novel coronavirus? In addition to the their FAQ page, here's a quick look at what's known about COVID-19, according to the CDC.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website and the Chicago Department of Public Health website.
Cook County residents can text alertcook to 888777 for COVID-19 information. A hotline is also available at 708-622-3319 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WATCH: How to prevent the spread of COVID-19
HOW IT SPREADS
- Person-to-person: The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (about 6 feet) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects: It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- When does spread happen? People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- How efficiently does the virus spread? How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. Another factor is whether the spread continues over multiple generations of people (if spread is sustained). The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in Hubei province and other parts of China. In the United States, spread from person-to-person has occurred only among a few close contacts and has not spread any further to date.
- There is still more to be learned: COVID-19 is an emerging disease and there is more to learn about its transmissibility, severity, and other features and what will happen in the United States. New information will further inform the risk assessment.
- Shortness of breath
* The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.
WATCH: The right way to wash your hands
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