Browsing Tag

COVID-19

Pritzker urges Illinois churches to submit reopening plans

By Jim Hagerty Reporter SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged faith groups across the state to submit plans for reopening to his office. And the more comprehensive, the better. The governor said it has been a challenge during the pandemic to phase churches back to in-person worship and other gatherings, which is why he put a stamp of approval on the Catholic Church's detailed plan. "Every church is different--and mosque and synagogue," Pritzker said during his Thursday…

Northern Illinois Food Bank to host free drive-through food market this Saturday

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Northern Illinois Food Bank will host a free "Pop-Up Market" from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 23, in the parking lot of the Winnebago County COVID-19 Donations Center, 5460 E. State St. The drive-through market is part of the food bank's ongoing COVID-19 relief response and was coordinated through a partnership with the Winnebago County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). "Thanks to continued generous donations from Walmart, Amazon and Trader Joe’s, the Food…

Senate GOP leader files bill to reopen Illinois businesses by June 1

By Cole Lauterbach SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, has filed a measure that would require state officials to allow businesses to reopen next month, in addition to restricting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s emergency declaration powers. “The proposal put forward by the Illinois Chamber (of Commerce) is an important step in moving the discussion forward on how we safely reopen our state and get our economy moving forward more quickly,” he said. The language…

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…

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,"…

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: 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 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…