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Illinois News

Illinois’ coronavirus infection rate continues to drop

Staff Report SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday announced 625 new cases of COVID-19 and 78 additional deaths. There have now been 129,837 cases of coronavirus infection and 6,095 deaths in 101 Illinois counties. In the past 24 hours, state laboratories processed 20,820 COVID-19 tests for a total of 1,100,002. The preliminary seven-day infection rate from June 3 -9 is 4%. Wednesday's deaths included two Winnebago County women, one in her 80s and a one…

DOJ: Illinois coronavirus restrictions ‘appear to reach far beyond’ governor’s authority

By Jim Hagerty Reporter WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although he means well, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home orders may exceed this authority to keep parts of the state closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. That is the opinion of the U.S. Department of Justice, which filed a statement of interest in federal court Friday in an attempt to become a party to the lawsuit filed by Illinois Rep. Darren Bailey, who is challenging the constitutionality of Pritzker's executive order. "However…

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…

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…

Attorney for Lena church responds to stay-at-home change; lawsuit continues

By Jim Hagerty Reporter LENA, Ill. - An attorney from the Thomas More Society, the law firm representing the Lena church that filed a lawsuit against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, responded Friday to a change in the stay-at-home order extension. “Today, people of faith in Illinois stood up and secured a win for their first liberty: the free exercise of religion,” Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen said in an email. “Calling religious freedom ‘non-essential’…

Illinois Supreme Court heads online for May cases

By Rebecca Anzel Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ highest court will hear its May session’s oral arguments through videoconference. The decision, made to follow social distancing and stay-at-home orders in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, marks the first time such technology has ever been embraced by the seven justices. The state joins 26 others in using the technology. According to the National Center for State Courts, seven states use teleconference to conduct…

Joliet mayor wants investigation into 23 nursing home COVID-19 deaths

By The Associated Press CHICAGO (AP) — The mayor of Joliet said Friday that he has asked the governor to launch an investigation into the coronavirus-related deaths of 22 residents and a staff member at a nursing home in the northern Illinois city. A spokeswoman for the facility, Symphony of Joliet, announced the deaths on Wednesday. The facility had reported a total of three deaths as recently as last week.  Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk said that he had asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office…

Illinois surpasses 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19

By Jim Hagerty Reporter CHICAGO - There are 1,672 new cases of COVID-19, and 43 more people have died from complications of the disease, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Sunday, April 12. Illinois has now seen 20,852 people test positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak was considered a pandemic last month. The state's death toll is currently 720, including seven Winnebago County residents. And while the number of positive tests has continued to climb, Pritzker said Sunday's data may…

Quietly constructed abortion clinic set to open Wednesday

By The Associated Press FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — A clinic quietly constructed in southern Illinois to meet demand for abortion services by residents outside the state is close to opening. Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri says Wednesday is opening day for its Fairview Heights clinic. The new 18,000-square-foot (1,700-square-meter) facility will provide surgical and medication abortions, family planning services, annual exams, sexually transmitted…