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News Around Illinois – July 23, 2020

The latest news around the state, for July 23, 2020.

Illinois Reports July’s Highest One-Day Total Of Virus Cases

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — As parts of the nation struggle with a worse coronavirus outbreak than during its high points last spring in other states, Illinois, where officials continue to congratulate residents for keeping the new virus in check, announced Wednesday an increasing number of newly confirmed infections. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his state public health director, Dr. Ngoze Ezike, made public pleas to wear masks when outside the home and continue physical distancing and conscientious hygiene to stem the spread of the highly contagious and potentially deadly coronavirus. The state on Wednesday reported July’s highest one-day total at nearly 1,600 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, prompting a warning from the Democratic governor. – John O’Connor – Associated Press

Slaveholder Stephen Douglas’ Name Removed From Chicago Park

CHICAGO (AP) — A park on Chicago’s West Side will be stripped of the name of slave owner Stephen Douglas and may be renamed for abolitionist Frederick Douglass, a city’s parks commission decided Wednesday. The Chicago Park District voted Wednesday to rename the park in the largely black neighborhood, which has held Stephen Douglas’ name since 1869. Proponents have pushed the name change for years. Stephen Douglas was a U.S. senator from Illinois who lost the presidential election to Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He died in 1861. Commissioners know the park will be renamed for Frederick Douglass. However, there will be a 45-day public comment period to ensure the new name has support from residents, organizations and public officials. – Associated Press

Pritzker Extends Eviction Moratorium Another Month

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is giving more time to those behind on rent or mortgage payments. He’s extending a ban on evictions through August 22. A moratorium was set to expire at the end of this month. Such action includes a new program designed to get as much as 300-million dollars to renters and home owners who need help. Applications will be accepted starting next month. Eligibility will be based on income and having missed housing payments. “Starting August 10, applications will open for renters and then the week of August 28 for homeowners,” Pritzker said. – Sean Crawford – WUIS

IDES Reports National Fraud Scheme on PUA Program

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has uncovered a nationwide fraud scheme impacting every state’s federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. During a COVID-19 update briefing Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker said anyone who has not filed an unemployment claim, but has received a debit card or an unemployment insurance letter in the mail has likely been a target of the fraud. “Federal authorities have informed states that your personal identifying information may likely have been obtained in prior breaches of corporate or other databases like the massive Equifax breach.” Pritzker urges anyone who mistakenly received a debit card, don’t activate it. He said anyone who may have been targeted by the fraud scheme, should contact IDES at 800-814-0513. – Brad Palmer – WSIU

10 Normal Firefighters Return To Work; 5 Others Still Recovering From COVID-19

Ten Town of Normal firefighters have returned to work following two weeks under quarantine, while five others remain sidelined as they recover from COVID-19. Fire Chief Mick Humer said it appears one firefighter who contracted the coronavirus had traveled out of state. He said all five who tested positive showed symptoms, but it took time for those symptoms to develop. He said they are all in various stages of recovery. Humer said since the outbreak, all firefighters have been tested twice; all came back negative. – Eric Stock – WGLT

30 Peoria County Jail Detainees Now COVID-19 Positive

Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell said an additional eight detainees at the county jail tested positive for COVID-19 overnight, for a grand total of 30 so far. Asbell said he believes all detainee tests will be completed today, leaving the sheriff’s office waiting for results back to determine the overall impact at the jail. Asbell confirmed the initial COVID-19 outbreak on Saturday. On Wednesday, an additional 14 detainees tested positive. Thirteen employees are also off work after testing positive for the coronavirus, while they await results, or quarantine due to potential exposure. The outbreak is also impacting the court system and jail intake procedures. – Tim Shelley – WCBU

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