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Rock House Kids receives COVID-19 relief funding from Club Blue

Provided ROCKFORD, IL – Rock House Kids, a safe haven for inner-city kids ages 6-18, is the recipient of a grant from Club Blue in Rockford. Club Blue announced 8 local charities that work with children will benefit from their Covid-19 Relief Fund. Rock House Kids Executive Director, Deanna “Dee” Lacny said, “We are so thankful for the many years of continuous support from Club Blue. They have blessed many children’s lives, and continue to bless their lives by providing the necessary funding…

CAPITOL RECAP: State begins Phase 4 of recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD  – Illinois on Friday, June 26, entered Phase 4 of the state's Restore Illinois reopening plan. In this phase, restaurants and bars may open for indoor dining at fractional capacity as long as they follow state guidelines, and gatherings up to 50 people are allowed. PreK-12 schools, higher education and all summer programs may also open with IDPH approved safety guidance, as could fitness clubs. Restaurants must arrange their seating facilities so…

Youth organization announces winners of COVID-19 grocery giveaway

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - A local nonprofit that helps at-risk youth announced the winners of its grocery giveaway. I Am Kid Culture called on area youth to submit short videos about how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic for its #Food4TheHood contest. Five kids submitted videos and received $75 worth of groceries and $75 worth of I Am Kid Culture merchandise. The winners are Zaniah Gray, Zabrina Gray, Isaiah Baker and Anthony Holliman. "Kids made 10- and 20-second…

Illinois COVID-19 cases continue to drop

Staff Report SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday announced 867 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including 43 additional confirmed deaths. Sunday's deaths include 33 Cook County: a man in his 30s, five women in their 60s, six men in their 60s, five women in their 70s, six men in their 70s, two women in their 80s, a man in his 80s, four women in their 90s, three men in their 90s. There have been 127,757 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 5,904…

$1.3M in COVID-19 relief awarded to rural Illinois communities

Staff Report SPRINGFIELD - Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), on Friday, announced the first round of grants awarded as part of the new Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. The fund was created to support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois that have experienced a negative impact due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "As businesses across Illinois grapple with the devastating financial…

Illinois reports 982 new cases of COVID-19

Staff Report SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health, on Wednesday, announced 982 new cases of COVID-19, including 97additional deaths. Wednesday's deaths include a Winnebago County main in his 70s and 56  people in Cook County. Deaths were also reported in DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Lake, Madison, McHenry, Peoria, St. Clair, Stephenson County, Union and Will counties. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 123,830 cases, including 5,621 deaths, in 101 counties.…

Local ministry provides COVID-19 aid to Russia

Staff Report LOVES PARK - A Rockford-area mission to Russia and the former Soviet Union today announced its on-the-ground church task force has distributed more than 500,000 meals to desperate families as Russia’s coronavirus infections hit a new high. The Slavic Gospel Association, 6151 Commonwealth Drive, Loves Park, partners with a grassroots network of  6,350 evangelical churches across the former Soviet Union to support orphans, widows, and families in need. It’s reached a critical…

Elderly, congregate communities still hardest hit by COVID-19

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Although numbers are improving, the COVID-19 outbreak continues to take its toll on area congregate settings. Statistics released by the Winnebago County Health Department Tuesday show that about 66% of COVID-related deaths have been linked to outbreaks in places like nursing homes, group homes, shelters, assisted-living centers, and jails. As of Tuesday, 20 local congregate facilities are considered areas of concern. That means there have been at…

COVID-19 sacks Mike Ditka’s Gold Coast eatery

By The Associated Press CHICAGO (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak has contributed to the closing of Mike Ditka's restaurant on Chicago's Gold Coast. Ditka's Restaurant Group announced Monday that it will permanently close the downtown location because of the ongoing economic impact of the outbreak and the impending end of its lease. "We have made the extremely difficult decision to close our Chicago restaurant due to the economic impact of COVID-19 and the short term left on our lease,"…

COVID-19: Illinois hospitalization, infection rates steady

Staff Report CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday announced 2,294 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the state including 59 additional deaths. Statewide deaths: Coles County: one women in her 90s Cook County: three men in their 40s, two women in their 50s, three men in their 50s, four women in their 60s, seven men in their 60s, four women in their 70s, eight men in their 70s, one unknown person in their 70s, one woman in their 80s, 10 men in…

COVID-19: Local, state numbers remain steady

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Winnebago County Health Department reported 57 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases Sunday, bringing the county's total number of infections to 1,501. As of this report, there are 1,501 cases of the respiratory disease in the county, including many people who have already recovered. There have now been 14,943 tests administered in Winnebago County, 5,756 of which are still pending. As of Sunday, 41 people have died from complications of COVID-19. Statewide,…

Manteno Veterans’ Home sees third COVID-19-related death

Staff Report CHICAGO - The Manteno Veterans’ Home reported Saturday that a third resident has died from complications of COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 63 residents at the state-run facility have contracted coronavirus disease. They are among the 92,457 in Illinois to be diagnosed with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,088 new cases Saturday, including 74 additional deaths, 54 of which were reported in Cook…

Pritzker issues more warnings for businesses that open before COVID-19 restrictions expire

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued more warnings Wednesday for businesses that open before executive orders issued during the COVID-19 outbreak expire. Repeating that businesses that are regulated by the state could have their licensees suspended for opening too soon, the governor added a call for local leaders to step up and prevent citizens from defying the stay-at-home edict that expires at the end of this month and the restrictions in his "Restore Illinois"…

State Sen. Dave Syverson weighs in on governor’s COVID-19 plan: ‘Open businesses’

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Illinois Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford), has weighed in the impact COVID-19 restrictions are having on the economy. "We are just now starting to see the warned about social impacts as a result of these leader’s decisions to shut the state down as they did," Syverson said in his May 12 E-Newsletter. "Disturbing data is emerging that, during the lock-down, we are seeing increases in depression, domestic violence, drug and alcohol use, suicide, and child…

Illinois COVID-19 peak pushed to June, Winnebago County on pace to reach ‘Phase 3’ of restart plan

By Jim Hagerty Reporter CHICAGO - Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that Illinois has not reached its peak in new COVID-19 cases. The governor said during his daily press briefing that it could be a month before the state hits a peak, according to models. “Compared to the forecast that I shared with you on April 23, which predicted peaking between late April and early May, that time frame of plateauing near a peak has been expanded from mid-May into mid-June,” Pritzker said. “In many…