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News Around Illinois – March 26, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Illinois Delays Income Tax Deadline As Virus Cases Climb 

CHICAGO — Illinois taxpayers will have until July 15 to file and pay their state income taxes because of the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the three-month delay Wednesday as officials reported an elderly resident has died at a suburban Chicago nursing home where dozens of people have been sickened by the coronavirus. The 90-year-old woman at Chateau Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook was one of 33 residents and 13 staffers who have contracted the virus. The state reported 330 newly confirmed coronavirus infections Wednesday, the largest one-day jump since the first case was reported Jan. 24. There have now been 1,865 cases reported.  – Associated Press

Champaign County Has 8 COVID-19 Cases; Douglas County Has First Case

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Wednesday announced four new cases of COVID-19 … bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to eight. Health District Administrator Julie Pryde says the new cases are two men in their 70s, one man in his 50s and one woman in her 80s. She didn’t provide any further information on their condition. Of the eight confirmed cases, five are men and three are women.  They range in age from their 30s to their 80s. There have so far been no deaths reported in Champaign County from COVID-19. The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Douglas County. No further information was immediately available about that case. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Emergency Room Doctors Brace For Onslaught Of COVID-19

CHAMPAIGN – Some hospitals in Illinois have seen a sharp rise in patients showing up with symptoms of COVID-19. That’s according to Emergency Room Dr.  Ernest Wang, president of the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians. He says the many unknowns about what the future holds makes this a scary time for ER doctors. But it’s also what they were trained for. “You swallow your fear… you gown up and you go in and do the job,” said Wang. “That’s the soul of emergency physicians, it’s different than other areas in medicine. You can’t do this job unless you’re able to do that effectively.” Wang says the biggest problem right now is the lack of widespread testing and the real possibility hospitals will run out of protective gear. He says the best way the general public can help is by staying home as much as possible to help prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed. – Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom

Danville Schools Feeding Students With Drive-Through Program

DANVILLE – A pilot program launched by the Danville school district is sending students to the drive-through window to get meals, while classes are suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. The program offers two free meals this week at Danville’s three McDonald’s restaurants to District 118 schoolchildren during breakfast and lunch hours. Deanna Witzel owns and operates the restaurants with her husband Don. She says officials from the McDonald’s corporation are reviewing the effort as well. District Superintendent Alicia Geddis says McDonald’s and the Illinois State Board of Education are looking at the program’s potential for expansion to other communities. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Domestic Violence Victims At-Risk As Virus Spreads

ROCKFORD – During the COVID-19 pandemic, survivors of domestic violence can be especially at risk. Becky Winstead is the vice president of domestic violence services at Remedies Renewing Lives in Rockford. She says survivors seeking assistance often wait for the moment when their partner leaves to go to work. “If they’re not working and they’re staying at home, it’s going to be even harder to reach out for help,” said Winstead. But domestic violence services are still available across the state. Remedies Renewing Lives’ 24-hour domestic violence hotline is still open. Winstead says they’ve had to cancel some face-to-face support groups, but counseling sessions are still being done over the phone. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233Peter Medlin, WNIJ News



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Urbana Mayor Marlin confirms she won’t seek third term

Democrat Diane Marlin is confirming what she has been talking about for more than a year: she’ll step down as Urbana mayor when her current term ends next spring.

“After 8 years on City Council and 8 years as mayor, 16 in city government, is a good long run,” Marlin said in an interview with Illinois Public Media.