COVID-19 Illinois: IL reports 1,319 new coronavirus cases, 1 death

$300M available for rent, mortgage relief for 40K households impacted by COVID-19
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois health officials reported 1,319 new coronavirus cases and one additional death, a Cumberland County woman in her 90s, on Monday.

The state surpassed 2,000 new coronavirus cases Friday and Saturday, marking the highest number of cases since May 24. On Sunday, just over 1,300 cases were reported.

The statewide positivity rate for the period of August 3 - August 9 is at 4.1%. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 32,3543 specimens for a total of 3,106,341.

As of Sunday night, 1,481 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 352 patients were in the ICU and 138 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

On Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced an emergency housing assistance program for people in Illinois financially impacted by COVID-19.

Rental assistance is now available for those who have lost a job or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As COVID-19 continues to impact our state, it is more important than ever that vulnerable households have the resources and support they need to stay in their homes," said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust in a statement. "I encourage those who have lost a job or seen their income decline as a result of COVID-19 visit our application portals to apply."

The IHDA will allocated $150 million to help income-eligible residents pay rent.

Tenants whose applications are approved will receive a one-time grant of $5,000 paid directly to their landlords to cover missed rent payments beginning from March 2020 or to and prepay payments through December 2020.

The program is expected to help approximately 40,000 households before the end of 2020, according to the governor's office.

"We are in a moment that requires a historic effort to mitigate this virus's devastating effects on the health and livelihoods of the residents of this state - one that centers on rebounding with a stronger, more inclusive economy on the other side," Pritzker said in a statement. "Keeping people in their homes isn'tjust a moral obligation, it's an economic one, andI'm incredibly proud that even in tough financial times for the state, we used our federal resources to build the largest pandemic housing stability program of any state in the nation."

Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program will be available beginning on August 24 to assist homeowners who have experienced a loss of income or employment.

Approved applicants will receive up to $15,000 paid directly to their mortgage servicer.

During a press conference Sunday afternoon, Gov. JB Pritzker discussed new emergency rules from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Gov. JB Pritzker revealed new COVID-19 guidelines Friday, which include fines for businesses not following the face mask and gathering size rules.



If approved, the rules will allow local health departments and law enforcement agencies to enforce mask and capacity mandates for businesses that have been unwilling to do so one their own.

"They're looking to the state for enforcement capability. And unfortunately the way the law is written today there is only nothing or the misdemeanor that would result in the potential of removing their license. So what we wanted to do was give something in between," Pritzker said.

Pritzker was joined by a team of health care professionals who once again urged the public to wear masks.

"Just do it, just wear it; put the mask on!" said Dr. Damon Arnold, former director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

One doctor said that if everyone in the state adhered to the mask guidelines, the pandemic would be problem free in 12 weeks.

In a statement, the Illinois Health and Hospital Association said, "The Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) and the hospital community strongly support the Governor and IDPH in taking this decisive action - based on public health and science - to protect Illinoisans against a rapidly spreading, deadly pandemic. Numerous studies demonstrate that face coverings are highly effective in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, which is critically important now as communities across the state are seeing troubling increases in new COVID-19 cases. We respectfully urge the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to allow the emergency rules on face coverings to move forward to help ensure the health and safety of students and teachers, employees and customers, healthcare professionals who are on the frontlines providing lifesaving care, and our loved ones and neighbors."

The General Assembly's Committee on Administrative Rules must approve the proposals for them to take effect. The committee is expected to take the proposals up on Tuesday.

Pritzker is facing pushback from some Republicans.

The Will County Republicans called the governor's order "unconstitutional" and overreaching in a statement Sunday.

Health officials also expanded the list of counties considered at "warning level" for COVID-19 earlier this week. Thirteen counties now fall under that category due to the rising number of positive coronavirus cases and outbreaks linked to businesses, long-term care facilities, large gatherings, and out-of-state travel.

The majority of the counties on that list are downstate, with the closest to the Chicago-area being Winnebago and Grundy counties.

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