By Brett Rowland
The Center Square
CHICAGO – With cases mounting, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Illinois should grieve Saturday after the COVID-19-related deaths of a state employee and an infant.
“I know how difficult this news can be, especially about this very young child,” the governor said. “Upon hearing it, I admit I was immediately shaken. And it’s appropriate for any of us to grieve today.”
COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has proven most deadly in people 60 and older. The death of a Cook County child younger than 1 was unexpected.
“There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant. A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us.”
More than 85 percent of deaths in Illinois have been among people 60 and older.
Ezike reported 465 new cases of COVID-19, including 13 additional deaths on Friday.
Statewide, a total of 3,491 cases, including 47 deaths, have been reported in 43 counties in Illinois as of Saturday. Carroll, Fayette and Macon counties have now reported cases.
Brett Rowland has worked as a reporter in newsrooms in Illinois and Wisconsin. He most recently served as news editor of the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He previously held the same position at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb.