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News Around Illinois – April 30, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Illinois COVD-19 Cases Surpass 50,000

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced a milestone of surpassing 50,000 COVID-19 cases in the state Wednesday, with a total of 50,355. There were an additional 2,253 cases reported in the last 24 hours. 92 new deaths in the last day brings the total fatalities to 2,215.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker also announced new initiatives to bolster nursing home assistance in the state. IDPH plans to expand testing to 3,000 COVID-19 tests per day at Illinois long-term care facilities. Starting Wednesday, IDPH will also deploy ten teams of 50 nurses to long-term care facilities across the state, with an additional 200 nurses to join in the coming days. The nurses will assist facilities in conducting swab testing, training staff and improving hygienic practices and use of personal protective equipment.

Gov. Pritzker also responded to a second lawsuit filed Wednesday by State Rep. John Cabello against the extended stay-at-home order, calling it “irresponsible.” The Illinois Attorney General filed an appeal Wednesday after a judge ruled in favor of State Rep. Darren Bailey’s lawsuit against the stay-at-home order. – Lecia Bushak, Illinois Newsroom

Two People At Joslin Meat Plant Die From COVID-19

JOSLIN – Two people who work at the Tyson plant in Joslin have died from COVID-19. They are among 92 employees who’ve tested positive for the infection. Nita Ludwig, administrator of the Rock Island County Health Department, says her department has been working with managers at the Tyson Foods  plant to implement social distancing, slower production, and other measures to prevent the infection from spreading. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Rock Island County totals 426, and more than 21 percent of those patients are Tyson employees. – Michelle O’Neill, WVIK News

Wednesday COVID-19 Cases Include Ten In Champaign County

URBANA – Champaign County reported ten new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, for a total of 124 cases and six deaths. Macon County reported two new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 110 cases and eleven deaths. Vermilion County reported one new case for a total of 19 cases and one death. Iroquois County reported five new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 29. DeWitt County has reported its second COVID-19 case in as many days. Local health authorities say both patients are young healthcare workers who work in Decatur, and are close contacts of each other. The DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department says that healthcare workers make up five of the nine COVID-19 cases identified in the two counties. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Unclear When State Lawmakers Will Meet Again

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois state legislature will reconvene. But it’s uncertain when, where and how. Many people are working remotely these days, but it appears state law prohibits the legislature from holding virtual meetings online. Governor J.B. Pritzker summed up the problem. “That is something the legislature could do, but in order to do that they would need to meet in person and pass a law to allow distance meetings,” said Pritzker. Republicans are pushing for session to resume so the legislature can decide if Illinois’ stay-at-home order should continue. But the Democratic Senate President says he first wants a plan that would lay out urgent issues and protect the health and safety off all involved. – Sean Crawford, NPR Illinois

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Severe storms possible Thursday evening and overnight

From the National Weather Service in Central Illinois: A line of t’storms will affect the area late Thursday afternoon into the overnight hours. Some severe storms are in the forecast, with damaging wind gusts and large hail. Stay weather aware and be ready to take shelter when storms approach.