Coronavirus update: Illinois' COVID-19 death toll tops 2.5K on first weekend of relaxed stay-at-home order

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gov. JB Pritzker is dealing with mounting frustrations on the first days of the state's relaxed stay-at-home order.

For the second day, residents gathered to protest the modified order that took effect Friday.

A rally was held in far north suburban Fox Lake Saturday, a day after hundreds gathered outside Chicago's Thompson Center.

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A rally against Gov. JB Pritzker's modified stay-at-home order was held in far north suburban Fox Lake Saturday.



The demonstration comes as Illinois' confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 2,450, with 105 additional deaths.

There are now 58,505 confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois, including 2,559 deaths, state health officials said Saturday.

Illinois officials announced an expansion of free COVID-19 testing on Saturday.

A new drive-thru testing site will open in Waukegan on Sunday. It'll be open seven days a week to test individuals with coronavirus symptoms.

"By bringing COVID-19 testing into communities free of charge, we are to make testing more readily available and easier to access," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "Testing is essential to identify the prevalence of virus circulating in our communities. Through widespread testing, we can make science-based decisions that will help us end this pandemic."

Gov. Pritzker also announced Saturday a $1 million investment to combat domestic violence and to provide resources to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone experiencing domestic violence is encouraged to contact the state's domestic violence hotline at 1-877-863-6338, state health officials said.

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Gov. JB Pritzker gives update on Illinois' COVID-19 cases as the state's modified stay-at-home order takes effect.



RELATED: Golf courses, nurseries reopen under modified stay-at-home order

RAW VIDEO: Stay-at-home order protest in downtown Chicago
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Chopper7 was over the group protesting the ongoing stay-at-home order near the Thompson Center in Chicago's Loop Friday afternoon.



Saturday marked the second day of Gov. Pritzker's modified stay-at-home order, which is now being challenged by three lawsuits.

After Pastor Steve Cassell sued over the right to hold in-person church services, the governor amended his order to allow church gatherings of ten or fewer people.

"Obviously he became very aware that he was treading dangerously all over the First Amendment," Cassell said.

RELATED: Stay-at-home order with new rules, mask requirement takes effect Friday, faces 3rd lawsuit from pastor

Gov. Pritzker said the change in his executive order is designed to make it clear churches can meet in groups of 10 or less, as long as they practice social distancing.

On Friday, Pritzker said he would consider lifting the order before May 30th for certain regions of the state, if they say two weeks of case declines.

"I want as much as everybody else does for everybody to get back to work, and for us to move toward normalcy," Pritzker said. "But I also want to say that I'm not going to do it until we know people are safe, and it isn't going to be because some protester has a sign that says, you know, 'Liberate Illinois.'"

The governor said any region that he would consider reopening before May 30th would have to have enough hospital and ventilator capacity to handle any sudden surge in cases.

RELATED: Gov. Pritzker says major plan to trace COVID-19 cases needed before re-opening

He also called for contact tracing on a "never-before-seen scale" as a route back to normalcy.

The state announced a new contact tracing program, expected to cost $80 million. Illinois is looking to hire more than 3,000 workers who will contact and isolate people who may have been exposed to COVID-19-positive patients.
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