Browsing Tag

Coronavirus

Rep. Darren Bailey tossed from session for not wearing mask, Pritzker not impressed

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - A state lawmaker who filed a lawsuit against the governor over the constitutionality of the coronavirus stay-at-home order was escorted out of a legislative session Wednesday for not wearing a face covering. After the House voted 97-12 for legislators to wear masks and Speaker Michael Madigan warned that anyone who does not comply could be removed, Rep. Darren Bailey said he was not going to follow the rule. The process to remove the Xenia Republican then…

Online grocery ordering approved for 1.8M SNAP recipients

Staff Report SPRINGFIELD - Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services on Wednesday, announced the state's plan to enable 1.8 million SNAP recipients to purchase food from participating grocery retailers online has been approved by the federal government. The new purchasing option will begin on June 2. All Link customers will be alerted when they can use their card to make food orders online. "To keep more families safe and healthy, my administration is expanding…

Outdoor seating allowed May 29 at Illinois bars, restaurants

By Jim Hagerty Reporter SPRINGFIELD - Illinois bars and restaurants will be permitted to offer outdoor seating at the end of the month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday. The announcement moves the provisions for eateries and saloons from Phase 4 to Phase 3 of the governor's five-phase Restore Illinois plan to restart an economy that's been nearly decimated under what's now been a nine-week stay-at-home order. Beginning May 29, outdoor dining will be permitted with tables 6 feet apart,…

Pritzker withdraws order that criminalizes stay-at-home violations

By Jim Hagerty Reporter SPRINGFIELD - Gov. J.B. Pritzker withdrew an emergency rule that made businesses subject to criminal prosecution if they opened earlier than specified in the state's plan to restart the economy. According to members of the bi-partisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules that Pritzker withdrew the measure Wednesday as lawmakers convened at the Capitol. The move was pushed largely by Republicans, who argued that the order exceeds the governor's authority to…

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…

Winnebago County leaders aim to open restaurants, churches June 1

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney and Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell announced Monday that leaders are working on a plan that would allow some businesses to open early with social distancing restrictions. The plan is for Winnebago County restaurants, day cares and churches to open by June 1, in Phase 3 of the five-phase Restore Illinois plan. As-is, however, the state plan does not permit those…

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 criminalizes stay-at-home violations, Rep. John Cabello responds

By Jim Hagerty Reporter CHICAGO - Illinois businesses could now face jail time if they violate rules under Gov. J.B. Pritzker "stay-at-home" executive order. Pritzker filed an amendment to Illinois' public health laws Friday to include the section, "Pandemic or Epidemic Respiratory Disease -- Emergency Provisions." The section states restaurants are limited to carryout, and that gyms, salons and tattoo shops must close during a disease outbreak. Businesses owners who defy this law…

Company tests UV light treatment Trump was mocked for suggesting

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -  A pharmaceutical company is testing a coronavirus treatment that involves bringing ultraviolet light into the body. "Healight" was announced by Aytu BioScience April 20, four days before President Donald Trump inquired whether ultraviolet light could be used inside the body and was mocked for it. The treatment involves the use of a catheter in the trachea. Aytu BioScience has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical…

GOP: ‘Bloated’ $3T coronavirus package will be DOA in Senate

By Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have powered a massive $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill through the House, an election-year measure designed to brace a U.S. economy in free fall and a health care system struggling to contain a pandemic still pummeling the country.  Friday's 208-199 vote, with all but one Republican opposed, advances what boils down to a campaign-season display of Democratic economic and health-care priorities. It has no…

Trump: Trials show coronavirus vaccine on track for end of 2020

Staff Report THE WHITE HOUSE - President Donald Trump said Friday that he’s hopeful to have a coronavirus vaccine on the market by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. Moncep Slaoui, a former pharmaceutical executive who Trump has tapped to serve as the administration’s virus czar, said that early trial data suggests that “a few hundred million doses of vaccine” will be delivered by late 2020. Trump, speaking at a Rose Garden event, reiterated that he wants to see states move…

Former Illinois woman arrested with knives: ‘I am the coronavirus’

By Jim Hagerty Reporter NEW YORK - A former Peoria woman is charged with multiple crimes after making what were reported as threatening statements on social media and allegedly stockpiling knives in her vehicle. Police say the incident unfolded the morning of Wednesday, April 29, when a post appeared on a Facebook page registered to  37-year-old Jessica Prim that read, "Hillary Clinton and her assistant, Joe Biden and Tony Podesta need to be taken out in the name of Babylon! I can’t be…

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…

Pritzker may withhold federal funding from municipalities that flout reopening plan

By Jim Hagerty Reporter CHICAGO - Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he is considering a number of penalties for those who do not follow his five-phase plan to reopen the state, including withholding federal funding. "These people do not follow science or data," Pritzker said Tuesday during his daily press briefing, referring to bars and restaurants in Quincy, which were open for business last weekend. "They’re just listening to partisan rhetoric perhaps, and following their own instincts, but not…