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News Around Illinois – March 31, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Illinois Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Top 5,000

CHAMPAIGN – On Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 461 new cases of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, bringing the state’s total so far to 5,057. In addition, the death toll in Illinois stands at 75. For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.  – Reginald Hardwick, Illinois Newsroom

U of I Researchers Design Emergency Ventilator

URBANA – Researchers at the University of Illinois came up with a new emergency ventilator in just two weeks. And they hope their design, called the Illinois RapidVent, can be utilized quickly. Mechanical Engineering Professor Bill King oversaw a team of about 40 researchers to develop a working prototype for a low-cost, bare-bones ventilator that connects to a hospital’s existing oxygen supply. King says designs for the Illinois RapidVent have been published on the U of I Grainger College of Engineering website, for anyone to use. “In a perfect world, the technology could be picked up from where we are and be scaled to production within weeks,” said King. “We’re optimistic that somebody could pick it up and do that.” King says they’re already talking to a few manufacturers who may be interested in producing the Illinois RapidVent. He says a prototype has performed well in initial, non-clinical testing. But the new ventilator design would need approval by federal regulators before it can be used in hospitals. Click here to read more about the Illinois RapidVent. Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Illinois Inmate Dies From COVID-19; Dozens More Sickened

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois officials have reported the death of a state prison inmate from COVID-19 and acknowledged the difficulty they face in stopping the spread of the virus in a crowded correctional system. Dr. Ngoze Ezike, the state’s public health director, said a man at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet had died from the respiratory illness. Twelve more inmates with COVID-19 have been hospitalized, several requiring ventilators, and 77 others showing symptoms have been isolated, as have 11 staff members. – Associated Press

SIU President Can Reimburse Students For Some Costs

CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois University’s trustees have given the school’s president the authority to reimburse students for some costs as instruction has moved online due to the coronavirus outbreak. The board of trustees met Monday in Carbondale to vote the authority to Southern Illinois President Daniel Mahony. The board did not specify how the reimbursements should be handled. However, it gave Mahony the flexibility to make that determination in consultation with chancellors of the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses and the dean of the school of medicine. Mahony says he anticipates reimbursements to students could total between $4 million and $5 million. – Associated Press

Man Charged In Killings of Girlfriend, Her Daughter

URBANA — Authorities say an eastern Illinois man has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly fatally shooting his live-in girlfriend and her adult daughter over the weekend. Twenty-eight-year-old Jonathon Perry was charged Monday after being taken into custody early Sunday in connection with the killing of  54-year-old Kimberly Coyne and 24-year-old Blair Coyne at their home just northwest of the village of St. Joseph. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that police say the Homer man had been dating Kimberly Coyne. Chief criminal deputy Troy Lozar with the Champaign County state’s attorney’s office says Perry was arraigned Monday on first-degree murder charges in both of the killings. – Associated Press

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