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News Around Illinois – March 20, 2020

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Illinois Officials: 3 More Dead, 422 Now Positive For Virus

CHICAGO — Illinois public health officials say three more people have died after contracting the coronavirus and 422 people statewide have now tested positive for the disease caused by the virus. A total of four people have died in the state as a result of COVID-19. Earlier Thursday, Chicago officials ordered all people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 or showing symptoms of the disease caused by it to stay indoors. Mayor Lori Lightfoot also announced extended school closures by several weeks, saying the nation’s third-largest school district would remain closed through April 20.  – Associated Press

Champaign County Brookens Center Now Off Limits To The Public

URBANA – UPDATE: The Champaign County Brookens Administrative Center is Urbana is now completely closed to the public. County Executive Darlene Kloepple announced the closing Friday, effective immediately and continuing through April 7, in response to Governor Pritkzer’s “stay at home” order. The move comes after the several county offices at the Brookens Center and the Champaign County Courthouse had already been closed to public visits.  County offices can still be reached by phone, email and the Champaign County website.  Property tax payments can be left at a drop box at the front entrance of the Brookens Center, near the flagpole. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom, 3/20/20 4:45 PM

Health & Hospitals Asking For Equipment Donations

PEORIA – The Illinois Health and Hospital Association is asking for donations of face masks, respirators, and other personal protective equipment for hospital workers tackling COVID-19 cases. Peoria City/County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson says the requests are coming in “full-force.” She says local emergency management agencies are working with federal and state agencies to procure supplies, but that might not be enough. “It is getting to the point where we are asking as much as we can around community partners that are closing down shops, such as dentists or someplace where they do elective procedures, to bring in the supplies to our first responders,” said Hendrickson. She says maintaining a stash of equipment is one of the reasons why it’s important to control who’s visiting the ER. Medical personnel are now wearing extra gear when seeing people with flu-like symptoms. – Tim Shelley, Peoria Public Radio

Man Faces Federal Charges In Illinois Trooper’s Killing 

EAST ST. LOUIS — A federal grand jury has indicted a southern Illinois man accused of fatally shooting a state trooper on drug and weapons charges. U.S. Attorney Steven Weinhoeft announced Thursday that 46-year-old Christopher R. Grant of East St. Louis, faces eight counts including using a firearm to murder Illinois State Trooper Nicholas Hopkins in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense. The 33-year-old Hopkins was fatally shot Aug. 23 while serving a search warrant. Grant also faces three counts of distributing crack cocaine, maintaining a drug house and other charges. Online court records don’t list an attorney for Grant. – Associated Press

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