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News Around Illinois – May 4, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Illinois Reaches Record High For COVID-19 Tests Performed in 24 Hours

CHICAGO – In his daily briefing Sunday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a new record high for COVID-19 tests performed in Illinois in a single day: 19,417. The state is reporting 2,994 new cases, bringing the state total to 61,499. An additional 63 deaths were reported, bringing the total fatalities to 2,618.

Pritzker cautioned against comparing Illinois and Cook County to other cities and states based on number of confirmed COVID-19 cases alone, but advised people look instead at how much testing is being done and compare the percentage of positive cases among those tested. “That’s the number that ought to be going down” as testing capacity increases, Pritzker said.

Champaign County announced 24 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday – for a total of 173. Two new cases were announced in Douglas County, for a total of 20. Iroquois County announced 5 new cases over the weekend for a total of 41, and the county’s first COVID-19 death: a woman in her 60s.  Macon County announced 9 new cases – 2 of which are associated with nursing homes – and one additional death, for a total of 13. No new cases were reported in DeWitt, Piatt, Christian, Coles, Edgar, Moultrie, or Vermillion Counties. – Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom

McLean County Authorities Identify Mobile Home Fire Victims

LEXINGTON — Authorities in central Illinois say they have yet to determine what caused a fire that claimed the lives of a mother and two children. McLean County Coroner Kathy Yoder said Sunday that 27-year-old Hillery R. Peters, 3-year-old Emerlyn Bennett and 16-month-old Sawyer Bennett died of carbon monoxide intoxication from inhaling smoke and soot. The fire in a mobile home near Lexington was reported at 3 a.m. Saturday. Authorities say firefighters arrived quickly, however the fire had advanced too far and prevented rescue of the victims. – Associated Press

Frustrated Mayor Has To Retract News of Parks Re-opening

MURPHYSBORO — There may be nothing worse for a mayor than to have to retract the good news he’s given his constituents. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens had to do that after announcing that Murphysboro State Park and Kinkaid Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area would open Friday with a relaxed statewide stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s revised order does allow for re-opening some state parks, but not the ones Stephens publicized. Stephens said his initial conversations were with Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials who consulted the wrong list of outdoor areas set to re-open. – Associated Press

Restaurants Partner To Feed Workers Combating Virus Outbreak

MARION — A group of award-winning barbecue restaurants in southern Illinois are partnering to provide meals for health care employees and other workers battling on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The Hands of Hope foundation will collaborate with the eateries through a program called Operation BBQ’d Hope to provide meals for about 4,000 people at Heartland Regional Medical Center, Herrin Hospital, St. Joseph Memorial Hospital and Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. The Southern Illinoisan reports that the group served their first meal last Tuesday at Heartland. More meals are planned for May 5 in Murphysboro and May 7 in Carbondale. – Associated Press

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