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News Around Illinois – April 1, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Pritzker Extends Stay-At-Home Order To April 30

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ governor has extended his statewide stay-at-home order for three weeks as the nation struggles to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday set a new deadline of April 30 for keeping people inside except for essential needs and jobs. So far, the state has reported nearly 6,000 infections and 99 deaths from the coronavirus.  Pritzker initially closed schools and restaurants and bars on March 13, then issued the stay-at-home order a week later. The period was to end April 7, but experts have said the rising number of cases in Illinois won’t have reached its peak by then. – Associated Press

Fraternity Suspended For Violating In-Person Activities Ban

CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois University has suspended the Delta Chi fraternity for violating the chancellor’s order banning in-person activities to slow the spread of COVID-19. Carbondale police over the past weekend responded to a house party hosted by Delta Chi which violated an administrative directive issued March 27 by interim Chancellor John Dunn and dean of students Jennifer Johns-Hall. The directive ordered compliance with Illinois Department of Public Health protocols requiring state residents to stay home except for essential trips for groceries or medicine. Gatherings of 10 or more people are also banned.  – Associated Press

Champaign and Vermilion Counties Report New COVID-19 Cases

URBANA — Health officials in Champaign County announced five new local cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, for a total of 29 confirmed cases. The newest cases are three men, with ages in their 30s, 50s and 80s, and two women, with ages in their 40s and 50s. The numbers are compiled by healthcare organizations under the leadership of the Champaign County Emergency Operations Center. Officials say COVID-19 is spreading by community transmission in Champaign County, infecting people who may not know how or where they were infected.

Vermilion County is reporting its first confirmed case of COVID-19. A Vermilion County resident in their 20s is hospitalized in Champaign County, after being tested there. The Vermilion County Health Department says it’s investigating who the patient has been in close contact with, so they can be fast-tracked for possible testing. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Help On The Way For Illinois’ Rural Hospitals

SPRINGFIELD – The federal aid package approved to address the new coronavirus will provide some financial support for Illinois’ rural hospitals. Those hospitals serve many elderly and Medicare recipients. Pat Schou leads the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network, a group of 51 hospitals. She says those hospitals  lost much of their revenue when they stopped elective and non-emergency procedures in preparation for a surge in patients sick with COVID-19. “If you don’t have much business, and you got to pay employees, and in our case, they have to pay people to be ready,” said Schou. “And they still have take care of some people that come in, they fall they break their leg. So it will help bridge the gap for them.” Schou says the federal government is offering advanced Medicare payments and small business loans, as well as relaxing rules on telemedicine so hospitals can still get paid for visits doctors are doing over the phone or internet. – Mary Hansen, NPR Illinois

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